Delta Produce - Love! Kumara

Repositioning a brand to drive sales and value growth

Meet the Grower

Delta Produce is New Zealand’s largest sweet potato grower and they were experiencing stagnating sweet potato sales. Recognising they needed produce specific expertise, Delta contracted Fresh Produce Branding to identify and solve the problem.


Consumer research was done to understand purchase motives, preferences and barriers. Retail sales and share metrics were compared to quantify the problem and assess the cost to the business.

Research identified multiple issues:

  • Big, knobbly kumara were sold loose, with no understanding of consumer preference.

  • There was no branding, packaging or value-add being done and the display was a sea of sameness.

  • Sweet potatoes were getting press attention for their health benefits, but this was not translating to sales.

  • For consumers, kumara size and shape impacted purchasing. Price was thought to be the biggest purchase barrier, but knobblyness was the real problem - a clear indication that smoother kumara were worth a premium.

  • Grower 'success' was related to tonnage - bigger, knobblier kumara produced more tons, but was not preferred by consumers and generated a lot of small kumara waste.

  • Consumers were willing to pay a premium for smoother, smaller, easy-to-peel kumara but were never offered the chance to buy it.


Once we showed growers how much more money they could make by branding and packaging smaller, smoother, waste kumara to better meet consumer needs, they immediately understood the potential and the Love! Kumara brand was born.

A 230% Increase in Farm Gate Returns

The results were nothing short of outstanding, The new, Love! Kumara packs resulted in a 230% increase in net grower returns and established Delta as the category leader and innovator.

Fresh Produce Branding’s Chief Brand Strategist, Lisa Cork, was awarded the PMA A-NZ Marketer of the Year award for this work.

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Locky Wilson, CEO, Delta Produce

 “What a difference Lisa made... not only to our brand but to our business. Lisa brings a strong intuition and consumer-focused approach to her work. As a result, where we as growers just saw a brand refresh, Lisa saw new opportunities to reposition kumara as a more consumer-friendly vegetable. Lisa has an uncanny ability to see and identify opportunities others just don’t see. We have  every confidence that the changes Lisa has made to our growing, packing and branding will be a huge success and will deliver increased sales, dollars and volumes to our growers in a competitive market."

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