Berries remain at the top of retail sales trends, thanks to several marketing techniques, including cross-promotions.
Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms tries to take advantage of consumer impulse buys.
“Primarily, berries are purchased on impulse when consumers see them in the produce department at their local store. It is critical that the display is front and center and well maintained to capture those purchases,” director of marketing Cindy Jewell said in an e-mail.
Displays are even more effective when multiple kinds of berries are displayed in a variety of sizes.
“The best promotional tool for selling berries during this peak season is to provide customers with a complete selection of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries,” Kyla Garnett, marketing manager for Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla., said in an e-mail.
Others agree the “berry patch” method is effective.
Michelle Deleissegues, director of marketing for Red Blossom Sales, Oxnard, Calif., said offering berries in a display with variety boosts sales volumes, citing studies from the California Strawberry Commission.
“I believe it also encourages consumers to try other pack sizes or berry types that they perhaps were not planning on picking up,” Deleissegues said in an e-mail.
She mentions that customers may have come into the store to buy just strawberries but end up buying strawberries and another berry, such as blackberries, because they are nearby with good quality or special pricing.
These displays can move into cross-promotions if retailers place companion items next to the berries, such as shortcake or crepes.
“This ‘berry patch’ creates an eye-catching display and offers great co-merchandising opportunities, such as shortcakes, whipped cream or sparkling cider, all of which can help increase overall sales at the register,” Garnett said.
Jewell says California Giant Berry Farms has several seasonal promotions set for this year.
The company recently concluded a spring promotion called ‘A Breath of Fresh Berries,’ which offered spring recipes, an outdoor activities guide, and an offer to win spring-themed prizes throughout the month of April, Jewell said in an e-mail.
In May, the company switched over to a new offer focused on baseball and summer family activities.
“We have a summer offer and fall offering following similar guidelines that encourages use of our brand of berries as part of an active lifestyle for the whole family,” she said.
Jewell said these promotions are accessed through QR codes on the company’s berry packaging and through social media channels.
Holidays are also important for promotions, especially since the bulk of blueberry season missed Easter this year.
“Blueberries are popular during the summer holidays, and we suggest 4th of July promotions and Labor Day promotions featuring blueberries,” Bruce Turner, director of sales and business development for berries at Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., said in an e-mail.
Bruce Turner, director of sales and business development for berries at Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., said promoting blueberries as locally grown can help with sales.
“If the blueberries are marketed as local or regional, we find that both consumers and retailers appreciate this fact. You can see large sale increases when you inform consumers that the local blueberry season has started,” he said in an e-mail.