Promotions and pricing
Aiton recommended putting one member of the pepper category on a promotion each week, with signs telling shoppers how the pepper tastes and how it’s best served or used in recipes.
He said he thinks most consumers now know that elongated and bell peppers are not hot, but many remain confused about chili peppers.
Laker said that having Costco carry BC Hot House’s colored bell peppers has helped increase consumption by getting more people to try them.
BC Hot House packs a 6-count bag of red bell peppers and a 6-count bag of red, yellow and orange bell peppers for Costco.
Batt said he’s seeing more retailers price bell peppers on a per-pepper basis instead of per pound.
He said per-pepper prices are good because shoppers know immediately how much a pepper costs instead of weighing it themselves and calculating its price or waiting until they reach the cash registers.
The decision to buy can be made more quickly.
Batt said he thinks produce department scales are becoming obsolete, even though there still are a lot of items priced per pound.
“That won’t go away, but some are looking at the option of pricing per each,” he said.
Batt said one good idea is to display bags of bell peppers next to bagged salads. It’s simpler for customers to pick up both if they’re right next to each other.
Peppers also can be displayed near tomatoes, and because they don’t need to be refrigerated, they can be displayed in off shelf.
A big display of peppers also is good because vibrantly colored peppers merchandise well on their own, Batt said.
“There are so many colors and sizes and shapes of peppers,” Aiton said. “It makes a striking display, with rainbows you can build in and color breaks you can do.”
BC Hot House has encouraged retailers to try a different approach of mixing green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers together on display racks.
“It didn’t go over well because most retailers want color breaks on their rack, which is fine,” he said.
It could be worth a try in some markets because it might help shoppers realize colored bell peppers are sweet, too.
Color breaks created by dividing bell peppers into single-color rows do make for an interesting and colorful display.
Other opportunities for retailers include private-label multi-count bags for peppers, Batt said. It’s a trend that’s spreading from the grocery section to the produce department.