Bob Catinella, Robert Tubbs, Mark Hilton and Kevin Moffitt pose for a photo as Harris Teeter is recognized as Pear Retailer of the Year. ( Ashley Nickle )

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Pear Bureau Northwest named Harris Teeter its 2019 Pear Retailer of the Year at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit.

To increase its pear sales, Harris Teeter used multi-variety displays for conventional and organic fruit, offered preconditioned anjous, and increased shelf space for pears. The retailer also maintained permanent end cap displays at many stores, ran sales contests, and leveraged resources available from its vendor and the pear bureau, according to a news release.

“The Harris Teeter team really went all in with Northwest pears throughout the 2018-19 season, and as a result they saw a significant sales increase across the category,” Bob Catinella, regional marketing manager for the pear bureau, said in the release. “Execution at the store level can be a challenge in today’s retail environment, and Harris Teeter has embraced the challenge.”

Produce category manager Robert Tubbs said after the award presentation that other significant elements of the push to grow the pear category included having the right fruit, giving shoppers a chance to sample it, and increasing exposure through in-store and digital promotions. Support from vendors and the pear bureau played a key role as well.

Placement and price were also part of the equation, Tubbs said, explaining that Harris Teeter made a point to put pears front and center at an attractive price point so customers would be more likely to purchase them even if pears weren’t on their shopping list.

Harris Teeter vice president of produce and floral Mark Hilton, who along with Tubbs accepted the award at Fresh Summit, also described the retailer’s approach as a comprehensive one and credited its vendors for consistently providing quality fruit.

“Our commitment to driving sales with outstanding store display follow-through, aggressive sales promotions and social media awareness has led to double-digit growth in our pear category,” Hilton said in the release. “We are humbled that the pear bureau has selected Harris Teeter as their retailer partner of the year for 2019.”

In addition to highlighting Harris Teeter, the pear bureau recognized as 2019 Pear Category Leaders the following retailers: Sam’s Club, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Hannaford, Longo’s and Sobeys Quebec.

 
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