“It’s very gratifying for our growers to see the program they’ve helped to build being supported by consumers and now retailers who are looking more closely at the price look up (PLU) stickers on their apples,” says Dr. John Reeves, general manager of Pink Lady America in Yakima, Washington.
The PLU sticker is one of the keys to the Pink Lady trademark program as it needs to match up with the signage overhead in retail displays. If it says “Pink Lady Brand” and the sign above says the same, it provides consumer assurance. If the PLU says something else and the signage, “Pink Lady Brand,” it is a trademark violation, say company officials.
“It was around two years that we started a campaign to educate consumers on the importance of checking for the Pink Lady PLU,” says Dr. Reeves. “The major reason for the fruit being identified as Pink Lady Brand is because it is packed to quality standards. Anything sold as Pink Lady without our PLU sticker can be packed without our quality standards.”
The Pink Lady education program has been multi-faceted in nature. It includes a lot of activity in social media and news releases going to media to impact consumers and the produce trade.
“It’s certainly been gratifying to see the consumers’ positive response to our efforts. We are also very happy to hear some of the major retail sources are insisting on the use of the Pink Lady trademark in their produce departments,” Dr. Reeves says. “It seems that some of the retailers have ordered Pink Lady brand apples but have been receiving apples without the correct PLU.”
“The growers have helped to build the Pink Lady program. It’s beneficial to the growers to the have the retailer and the consumer look closely at the PLU on their apples to make sure the apples are marked with the apple brand,” he adds.