A survey of regional retailers shows cross-merchandising and in-store demonstrations has paid off in increased asparagus sales, according to the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association, Miami.

The most popular promotional and advertising ideas as gleaned from survey respondents are included in the association’s 2012-13 category management plan.

Among suggestions for cross-merchandising were displays pairing asparagus with oils, dressings, deli products and wines. Retailers also reported increased asparagus sales when they placed free-standing displays in meat and seafood departments.

In-store demonstrations showing ease of preparation, such as steaming and grilling, combined with consumer sampling reinforced the idea that asparagus is an everyday item and not just for holiday meals, according to the retailer survey.

The retailers also stressed the importance of maintaining hydration and proper coolness to increase shelf life and provide consumers with the best tasting vegetable possible.