As a self-proclaimed data junkie, for me information is king. But data alone, does not define the best marketing strategy when rolling out a new product. Instead, information helps to determine key pin points on the road map to success.

When our client, Crunch Time Apple Growers from New York State was seeking to develop brand names and a go-to-market strategy for two new apple varieties, called NY1 and NY2, we used data as a guide. Consumer taste surveys helped us to define not only the flavor-profile but the brand personality for each apple resulting in the brand names SnapDragon® and RubyFrost®.RubyFrost

Working with Nielsen Perishables Group, we used sales data to identify in advance the strongest potential retail partners for the initial stages of the new product rollouts. This analysis was important because performance levels in select apple varieties are difficult to assess. New varieties are inherently limited in production causing distribution voids which directly impact retail sales performance. In addition, finite retail space ultimately controls the number of new variety apples that a specific retail supermarket chain can place on the shelf at any given time.

The study took into account the performance of individual new apple varieties, weekly performance weighting (optimal timing for season), Indexing of variety performance as a share of total apple performance, role of price and the propensity for retailers to invest in promoting new apple varieties. The results of the study helped us to pinpoint those strong, opportunity retailers who would do the best in merchandising and promoting these new varieties in store.


Today, both SnapDragon and RubyFrost have been embraced by both consumers and retailers alike. Their distribution has rapidly expanded from the Northeast to across the US and they continue to grow with a variety of both national and region supermarket chains.

Written by Heidi McIntyre
Managing Partner