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Natural Delights boasts favorable shopper data to kick off 2023

Bard Valley Natural Delights is bringing big date energy into 2023 thanks to Whole Foods’ newest trend report, 2022 year-end IRI data, and consumer focus group results. The brand is primed not only for a year spotlighting the use of Medjool dates, but as the preferred brand in the category.

Whole Foods recently named Medjool dates one of its top food trends for 2023 and said “with a classic caramel note we can all get behind, dates are having their moment.” Natural Delights could not agree more, especially given the consistent uptick in the category over the last five years and use of Medjool dates in trending social media posts.

According to IRI scan data (52 weeks ending Jan. 1), Natural Delights is outpacing category volume growth by 61 percent. The brand also had the highest repeat purchases by a 20 percent margin among all other Medjool date brands, according to IRI panel data over the same period.

“One of the most valuable data points to share with our retail partners is repeat purchases,” said Natural Delights Director of Marketing David Baxter. “Brand loyalty is something we’ve worked on diligently, and it is what we believe sets us apart and encourages higher consumption within the category.”

During focus groups conducted in November by third-party Moms Meet, respondents selected Natural Delights as their preferred brand for overall quality, effective and sustainable packaging, and eating experience.  The brand received high praise in each of the focus groups.

“These [Natural Delights] are so good, I’ll actually eat them plain,” said one Moms Meet member. “Other brands I only use for baking.”

Other key attributes from the focus group included the value of Natural Delights packaging. Respondents shared that not only was it the most ideal for resealing and locking in freshness, but they also noted the importance of the brand’s 100 percent recyclable packaging from previously used plastic bottles.

“We have been extremely intentional in creating sustainable packaging that also keeps the integrity of the product in tact, so these comments reinforce that we’re doing the right thing,” said Baxter.

With a favorable start to the year for the category, including National Medjool Date Day on Feb. 4, Heart Health Month in February, National Nutrition Month in March, and Ramadan in March and April, the brand encourages retailers to get their Natural Delights orders in soon to have fully stocked displays during peak purchasing times.

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