Big displays, regular ads and a wide selection of pack sizes are vital to moving large quantities of strawberries at retail.
The strawberry display at Ralph’s Red Apple market in Bremerton, Wash., one of several independently owned Red Apple stores in Washington, doubles in size, featuring about five cases of strawberries in the summer compared to its winter display, said John Walker, produce manager.
Sometimes the store also has a display at checkout, he said.
“Strawberries are one of the top fruit sellers,” Walker said. “They’re a customer favorite — up there with grapes as a nice, healthy snack.”
Strawberries aren’t an ad item very often during the winter, but that changes in summer, when they’re on ad about three times a month, he said.
Regular price is about $3.99 a pound, and a typical special is two for the price of one.
The store offers 2-pound clamshells on ad about once a month during peak season.
Walker cross-merchandises strawberries with glaze, dessert cups and other bakery products.
Cross-merchandising gives consumers use ideas and boosts sales of related items as well as strawberries and helps shoppers save time, he said.
Ralph’s Red Apple features organic strawberries from time to time, if the market is good, Walker said. Sometimes they’re featured on ad.
Strawberries typically rank third in produce sales — after bananas and avocados — during peak season at Bel Air Market in Sacramento, Calif., said produce clerk Steve Jacobus.
When they’re on ad, which is about three weeks out of the month, they come in second, he said.
The store regularly offers 1-pound clamshells and sells 2-pounders when they’re on ad.
Jacobus cross-merchandises strawberries with dessert cups and sometimes glaze. He features white and chocolate dip with stem berries.
Regular price during the winter at Bel Air Market is about $4.99 per pound. Sale price is two for the price of 1. During the summer, they sell for $2.99 regular and $1.99 or two for $3 on sale.
The store sells about 10 times as many strawberries during the summer as it does in winter because of the higher quality and lower price, Jacobus said.
Suppliers say one way to increase strawberry sales is to offer a wide selection of packages — not just the 1-pound clamshell.
John King, vice president of sales for San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, said he recently met with several retailers.