Consumers were introduced to the world’s first pink pineapple this month. Yet even before the Pinkglow Pineapple was unveiled on October 12, Fresh Del Monte PR partner BML Public Relations was confident the launch would be successful.
“From the minute we started pitching it and getting ahead of it, media contacts were all in, super-intrigued and looking forward to receiving it,” said BML president and CEO Brian Lowe. “We knew we were going to have a strong launch based on that demand upfront.”
BML took a straightforward media relations and product sampling approach, pitching the news to consumer, business, food and pop culture publications, as well as morning and late-night shows. The PR firm focused on earned media because the product is unique, giving it a solid potential story angle.
“We knew we didn’t have to complicate it with a number of other tactics in the mix out of the gate,” Lowe said.
The effort resulted in 730 stories and a mention in Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue.
With the product in development for more than 15 years, Del Monte’s comms team wanted to ensure it put the proper time, planning and care into its launch, explained Pablo Rivero, Del Monte Fresh VP of marketing for North America.
“We really wanted to make sure that all of our communication not only told the story of the Pinkglow Pineapple, but also made our consumers experience the feel of the product and as if they were being transported to a remote Costa Rican paradise,” Rivero said.
Del Monte’s marketing, PR, social and graphic design teams worked together to create visuals and language that would convey the passion and excitement the company has been feeling about the product for years, noted Rivero.
In terms of messaging, Del Monte particularly wants consumers to know about the sustainable way it grows and harvests the Pinkglow Pineapple, part of its commitment to a sustainable future.
“While some consumers may be surprised to receive their Pinkglow Pineapple without a crown, we hope that they will be happy to know that new Pinkglow Pineapples are grown by planting existing pineapple crowns in the ground, in an effort to increase the volume of the crops and reduce waste,” said Rivero. “Additionally, Pinkglow Pineapples are harvested by hand and in order to regenerate new pineapple crops, the crown needs to be planted.”
In addition to digital ads, the company has launched Pinkglow Pineapple social media channels separate from the Fresh Del Monte accounts. The company also brought on influencers across the country to create fun and authentic content for Pinkglow’s social channels to showcase the product and lifestyle, said Rivero.
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One challenge has been negative feedback about the product’s $49 price tag.
“The Pinkglow Pineapple is a very exclusive product that has a low production volume and takes approximately 15 to 24 months to grow,” said Rivero. “Its distribution is very limited and it can only be purchased online and shipped direct-to-consumer.”
Some consumers have also voiced concerns that the Pinkglow Pineapple is a GMO product, noted Lowe.
“This sets up the opportunity for us to educate consumers and dispel any preconceived notions because they hear the term ‘GMO,’” said Lowe. “We will drive home the message about how the pineapple becomes pink.”
To create the pink color, Del Monte “tweaked nature” by turning off the enzyme that naturally turns a pineapple yellow. There are no additives and no health risks associated with the product, Lowe said.
Following the pineapple’s launch, third-party vendors quickly sold out of the product temporarily as they tried to keep up with the demand.
“We have also seen a huge spike in website traffic and have received more than 9,000 email signups as part of our Pinkglow Virtual Party giveaway through PinkglowPineapple.com,” said Rivero.
Looking forward, Del Monte and BML have started to focus on “creating a sustainable drumbeat” to keep people talking about Pinkglow Pineapples.