Agriculture in Europe and in Italy it is always at risk. Manufacturers have minimal gains, when they do not have it, the state must intervene, the insurances are not always able to restore the lost compensation if in a season the weather is not good to proper development of plants.
Even more than in Europe and in Italy, the problem of agriculture and its ecological and economic sustainability, is being studied in the world, because the problem, each with their issues, you are living on all continents.
We are not experts in agricultural production, but in sales yes. There is a western consumer behavior, namely of almost all industrialized countries, including Eastern countries, because they are now Western in their consumer behaviors, which can not remain unnoticed.
This behavior is called mental underestimation of the agricultural product.
If we compare the weight of a parcel of snacks or cereal with the same weight of seasonal and local fruit or vegetables, we know that the commodity has a cost percentage much lower than industrial product .
Why? The belief that the agriculture food should cost little is the fact that in order to promote the goodness is always tells the story that the product comes “directly from the tree to your table.”
Well, then why should it cost so much? You’ve just picked from the tree.
This is the reasoning that unconsciously or consciously goes around in the mind of consumers.
Instead, the industrial product undergoes a modification of work that justify at their (our) eyes the cost.
All of this is false, because the industry market, relying on its economic strength, built thanks to the branding over the years, now may impose costs low to buy agricultural commodities, having the possibility to choose to buy from the best bidder.
The producers have not this possibility, they can not say to the shaft: if you don’t give me more fruits I go to take it from another at the same price.
That said, how do you change the route? How do we help the agricultural market, which is what can essentially make it livable and sustainable society on our planet?
The power is in our hands as always. Namely in the hands of consumers.
At the consumer should be taught that even if the agricultural product is not subject to modifications has anyway high costs, precisely to due to give a product as natural as possible.
The ground, the management of the plants, the water, the collection and marketing have costs as much there are in the industry.
To help the audience to understand this and get them closer to the consumption of the agricultural product, governments and Ministries of Agriculture have been among the first to move a few steps.
In Italy with the government program “School Fruit” are trying to introduce children to the correct feeding, introducing the fruit as food nutritional food and as cultural food.
The Expo Milano 2015 then, has the theme of feeding the planet and the mascots are all fruits and vegetables. Therefore are making the efforts in this direction, but the errors of communication and branding are still many. On the other hand it is normal, the idea to branding fruit and vegetables is born in recent years with the need to return to a higher degree of psychological and physical wellbeing.
The problem is that when we approach the branding of fruit and vegetables we always end up making them as cartoon characters, as if fruits and vegetables should be eaten only by children.
Permitted, but not granted that, these kind of branding are really attractive for the children, however, they end up detracting from the value of the product.
The brand is not just communication, it also serves to give a market value to the product. The brand places the product at a given level of mental perception, which is directly proportional to the will of consumer spending.
So if the small funny icons of fruit and vegetables can be easy to vehicular, however, they risk however to lower the perception of economic value, determining factor to the predisposition at the audience expenses.
In addition it should be noted that communication always points towards the fact that “it is right” eat fruits and vegetables, that “it is right” safeguard the agriculture, that “it is good” eat healthy etc…
Rather than brand communication, seem the reproaches of grandmother.
Let us make the cynics (someone has to do it): people do not buy what is right, they buy what they love! If we love what is right then we have solved the equation.
The fact is that fruits and vegetables must be cool! As much as are the packaged and industrial products. They are cool because they have the brand. A packaged product at the level of flavor, not necessarily mean it’s more good than a fruit, but it’s all there, in the consumer’s mind to make him believe this.
Consumers recognize fruit or vegetable as the rough diamond and the diamond-like industrial product worked and put on the ring.
Who wants a stone though beautiful and great respect to a ring gleaming?
Everyone wants the ring. Because the ring is what they love, the ring has a cultural value and is the cultural value that the audience loves. The rough stone itself, except for the experts, do not care.
Moreover, returning to the economic discourse, it is normal for the audience gives value to the the jewelry, to the ring, to remain in the example, and not to the stones.
The ring is worked, the stone no. This is the greatest economic difference, but it is a misjudgment. Not necessarily seek and pick up the stone it costs less than working it.
This speech is the same for agriculture. What is necessary is to aim to make palatable the stones, namely fruits and vegetables.
People have to love fruits and vegetables as much as they love their favorite packaged products.
That said, the targets that consume more fruits and vegetables are men and women in adulthood. You see them to love a mascot resembling the toys of her kids? I tell you, no!
The communication for these products is demeaning and too naive, when in fact the nature creates the most complex products, with stunning growth processes and often very difficult to manage, especially when it comes to managing large plots.
Must be recognized by the target than is stunning what with a great effort by agricultural producers it is made available. From the producers, not by nature.
Yes, because the story that nature provides us with everything we need without doing anything is another story that is to the detriment of fruit and vegetable market.
Think that basic foods like almonds or tomatoes were poisonous originally. It is the human work that for centuries has made it this available to everyone and easy to find, often going against the weather that in a second destroys months of work.
In conclusion there are three commonplaces to debunk:
1_ the industrial product is worked, instead the agriculture ones aren’t worked
2_ the nature puts everything available, just pick up
3_ is right that the industrial product costs more than the agriculture product
In addition, at the communication level, we must stop make two major mistakes:
1_ communicating how if the target was that of children
2_ avoid to make perceiving the agricultural product as something simple.
The brand has enormous steps to do in this market. The first steps were uncertain and I think was going in the opposite direction to the one that should be taken. For now, the positive side is the commitment that you are putting.
Agriculture has the good fortune to create different products for each climate zone and, even at a distance of a few hundred kilometers, allowing the growth of native products that have to be branded and valued just as you do for the different types of wines and cheeses.
What do you say?