Free Idea for Irene Rosenfeld

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a contribution from a veteran food marketer who prefers to remain anonymous.
Looking for a line extension or a new niche business?
Oceanspray is abandoning their Cran-Fruit product, both the cran-orange and the cran-raspberry. This is a great shelf stable product packaged in 12-ounce plastic containers with a paperboard over-wrap and positioned right next to canned cranberries in all major supermarkets.
The product is a crushed fruit consistency almost like fresh cran-relish. It has been around for years and a staple at my house. Desperate when I noticed it was no longer available at the supermarkets, I ordered a case from Netgrocer to tide me over and immediately contacted Oceanspray which is when – much to my dismay – I found out that they are discontinuing the product.
Normally the issue would end there. I would report what a great job Oceanspray did responding to my messages, even including a handwritten note and that would be that. Yet food marketing is in my blood and I sometimes see windows of opportunities in the most unexpected places.
When it comes to Cran-Fruit, there are no competitive brands – fresh, canned or frozen. And delis only make cranberry relish around the holidays. A consumer can’t even make her own, as the cranberries themselves are only available for a short time after the fall harvest. Yet, they can and freeze well.
I’m not suggesting you move to Massachusetts to become a bog farmer. Yet, if anyone out there hears the knocking and has experience in food processing and distribution, perhaps these healthy little berries, co-packed and sold through a broker network to the supermarket chains is an opportunity worth exploring. With the right marketing, merchandising and advertising this little niche could be your big time success story.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.