Yellofruit creates its own digital flyer

The frozen dessert worked with Reebee to drive awareness, piggybacking on grocers' delivery services to drive online sales.

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Yellofruit, the frozen dessert brand which had previously used everything from extensive sampling to a goofy giant banana car to drive in-store trial, is turning its attention to delivery through Reebee.

When COVID struck, Yellofruit’s marketing pivot became “a case of ‘what kind of creative do we have available and how quickly can we get into different platforms?’” says Andrew Kinnear, president and CEO of the west-end Toronto dessert maker.

He met up with the folks at Kitchener-based Reebee, and in June and July, Yellofruit ran a test of Reebee’s digital flyer program, exclusive to Ontario. After the trial “worked liked gangbusters,” Yellofruit is now developing a national back-to-school promotion in August to salvage the summer business.

Yellofruit-07b-VersionFinalThe Reebee app is a very retail-centric app, its core business. Typically, a deal-hunter would visit the app, and while flipping through a grocery store’s flyer, be able to click or tap individual products to find deals and it to add to their shopping list. This made Kinnear wonder if there was a way he could have its own flyer just for Yellofruit.

“We landed on an idea of a ‘flyer’ or big digital ad, that is just for one brand,” Kinnear says. As the user starts looking for what’s hot, they will land on flyer that only talks about Yellofruit, with an intro, a page for each flavor, a map to retailers stocking it, references to its awards, a little about the brand story, and, importantly, links to nearby sellers.

“The way I think of e-commerce, is that I should drive to retailer ecommerce, as I cannot fulfill [delivery of] frozen products,” Kinnear says. “I think of sending you to PC Express, Grocery Gateway or Voila, where the retailer can handle the inventory and delivery side of things, what a billion-dollar company should do.”

Kinnear tells strategy there is no promo code or mobile coupon to tie the Reebee experience directly to conversion, as the young brand can’t handle the infrastructure backend. Rather, it’s to raise awareness in a non-dairy frozen dessert category that’s exploding, as traditional milk-based ice cream is slumping. Big brands like Breyer’s or Häagen-Dazs don’t have to get in front of customers’ faces as market leaders, Kinnear argues, and with its own digital flyer, it does not have to worry as much about going head to head with them in the competitive frozen treat space.

However, it will be running a contest to boost awareness, a back to school promotion that includes a grand prize of a freezer. It will be courtesy of Guelph-based refrigeration and appliance store Danby, part of an intentional effort, Kinnear says, to support fellow “little guys,” which are also in a competitive space.

The back to school promo, activating in August, is to make up for lost time through COVID, though not lost sales. The brand, Kinnear says, saw a bit of a slowdown at the pandemic onset, because it’s a premium product that requires discovery. That was not happening to the same extent during COVID, but has subsequently picked up, especially through the likes of Grocery Gateway.

By linking its distribution network to grocery, Yellofruit is not as subject to the volatility of on-the-go ice cream and frozen dessert formats. Still, he says, he is hoping to minimize marketing spends from October to February, as the buying season stills skews to warmer months.

Since strategy last spoke with the frozen dessert brand in 2019, it has moved from 350 stores to 1,000 conventional grocery, specialty and discount banners.