Strawberries say Summer
British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 98% of berries supplied to the UK's supermarkets, and PR agency The Red Brick Road wanted to prove that Strawberries truly do 'say Summer'.
Condiment Junkie were engaged to devise a research strategy and consequent activations, that would generate talkability an d engage consumers with the concept.
Our solution was to target our research at memories - if we can prove that people link Strawberries with summer memories, above any other fruit, then we can truly claim that strawberries say summer, and that they are the fruit most linked with happiness.
We also decided to do a second study - we would take the most common places where our participants remember eating Strawberries, and recreate them with sound and scent. Our hypothesis was that if we eat Strawberries while sensorially evoking those memories, then the Strawberries would taste even better.
For the study we teamed up with Prof's Barry Smith and Ophelia Deroy of the London Institute of Philosophy.
The first phase of the research - memories and associations - showed strawberries were significantly linked with summer and sunny weather above other fruits (bananas, apples, plums, cherries and raspberries). 77% associate strawberries with summer memories, with 64% saying they evoke thoughts of sunshine. 25% of participants link strawberries with the aroma of freshly cut grass, over 16% who chose the traditional strawberries and cream. Other fruits like apples and bananas are associated with grabbing lunch on the go or at the office desk.
The most common situations where these happy memories take place are summer garden parties, and picnics in the park.
By recreating these sonically and asking another group of participants to taste the strawberries while listening, we proved that the sensory atmosphere improved the fruitiness and freshness of the strawberries.
Once the results were in, our friend Chef James 'Jocky' Petrie, formerly of the Fat Duck and now head development chef at the Ledbury, created a new Strawberry serve. To conjure up those memories of picnics and summer parties, Jocky has made a strawberry sandwich with white chocolate and wheatgrass. Available at the Ledbury until the end of July, the dish is best consumed while enjoying the soundscape above.
Coverage of the study and the new 'Strawberries and freshly cut grass' combo is growing and growing, with Shaun Keaveney leading the way on his 6Music breakfast show.
Condiment Junkie have also created a series of sounds and at-home sensory serves for everyone to enjoy, which will be available to followers of the seasonal berries twitter page from this month onwards - @britishberries. So next time it's cold and rainy outside, and you yearn for those lazy hazy days of Summer, you can log on, get out your punnet of the most summery fruit, and drift away on a sensorial summer journey.
A dinner event is to follow, as well as using these insights to design more 'at home' experiences, and point of sale marketing for the Berry Growers.