Thu, Aug 22, 2013 - Page 14 News List

‘Fruit Ninja’ app aiming to boost farm sales

Staff writer, with CNA

Players of the game app Fruit Ninja are now just a click and tap away from boosting Taiwanese farmers’ produce sales and income, a marketing company said yesterday.

“Working with a world-renowned, popular and free game app, we would like to use a new approach to help market local produce,” the Taipei-based CrossMedia Group said in a statement.

Players of Fruit Ninja, which has 700 million downloads worldwide, can now order all kinds of in-season produce directly from Taiwanese farmers, the company said.

The campaign involves an advertising banner on the app, visible only to players in Taiwan, that connects users to a Web site where they can order locally grown produce or have the chance to win a month’s supply of fruit and vegetables.

If the model proves successful, the company said it would duplicate it to market Taiwanese produce around the world.

CrossMedia Group marketing manager Shally Hou said the firm chose Fruit Ninja because the game’s theme fits the campaign, and because it has 700 million downloads.

In Taiwan alone, the game has 1.78 million downloads and 168,000 monthly active users, she said.

The company hopes that the model will help increase farmers’ incomes, Hou said, adding that the firm is working with 74 farmers and is looking to expand the network.

Most farmers only make about NT$22,000 a month, because the bulk of the revenue from sales of fruit and vegetables ends up in the pockets of middlemen, according to iLohas (愛樂活), a Taiwanese social enterprise that helps farmers and is involved in the project.

Baggio Chang (張佑輔), co-founder of iLohas, said that directly buying produce from farmers could triple their revenues.

“We welcome all kinds of approaches to help local farmers and look forward to good results,” he said.

Fruit Ninja developer HalfBrick Studios of Australia also expressed excitement over the cause, saying that it would give out free Fruit Ninja-themed souvenirs to those who place orders.

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