(Dec. 3) Bell peppers’ various colors make eye-catching marketing easy. If your store carries several colors of peppers, most retailers suggest displaying them together to increase sales.

Displaying green, red and yellow varieties together increases sales for each, says Jeff Williams, president of Hearne Produce Co. Inc. in Wimauma, Fla. That encourages customers to put one of each in their bag. Place one red, yellow and green pepper together in a shrink wrap pack, sometimes called a stoplight pack, for an appealing option, Williams says.

Cross-merchandising is another way to increase pepper sales, but in many cases “I think peppers are really missing out on the fresh-cut trend,” says Jamie Weisinger, sales manager for Six L’s Packing Co. Inc.,Immokalee, Fla.. He says that peppers should be merchandised near fresh-cut salad packs that usually feature some combination of lettuce or spinach mixes, carrots and mushrooms.

Peppers may be added to cold or grilled sandwiches, fresh veggie trays with dips, salsas or guacamole, stir-fry or enchiladas or tacos. Cross-merchandise accordingly and give customers new recipe ideas.

At Zupan’s, one of five stores based in Vancouver, British Columbia, colored peppers are stuffed with meats, cheeses and spices and sold individually in the meat department, says Bruce Brotherton, produce merchandiser. They sell well in the fall and winter, he says. In the produce department, peppers are featured in spill-over displays on ice tables with brightly-colored signs.

Snyders IGA in Edmond, Okla., one of six stores, runs a 25-cent sale on peppers about three times a year that greatly increases sales, says Larry Alsup, produce manager. The peppers are featured on a truckload display at the entrance of the produce section right at the front of the store. The store places a gatefold pepper ad in its regular newspaper ad that announces the sale. When peppers are regularly priced at 59 to 69 cents each, the store normally sells four or five cases a week, but during the 25-cent sale, weekly sales quadruple to 20 to 25 cases, Alsup says.

Snyders IGA also sees an increase in sales around the winter holidays, especially Thanksgiving, because peppers are used for cooking, salads and side dishes, Alsup says. His regularly priced pepper sales increase from four to five cases a week to 10 to 12 cases a week in November and December.

At Zupan’s, red peppers are most popular and all of the colored peppers sell well, Brotherton says.

Peppers should be refrigerated at temperatures lower than 50 F (10 C). They are susceptible to freezing injury and can be ruined by even one light freeze.