“Bananas are our No. 1 item and when customers see them on sale with a good price point, they associate the rest of our department with good price points,” Adams says. “We don’t really pick specific times of the year to promote them. We know that whatever time we choose, we will have a good draw.”
LESSON 2: DEVELOP A THEME
Implement a creative theme in your promotions for added success.
“January is a great month to do a ‘Healthy New Year’s Resolution’ theme,” Lund says. “It’s a time when consumers are trying to eat healthy. February is National Heart Month and bananas have no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium, and they are a good source of potassium, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.”
He says March is National Nutrition Month, so consider featuring bananas as part of a 5 a Day message. Loughridge suggests tying in local sporting events, marathons and walks for a twist on health promotions. He also says meal occasions are a good theme because retailers can showcase how bananas fit into breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner.
In the spring and summer, encourage consumers to eat outdoors and try promoting bananas as part of a fruit salad. The summer also bodes well for promoting a tropical theme, which could lead to additional sales of other tropical produce items like pineapple, papayas and melons. Utchell says to carry the tropical theme throughout the store by merchandising bananas and pineapples in the meat department with chicken for a sweet teriyaki taste and putting bananas in the bakery for a banana cream pie.
Turbana’s Tabard recommends holding a Banana-Rama promotion, in which you advertise and showcase the entire banana category including plantains, exotic bananas and organic bananas. She says a Banana Bowl promotion during football season or the Super Bowl is a good way to promote bananas as a healthy snack.
All suppliers point out a back-to-school theme is a top idea in late August for promotions, too.
“Bananas can go in a lunch box just as easily as apples,” Lund says. “Kids eat about the same amount of bananas as apples, so focusing on kids and back to school is a great fall program.”
At the end of the year, promote bananas as part of fruit salads for holiday get-togethers or as baking ingredients for muffins, cakes and pies.