Munch all you want

11/02/2012 02:50:00 PM
Susie Cable

Carrots are among the most popular vegetables, and many sales are driven by their popularity as snacking and party-tray items.

Carrots are the fourth top-selling vegetable, just behind tomatoes, potatoes and onions, according to The Packer’s 2012 Fresh Trends. Celso Castillo, produce manager, 24 Hi-Way Thriftway, Independence, Mo., says carrots are popular year-round in his store, where one-pound bags of baby carrots and one-pound cello packs are best sellers.

click image to zoomproduce retailer carrots novemberPamela RiemenschneiderOverall, the carrot category is stable, says Suzanne Ginestro, vice president of marketing, Bolthouse Farms Inc., Bakersfield, Calif. There typically is a jump in baby carrot sales during winter holidays because they are popular items on party trays and as snacks for houseguests.

 

Shaking up snack choices

Bolthouse’s new Baby Carrot ShakeDowns could shake up consumers’ snacking routines if they prove successful in test markets. Instead of reaching for a bag of salsa-flavored chips, you might reach for a bag of fresh carrots with a built-in flavor pack.

“We’re really excited about it,” Ginestro says. “It’s a great evolution of how people already behave with baby carrots — they tend to snack on them most often — with added excitement and fun.”

Each single-serve bag of 2.25 ounces of baby carrots has a separate compartment for one of three dry seasoning flavors: ranch; chili lime; or salsa. To release seasonings onto the carrots before opening the bag, pinch and pull the center of the bag to break open the packet, then shake to distribute the flavor. Then, open the bag and crunch away — like a bag of Doritos, but healthier.

ShakeDowns appeal to all ages, Ginestro says.

“I snack on them at work,” she says. “I have two little kids at home and they go crazy when I bring them home.”

Bolthouse is test-marketing ShakeDowns in Indianapolis Kroger, Meijer, and Wal-Mart stores; in San Antonio H-E-B and Wal-Mart stores; and in Seattle Haggen Food & Pharmacy, Safeway and Wal-Mart stores. Suggested retail price is 99 cents.

Ginestro says Bolthouse’s testing includes displaying ShakeDowns in different parts of the stores to see where they sell best.

Castillo says customers in his store like baby carrots, so he carries one-, two- and three-pound bags of them. There’s been little interest in snack-size packs so far, but he says Baby Carrot ShakeDowns might sell in his store, especially if there’s a manufacturer’s coupon available. Many of his customers are on fixed incomes, so coupons really help sell new items.


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