There are plenty of options when it comes to packing and shipping pomegranates, but there’s little doubt what choice California grower-shippers think work best at retail. Michael Solomon, president of Los Angeles-based Pom Wonderful, said branded bins are vital to successful displays.
“Bins cue that the season is here,” he said, “and have proven to help velocity pick up throughout the season. Pom Wonderful pomegranates sell up to four times faster with branded bins. More than half of consumers purchase pomegranates on impulse, so bin displays have become key to merchandising.”
Solomon said Pom Wonderful’s bins come with brochures that educate consumers about how to open pomegranates as well as usage suggestions.
The question then becomes, which kind of bin works best?
Vice president of marketing Ray England said D.J. Forry Co., Reedley, Calif., ships pomegranates in display-ready bins that feature a fillable bin on the top and cases of fruit to stock with underneath.
“We put the fruit off the counter, in flow of traffic,” said England, who spent 30 years in retail before joining D.J. Forry. “That’s the way to sell pomegranates. Any place with high traffic — whether in produce department or in perimeter of store — you’re going to get impulse sales.”
David Anthony, salesman for Ruby Fresh, Firebaugh, Calif., said shipping in traditional bulk bins leads to damaged fruit on the bottom of the pile. Instead, Ruby Fresh provides retailers with an empty bin and ships pomegranates in two-layer tray packs that can be used to stock the bins at the stores. Anthony said it takes eight to 10 cartons to fill the bins.
“The fruit arrives in better condition, which makes a nice presentation for customer,” he said. “They look better, the consumer gets a good eating experience and the retailer gets repeat sales.”
Graphic display bins “have a lot of pop,” said Atomic Torosian, managing partner of Fresno, Calif.-based Crown Jewels Produce LLC, which puts point-of-purchase information related to recipes and usage on its bins.
Retailers, however, still have plenty of other options. Torosian said Crown Jewels also offers cartons, mesh bags and one-layer flats.