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8 July 2021

Flying off the shelves at Costco Japan

The first container of Rockit™ apples to arrive at Costco Wholesale Japan has flown off the shelves, selling out in just seven days. Rockit’s General Manager Global Sales, Mark Pay, says he is absolutely delighted with the result, and says achieving record sales in a Covid-19 climate is extraordinary. “To achieve these results in only a week is testament to the strong partnership we enjoy with Costco in Japan,” he says. Rockit launched into the Japanese market in 2018, and started selling in Costco in 2019. Mark says the robust sales figures reflect the excellent communication between Rockit’s global headquarters in New Zealand and Costco Japan. “When Covid-19 hit last year, we were able to swiftly amend our marketing and promotional activities to fit with what was possible during a challenging time,” he explains. “This resulted in a 77% increase from 2019 to 2020, and this year we’re already seeing a further 51% increase year-on-year. “Partnering with Costco has been an ideal distribution strategy for Rockit, due to its national reach,” Mark continues. “It is a unique retailer - not just in Japan but globally – because although it offers products in a bulk format for its members, it also carefully selects a number of premium brands to carry, such as Rockit™ apples.” Mark says Rockit has been diligently building a strong, mutually advantageous relationship in Japan and it’s pleasing to see years of work, within a unique market, pay off. “Rockit is currently in the midst of a very sharp growth curve across all markets – our results in Japan are just one indication of the journey we’re on,” he says. By 2025, Rockit expects to see a further 1000% uplift on 2021 sales in the Japanese market alone. “To achieve this, we’re working on improved packaging formats that will better suit the market and its different distribution channels. For example, we’re working directly with Costco to design a new pack that fits more neatly within its business format. Additionally, with the convenience channel in Japan being one of the most advanced in the world, our new two-piece tube has been specifically designed to meet the needs of these stores and their consumers,” says Mark. The new Rockit brand – which launched globally on 1 July – rolls out digitally in Japan over the coming weeks and includes a localised website and social content. Mark says when developing global brand content, the Rockit Global Marketing team kept Japan front of mind, creating assets that would resonate with its consumers. “We’re committed to this market,” says Mark, “and plan to continue developing our key relationships more fully, as we continue along Rockit’s steep growth trajectory.”