Summer Merchandising Tips

As the seasons change, your produce displays should also change to highlight seasonal fruits and maximize your produce sales. Berries and stone fruit are customer favorites that are ideal for building larger displays. Although the concern of losing product to a display is warranted, with careful planning, you can have a successful display with minimal product loss. By having a large variety to choose, customers are encouraged customers to shop and make larger purchases.

As much as we all love stone fruit it can be a bit tricky to display due to the fact that it is easily damaged. When purchasing and displaying stone fruit remember these tips:

  • Look for under ripe fruit. In a few days the under ripe fruit ripens up nicely and with full flavor.
  • Daily rotation and culling. Have a system that allows you to provide various stages of ripeness for your customers.
  • Stage your fruit. Depending on the volume of product you move daily, consider staging product so there is always ripe fruit to top off your display. Firm unripe fruit can be stacked two layers deep and topped with a third more ripe layer. This allows customers to choose ready to eat fruit or less ripe fruit to be eaten in a few days.
  • Wider rather than taller. Since the fruit is more fragile and cannot be stacked as high, consider building wider or floor stacking empty boxes to showcase more product since the fruit it too fragile to be piled high.
  • Keep toppers on hand. Keep a few cases of ready to eat or softer fruit as “toppers” for your display so you can keep the display filled throughout the day when it gets shopped down. This allows you to keep your layers of greener fruit on the bottom and the softer fruit easily assessable on the top of the display for your customers.

Whether you choose open pint berries or clam shells, building bigger displays of berries is actually easy to achieve and maintain. Here are some strategies to boost your berry sales this summer:

  • Location is important. Build your berry display front and center of your produce department. This way you can capture the people who tend to see first and buy first. Studies also show the visual appeal of berries helps put shoppers in a pleasant state of mind and they are more likely buy additional fresh items.
  • Build it and they will come. When customers see more product, they are more likely to shop and buy more. Aim for tall stacks that gets the berries closer to eye and nose level.
  • Take the wobble out. An unstable stack can lead to spills and product lost. Avoid this by building a stable display. Stack the flats on top of each other. This will allow you to make attractive large displays without damaging open pint berries or having wobbling unstable stacks of clamshells. Flats can also be stacked on table tops to build your endcap displays.
  • Cross-merchandise. Berries can be cross promoted with many different meals, holidays and occasions. Remind shoppers just how versatile berries are by displaying other products near or better yet, on your berry display. Consider whipped cream, baked items, chocolate, wine, salad toppings, plastic containers and more!

Once you draw attention to quick moving seasonal stars like berries and stone fruit, they will practically sell themselves. With a little display planning savvy and the willingness to maintain your displays, your produce department will be optimizing sales in no time.