Innovative Hawke's Bay apple company Rockit Global Limited has received top international honours at the Asia Fruit Logistica Expo 2019.
The company, recognised across the world for its miniature Rockit apple variety, went home with the Asia Fruit Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year from the Hong Kong event last week.
The company's general manager global marketing Sandi Boyden said it was a huge thrill to have been acknowledged for the impact Rockit has had within Asia's fresh fruit and vegetable sector, principally in China, which now accounts for around 50 per cent of Rockit's global sales.
"It's particularly exciting because this was the first year Rockit had exhibited at Asia Fruit Logistica's three-day expo," Boyden said.
Rockit joined approximately 800 other exhibitors at the show, which attracts more than 13,000 trade visitors annually and kicked off with the Asia Fruit Awards at an international business congress event.
Rockit Global Ltd CEO Austin Mortimer said the Rockit team were incredibly proud of the company's ongoing presence in China and that the award was recognition of a successful multi-layered campaign in this market.
"Rockit spent considerable effort in 2018 and 2019 tailoring its messaging to ensure cut-through in China's competitive fresh fruit market, and it has netted some great results," Mortimer said.
"We worked with a Chinese agency to help us align our story, tell it effectively and engage with our key customers in a meaningful way.
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"Feedback has been incredibly positive, from customers – who love our delicious, miniature, fully mature fruit – to retailers, who saw the campaign brought to life through clever brand positioning, all in Mandarin."
The campaign included a wide range of promotional activities, including marketing activity focused around Children's Day on 1 June.
Two "store takeovers" saw Rockit create an apple theme in Pagoda fruit stores and the company also created an opportunity to retail online through the New Zealand Food Basket alliance.
Asia Fruit Awards judges praised Rockit for executing a campaign that appealed directly to the target demographics of mums and children, as well as busy young professionals, and commended the tagline Rockit developed for the Chinese market – which roughly translates to "this little goodness you can hold".
John Hey from ASIAFRUIT magazine said the dynamic campaign helped to position Rockit apples as "an aspirational lifestyle brand".
"Ensuring that your brand stands out in a crowded market such as China is always a challenge," said Boyden.
"This award is fantastic recognition of a brand message that was tailored based on market and consumer insight to really resonate with Chinese consumers and was executed well across a range of channels."