Spring into strawberry season - The Packer

Spring into strawberry season

03/01/2013 04:03:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Dippel sources strawberries from Florida, California or Mexico, depending on where he can get the best value at the time, he says.

He features strawberries on ad every couple of weeks during the summer and uses POP, such as signs and danglers, when it’s available.

Valentine’s Day and Easter are the biggest strawberry holidays, he says.


Value proposition

Albert E. Lees Inc., Westport, Mass., makes strawberries a value proposition for shoppers whenever possible, says Matt Cummings, produce manager.

The store typically runs strawberries on ad every four to six weeks during the winter and every two or three weeks during the summer. Sometimes Cummings features them as an in-store special on weekly basis.

“If the crop is abundant and the prices are really reasonable, we’ll run them as long as we can get them at a good price,” he says.

In late January, the store was advertising Florida strawberries at two 1-pound clamshells for $5.

The highest price you’ll find on strawberries at Albert E. Lees is $5.99 a pound.

“We try not to go over that,” Cummings says. “If we take hit, we take a hit.”


Peak promotions

During the peak season, Weber’s IGA features strawberries on ad about every other week, Miller says.

The 1-pounder is the most popular package, but the store offers 2-pound clamshells when they’re available. How well the 2-pound size sells depends on price point.

“Price point drives the market,” Miller says.

Some retailers have sold loose strawberries by the pound, Miller says, but that is not something he has tried.

There also was time, he says, when stores had an entry-level employee assigned to reworking the 1-pint containers that came in 12-pint flats containing 14 pints worth of berries. But those days are long gone.

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