Scottish berry brand’s sales almost double thanks to new lockdown marketing campaign

Influencer campaign featured the Kilted Yoga instructor, Finlay Wilson

Premium Scottish berry brand, AVA Berries, is toasting its strongest seasonal sales to date following the launch of a new influencer and experiential marketing campaign shortly after lockdown was introduced.
So far this year, almost 4.7 million punnets of AVA strawberries have been sold across the UK, an increase of over 2 million compared to this time last season.

AVA Berries offer the best in seasonal flavour, sweetness and quality and are grown by an exclusive group of growers on the beautiful North-East coast of Scotland to ensure only the very best berries are produced every time.

Like many others, earlier this year the brand was forced to abandon planned marketing activity as coronavirus put the UK into lockdown.
Spanning targeted PR, digital advertising and partnerships with key influencers, including Kilted Yoga instructor, Finlay Wilson, and Masterchef 2019 finalist, Jilly McCord, the campaign has sought to raise awareness of the brand and demonstrate why AVA varieties offer the best in seasonal flavour.

Jill Witheyman, marketing manager at AVA Berries, commented: “When lockdown started, we had to completely rip up our summer 2020 marketing campaign and start again. We knew this was going to be a difficult time, not just for the British public but for our growers as well, so we had to get this campaign right.

“Looking at emerging trends, we focused our campaign on three core themes; spreading some summer cheer, looking after your mental and physical health at home, and enjoying moments of luxury while in lockdown.”

Sales of strawberries across the board are up 15.8%, according to data recently released by British Summer Fruits.

Witheyman added: “We know that sales of strawberries have been strong across the board this year and that this has contributed to our sales growth. However, it is clear that we’ve found a formula that has resonated with people during lockdown and has been crucial to helping deliver this incredible growth.” 

AVA Berries also launched a new partnership with McQueens Dairies to deliver thousands of punnets of AVA strawberries to households across Scotland during what would have been the start of the Wimbledon fortnight.

“Traditionally, Wimbledon is a key selling period and we were conscious that a lot of our growers would have increased volumes of AVA strawberries available during these weeks. One of the other challenges we faced was we would sample to the public, as we know that once consumers try AVA strawberries, they are blown away by the taste and sweetness.

“We joined forces with McQueens Dairies to deliver surprise punnets of AVA strawberries to over 2,500 households in Scotland and rolled out additional targeted digital advertising activity to support sales during this period.

“The activity was a resounding success with sales rising 59% during what would have been the Wimbledon fortnight.”

AVA Berries supplies the UK’s top supermarkets and AVA strawberries are sold in the premium lines of Aldi, Coop, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s nationwide. AVA strawberries will be available until early October and the largest quantities of strawberries can be found in supermarkets in Scotland and the north of England.

Witheyman concluded: “We’re in peak strawberry season now so we won’t be able to judge the full success of the campaign until the end of the season, but we’re on track for a record-breaking year. Our marketing is going to shift as lockdown eases and more people venture out of their homes, and we’ll be focusing more on recipe and meal suggestions to make your AVA strawberries last longer, while also showcasing their sustainability, from plant to punnet.”