Berries can bring consumers into produce

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

A vivid display with red strawberries and raspberries and the darker blueberries and blackberries draws consumers’ eyes immediately, Bocock said.

The best way to display summer berries at retail is to use a berry-patch theme, said Stephanie Hilton, spokeswoman for Beach Street Farms, Watsonville.

The availability of bush berries increases in the summer, and it benefits the entire category to have a large display featuring all types of berries.

Brian Malensky, vice president of domestic sales for Oregon Berry Packing Co., Hillsboro, said he also recommends giving plenty of retail space to berries. The more berries shoppers can see, the more excited they are to buy them, he said.

“We recommend building large, eye-catching displays,” said Bruce Turner, director of operations, Giumarra VBM International Berry LLC, Vernon, Calif.

“Merchandise more than one pack size in each variety, keep berries on refrigerated displays, and rotate and restock often to keep displays looking fresh and appealing,” he said.

Increasing in-store product availability and visibility by offering the full line of conventional and organic berries delivers the best sales results, Ronan said.

Deleissegues recommended promoting a 1-pound pack size along with a larger pack or advertising strawberries along with other berries to increase overall berry sales.

Hilton said retailers might put just one type of berry in a weekly circular, but display all types together. Because berries are often impulse buys, retailers will likely see a lift in sales for the whole category.

If a retailer has a secondary display or if it’s not using the front endcap or lead table for berries, Bocock said the berries should be displayed at eye level along the main route through the produce department.

The strategy is to attract the attention and impulse purchases of customers who are walking through on their way to other departments. Once they pick up berries, they are likely to notice other produce items, Bocock said.

Display contests
Red Blossom Farms sometimes sponsors display contests for its retailer customers. The contests were initiated by the retailers, who requested merchandising materials, prizes or judging assistance, Deleissegues said.

“It’s a fun way to partner with retailers, drive sales and a great opportunity for us to ‘strawberry educate’ produce department employees and consumers,” she said.

Some shippers no longer do display contests. Hilton said retailers now have more corporate-level dictates for building displays, which makes it difficult for shippers to get them to participate in display contests.



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