Northwest pears can offer retailers a big sales bump if they are given star treatment, Kevin Moffitt said.
“If you put an impulse item like pears in the front, you get incremental sales of pears and still get the punch from bananas,” said Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore.
Advertising apples and pears together also helps pears with incremental sales, Moffitt said. “We do encourage the pears to be near apples, but we don’t necessarily encourage pears to be used as color breaks,” he said.
“If you use pears in the middle of apples, you are not really showcasing the pears.”
Ranking just above mangoes and grapefruit but below peaches, pears are just out of the top 10 of fresh fruit ranking at retail, with consumption ranging from 2.8 to 3.2 pounds per capita annually in the last decade.
Moffitt said the Pear Bureau works with retailers to win large pear-centric displays, encouraging merchandising in one location and up front, if possible.
Earlier sampling, in-store radio
For 2014, Moffitt said the Pear Bureau will put more emphasis on sampling programs earlier in the season, including heavy promotion and sampling programs for bartlett and starkrimson pears.
“We don’t often do tastings for bartlett pears, but we will remind consumers it is bartlett season,” he said.
The Pear Bureau will also have messages on in-store radio in 10,000 supermarkets in the 2014-15 season.
Peak promotion times
In the 2013-14 season, the USDA National Retail Fruit and Vegetable reported the top weeks for retail promotion of conventional anjou areas were the weeks of Dec. 6 (6,691 stores promoting at an average price of $1.19 per pound), Jan. 3 (6,005 stores promoting at an average price of $1.31 per pound), Jan. 24 (5,912 stores promoting at an average price of $1.35 per pound), Jan. 10 (5,646 stores promoting at an average price of $1.29 per pound) and Nov. 22 (5,432 stores promoting at an average price of $1.29 per pound).
For organic anjou pears, peak promotion periods during the 2013-14 season, according to the USDA, were the weeks of Jan. 24 (981 stores promoting at an average price of $1.90 per pound), Dec. 27 (730 stores promoting at an average of price of $1.52 per pound), Dec. 6 (592 stores promoting at average price of $1.74 per pound) and Jan. 10 (588 stores promoting at an average price of $1.54 per pound).