Because pears are impulse items, the best retail displays are those that demand attention.

Kyle Persky, sales manager for Scully Packing Co. LLC, Finley, Calif., said because consumers typically buy pears on impulse, promotions can make a big difference in sales. Retailers should use eye-catching point-of-sale displays and promotional materials to draw shoppers’ interest.

One example of an attention-grabbing campaign is last year’s Pears Care breast cancer awareness promotion.

Persky said he thinks the Pears Care pink display materials helped generate impulse buys. In that campaign, the California Pear Advisory Board, Sacramento, donated $25,000 to Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

In exchange, industry members could use Pears Care logos, point-of-purchase materials and packaging in promoting pears.

Chris Zanobini, president of the advisory board, said it will support the campaign again this season. In addition to raising awareness of breast cancer and drawing attention to the category, the campaign helps unite the industry in support of the message to eat and live healthfully, he said.

“Everybody has somebody in their family or they know somebody who’s been impacted by breast cancer,” Zanobini said. “It was very exciting (last year) to see the energy the growers and retailers put into the program.”

Persky said grower-shippers are excited to participate again and to help raise awareness of cancer.

Promote the category

Promoting the entire pear category, rather than just focusing on bartletts, also helps sales, Persky said. In its online merchandising tips, the advisory board reports that displaying boscs and red bartletts with bartletts can result in a 5% growth in category sales and 17% more in gross profit.

Persky said the growth in production of different varieties over the past five years is evidence that marketers are focusing on the category as a whole.

A good price point also helps sell pears.

That point varies across retailers, but 99 cents a pound generally results in in good sales, Persky said. He also sees retailers selling small pears at three or four for $1.