Don’t be afraid to go big with garlic.
According to The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2012, garlic was the third fastest-growing item in the produce department, behind avocados and pineapples, with a likelihood of purchase up 11% over the previous year.
click image to zoomPamela RiemenschneiderKick in the plethora of value-added options for time-crunched consumers, the growth of ethnic cuisine and at-home gourmets, and what once was a brief stop in onions and potatoes now commands its own merchandising strategy.
Garlic’s versatility and ease in merchandising makes it an attractive option for cross-promotions. Jody Okamoto, regional merchandiser for Los Angeles-based Melissa’s World Variety Produce, says he likes to give consumers suggestions for holiday meal entertaining, such as pairing salsa ingredients together in a display.
“Going into the holiday season, retailers should cross-merchandise and sell garlic with items from different departments,” he says. “Advertise pasta from the grocery department, ground beef from the meat department, (and) hot and fresh French bread from the bakery along with fresh tomatoes and fresh garlic from produce — and maybe throw in a packaged garden salad — and you’ve just created a meal including four different departments.”
Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing for Spice World Inc., Orlando, Fla., says Spice World offers a variety of value packs and custom displays for holiday cross-promotions. The holidays are a great time to cross-merchandise and drive incremental sales, he says.
“Garlic bread and garlic dips, along with salsa and guacamole, will not only increase garlic sales but incremental sales for other ingredients, too,” he says.
The holidays have most consumers thinking about home-cooked meals, many of which feature garlic, says Patsy Ross, marketing director for Gilroy, Calif.-based Christopher Ranch.
“Make a little room for both fresh garlic bulbs and peeled garlic bags in the produce department,” she says. “Garlic is an essential ingredient for holiday cooking.”
Consumers may have the hankering for home-cooked meals during the holidays, but they’re also keyed in to value-added items like peeled whole cloves and ready-to-use minced garlic.
“I think the trend toward easy-to-use bagged salads has spilled over into all different produce items,” Ross says. “So it only makes sense that some consumers want their garlic chopped up and ready to use where others want the tried and traditional fresh garlic in bulb format.”