Berries can bring consumers into produce

07/22/2010 02:50:00 PM
Susie Cable

All grower-shippers want their produce placed front and center in the produce department, where it is more visible to consumers and perhaps more often purchased.

It’s especially important, though, to place berries where they’ll get a lot of attention from shoppers.

“Retailers know that berries are a draw,” said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing for California Giant Inc., Watsonville.

“I know everybody fights for the endcap … but the bottom line is that berries that are merchandised well make such a vivid, eye-catching display that it absolutely commands an impulse purchase,” said Brian Bocock, vice president of product management for Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla.

Bocock said the months of July, August and September typically offer the lowest price points for berries, so displaying well-priced berries at the front of the produce section helps shoppers notice the good deals.

“You want that in the customer’s face right when they walk through the door,” he said.

“It’s a tremendous value as compared to what they see the rest of the year.”

Michelle Deleissegues, director of marketing, Red Blossom Farms, Santa Ynez, Calif., said strawberries should be at the front of the produce department to drive sales.

In addition to a good location, strawberries need a consistent location so retailers can capture planned as well as impulse purchases, she said. Deleissegues said highly visible berry displays can boost sales for all types of berries and all pack sizes.

Douglas Ronan, vice president of marketing for Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., Watsonville, said that increased in-store visibility for berries is a focus for Driscoll’s.

When retailers use primary and secondary displays effectively, consumers engage more with the category and make more purchases, he said.

“Berries are one of the highest impulse items,” Jewell said. “It’s all about how they look and smell.”

Ronan said demand for berries now runs 52 weeks of the year, which means there are opportunities to sell berries that didn’t exist in previous years when supplies were seasonal.

Raspberries, for example, are now a year-round product for Driscoll’s. There are times when the distribution is not as broad, but the brand is available 52 weeks a year, Ronan said.

“If you can bring (berries) into the marketplace with good quality and taste, you can do a lot in terms of success,” he said.

Berry patch
“Berries are a hot item,” Bocock said.

“Retailers really can separate themselves from their competition across the street by having a real vivid, exciting, fresh berry display.”


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