Suppliers also suggest cross-merchandising items that work well with bananas. Dole has worked with Jell-O in the past. Retailers built displays incorporating Jell-O products and provided recipe ideas using both Jell-O and bananas.
Turbana suggests cross-merchandising soy products like tofu and promotingbanana shakes.
Sampling is another simple, yet often overlooked, addition to promotions. Tabard says demos that provide recipes and educational information can help sell the whole banana category during the promotion, especially unfamiliar plantains and exotic bananas. Loughridge says sampling specialty bananas during your promotion gives consumers a risk-free way of trying the products.
If you are looking for even more ways to make your banana promotion stand out, consider working with other organizations like the International Banana Association, the American Heart Association, Dallas, or the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Alexandria.
Chiquita partnered with Ford Motor Co. last summer and gave away a Ford Windstar. Two years ago, the company built its summer promotion around the Country Music Awards.
“We are very selective about who we pick to partner with. We choose those who deliver a consistent message similar to what the Chiquita brand stands for, as well as those who can bring an exciting prize to consumers that they wouldn’t go out and buy for themselves. The CMA trip was a fantasy trip that consumers couldn’t buy, and last fall we gave away a trip to a Costa Rican rainforest,” Lund says.
LESSON 6: REAP THE BENEFITS
When you put these strategies to work, suppliers say promotions become more successful. Tabard says banana promotions usually represent a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in banana sales. In some cases where the promotions have been really successful, retailers have recorded that sales double, she says.
Loughridge says Del Monte tells retailers to expect a minimum of a 25 percent increase with a banana promotion, although some retailers have experienced a 100 percent increase with well-executed programs.
“Successful promotions are ones that are simple to execute and that don’t overly burden the store to execute,” Loughridge says.
Typically, if banana promotions fail, most suppliers attribute the failure to one of two things: either the display wasn’t properly stocked at all times and kept full, or there wasn’t accurate color and staging of bananas.
Adams says he stocks half of the display with a greener banana at a ripeness stage of 2.5 or 3 and the other half with ripe and ready-to-eat bananas. Suppliers also say displays must maintain a good appearance no matter what time of day the shopper arrives at the store, and produce clerks can’t forget to stock secondary displays as well.