( The Packer )

What’s the point of creating a breath-taking produce department when the produce is picked up by an Instacart shopper? 

It may be a leap to say that produce department managers face an existential crisis, but what does the future look like for in-store merchandising? 

Here is how I put the question to the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Retailer/Merchandiser Group.

With more and more grocery business going online, how will merchandising of fresh produce online look like? How will suppliers and retailers make fresh produce attractive for the online consumer? 


Here is an excerpt from one thoughtful response:

"I think that online will eliminate the need for proper merchandising since most marketing teams will probably schedule photoshoots and take phenomenal pictures of produce items to post online. However, I am a little afraid that such photographic perfection can lead to higher customers expectations and possible disappointment when weather and growing conditions may affect quality, sizing, etc.. As for the impulse buy, I believe what Uber Eats and other platforms have done in the checkout process; providing you with additional recommendations to buy based on your basket."

TK: Will there be another career track for the online marketing of fresh produce?  Will the rivalry between in-store and digital-oriented marketing staff create new innovations or a muddled approach to meet consumer needs?  More importantly, will the industry see equal or better results with digital compared with in-store?

Speaking of retail promotions, here is a strawberry retail promotion chart for the past few months, compared with year-ago levels.