“We also recommend that the tropicals be cut and displayed so they expose to the shoppers the intense colors of the flesh,” Eagle said. “In the instance of papayas, we love to see retailers that scoop out the seeds and fill the cavity with berries and other fruit covered with shrink wrap. That makes for a great display and we see retailers doing that.”
Cross-merchandising helps sales, said Jose Rossignoli, general manager of the tropical category with Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.
He pointed to merchandising tropical items with non-traditional items, including marketing mangoes with onions and cilantro for salsa mixes and placing a pineapple display in the meat section for increased grilling opportunities.
“We have seen great progress in cross-merchandising,” Rossignoli said. “It’s good for account managers to provide retail solutions that may encompass more than just the tropical category with their retail customer base. Our retail customers are increasing category sales through in-store displays followed by strong merchandising support.”
Up to 80% of mangoes are sold in supermarkets, with the balance going to wholesale which includes foodservice distributors, said Gary Clevenger, managing member and co-founder of Oxnard, Calif.-based Freska Produce International LLC.
“We are seeing mangoes being displayed in bigger displays and becoming more visible each year,” he said. “They’re getting bigger spots than they used to see. It’s getting better.”