For the team at Oishii, there’s no better way to highlight the special power of an Omakase Berry than to go straight to the source. “When someone bites into one of our Berries for the first time, there’s always this ‘Oh my god’ moment — a real physical reaction,” says Lesia Dallimore, VP of Brand and Marketing at Oishii. “Video helps us really create and share the emotional experience that our Berry creates the second someone tries it.”
To capture the oh-my-goodness wow-factor that goes with trying their uncommonly flavored (and cultivated) fruit, Lesia and the team rely on UGC video to convey the taste of an Omakase Berry, Oishii’s premiere produce offering. “It’s no small feat to get people to wrap their head around the fact that it’s $50 for a tray of strawberries,” explains Lesia. “But if we can get them to try it — or experience the sensation of trying it — then it becomes a lot easier.”
Perfecting produce through vertical farming
Though they’re beginning to expand into countless agricultural options through vertical farming practices – think melons, tomatoes, grapes, and red peppers — Oishii began with one product: a strawberry. “Our founders wanted to begin focusing their efforts on the Omakase Berry, a fruit typically only found during winter in the Japanese Alps,” explains Lesia. “And we started there because that Berry is so unlike any other strawberry an average U.S. consumer has tried.”
Oishii’s Berries — cultivated in a controlled, vertical farming environment complete with “very happy” bees and free of pesticides and contamination — aren’t your grandmother’s supermarket strawbs. They’re creamy, deeply red, and almost candy-like in flavor: “Everyone tells us they taste like what strawberries should taste like,” adds Lesia.
Ceremonial strawberries for everyday
Crunchy, plastic-clad clamshelled Berries might be the norm in the U.S., but Oishii co-founder Hiroki Koga explains that luxury fruit is a deeply-woven aspect of Japanese culture. “If I came home and there were strawberries on the table, I knew there was something to celebrate,” Hiroki explains.
“It’s an experiential thing,” adds Lesia. “It’s not just a piece of fruit.” To help explore the Omakase Berry’s possibilities as an expression of luxury, the Oishii team also utilizes video to define the fruit as more than a yogurt topping or swiped-from-the-fridge snack. “The idea is that you would bring our strawberries to someone’s house instead of a bottle of champagne or a bouquet of flowers,” Lesia notes.
“Obviously our best bet is for people to actually try the Berries before they buy them,” says Lesia. “But video is the best way for us to tell our story on that larger scale.”
Capturing a beautiful Berry experience
To highlight the range of Oishii’s value props — its carefully curated luxury and those wide-eyed first bites — Lesia and her team are focused on creating different video content to speak to both their elevated storytelling and their wow-factor snacking in turn. To meet both needs, Oishii has dabbled in both brand agency outsourcing and a bit of UGC, to create a combination of video styles that speak to all parts of their business.
“Video really helps us do both of those things,” says Melissa Cohn, Oishii’s Senior Marketing Manager. “Whether it’s a nicely curated video from our agency or just a repost of someone trying the Berry for the first time, our videos consistently get more interactions on social media.” 38% percent more, to be precise, when compared with similar still imagery.
“Having a co-founder who’s Japanese comes with a certain level of precision, integrity, and quality,” adds Lesia. “People are really able to see the thought and care that comes with that end product and experience through video. And I think that’s hugely important.”