Variety of sizes, packs
Allotting more space to avocados also can boost sales.
“Certainly increasing the shelf space on the bulk displays can improve sales,” said Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing for Murrieta, Calif.-based West Pak Avocado Inc. “But it’s really specific to the retailer.
“Across the U.S., when a retailer has looked at the size of the display and increased it, in general there has been a lift.”
Adding bags also can help overall category sales, but Meyer said retailers may have to experiment with the best location.
“They have to be willing to test the bags to find the right fit within the department or sometimes merchandised in other departments,” he said. “It does take commitment to try the bags.”
Bagged product comprised only 35% of distribution in 2012, which provides ample opportunities to grow sales of bags, according to a Hass Avocado Board study.
From 2010-2012, bagged sales dollars grew 80% compared with the sales growth of bulk at 17%. Nevertheless, bulk still account for 94% of total avocado category dollars.
The most popular count is four, according to the board survey.
Despite some beliefs, Escobedo said bags don’t cannibalize bulk sales but are complementary and can actually increase overall category sales.
Using secondary displays in other locations, such as the potato chip aisle or by the deli, also can enhance avocado sales, Meyer said.
Phil Henry, president of Escondido, Calif.-based Henry Avocado, agreed.
“Any time you can have an impulse location, it’s a benefit and it increases sales,” he said. “In some cases, you can easily double sales, so having multiple displays is a benefit.
“Large displays are beneficial and, of course, appealing price points are beneficial,” Henry said.
He said he knows of several successful retailers who carry a couple of different sizes — small and large — for bulk displays as well as displays of bags elsewhere in the store.
Displaying avocados next to tomatoes and limes, for example, also lifts sales, he said.