“Retailers plan their promotions according to their calendar, not ours,” he said.
“We often offer additional promotional allowances at times when inventory is in excess. We avoid promotions at peak holiday times.”
Mulitple prices, large packs
Two strategies stand out, according to Joe Caldwell, vice president of Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc.
“One, promoting multiple-item prices — the two-for-$3 type of things — it’s a really good value,” he said.
The second trend is larger packs, Caldwell said.
“Most consumers, especially with the economic downturn, weren’t shopping for the lowest price point. They were looking for the best value, and the larger packages give you more value,” he said.
“We’re seeing 16-ounce, even 24-ounce. The baby bellas were once only offered in the 6-ounce packs, and now we’re seeing retailers put out 16-ounce packs.”
At foodservice, weekly specials can be effective, said Paul Frederic, vice president of sales and marketing for Avondale, Pa.-based To-Jo Mushrooms.
“Most operators put out a weekly special or whatever,” he said. “We like to get on that special that draws attention to mushrooms. We offer a discount, which kind of keeps mushrooms out in front. And we can also tie that in if we see good production on portabellas or shiitakes and can offer those in strong supply on promotion and help to balance our production or sales.”