CarrieAnn Arias, vice president of marketing for Dole Fresh Vegetables and Berries, relies on data-driven marketing and an awareness of consumer and retailer needs to support product innovation and increase sales.
Arias, 41, who joined the Monterey, Calif.-based shipper in 2005, has made her biggest impact through Dole’s shopper marketing program, launched about five years ago.
“We were really the first in the produce industry to have a shopper marketing team,” Arias said.
While coupon-based or account specific marketing still happens, the focus now is on an individual attention to consumers made possible, first and foremost, by loyalty card data.
Four years of drought in California have caused few price changes for U.S. consumers, but the drought has affected the supply of fresh vegetables that Canadian importers have relied on, said Charlebois.
"California does supply a lot of organic products into Canada," he said.
It's the major source of imported lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, among other crops.
While not as big of a price driver as the exchange rate, it still is forcing grocers to look elsewhere — at higher prices, he said.