Spring into strawberry season - The Packer

Spring into strawberry season

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

The store features organic strawberries whenever they’re available.


Merchandising tips

Suppliers shared some of their own merchandising suggestions.

“We love when retailers help us inspire consumers by putting a portable display case of berries in the dairy aisle, or putting granola next to the berry display,” says Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif. “By showing consumers usage ideas, we are creating healthy impulse purchases.”

The 1-pound clamshell represents the majority of what is packed and sold, but consumers like a choice, says Cal-Giant’s Jewell.

“Families with kids will lean more toward the larger pack sizes to satisfy their needs,” Jewell says.

John King, vice president of sales for San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, agrees.

“We see retailers every day adding either a 2-pound, 3-pound or 4-pound clamshell,” he says. “What it comes down to is that 1 pound of strawberries is not a lot of strawberries.

Repeat business has been very good on larger pack styles, he adds.

Interact with consumers through social media, advises Michelle Deleissegues, director of marketing for Salinas, Calif.-based Red Blossom Sales Inc.

She recommends displaying POP materials that redirect shoppers so they can use their cell phones and various social media accounts to find serving suggestions, nutrition information, coupons and updates on price and availability.

“People expect information to be at their fingertips now,” she says.

“Those sources of information are also a good way for retailers and growers to tell their story — to reach out to the consumers, link them to what is important about the product or the grower and tell what is special about them,” Deleissegues says.

“It really gives you a chance to build a conversation and a relationship with the consumer,” she adds.


Upfront displays

“Primary display positions are always highly recommended,” says Dan Crowley, sales manager for Well-Pict Inc., Watsonville, Calif.

That’s easy to do at the front end of the season, he says. But during the summer, when strawberries face competition from commodities such as stone fruit, grapes, cherries and melons, some retailers tend to push strawberries out of the prime positions.

Crowley suggests keeping strawberries on end cap displays rather than secondary displays or in the wet section.

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