Although we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic, holidays are still happening. The theme this year is smaller gatherings. For some people this means multiple small gatherings over several days. So what does this mean for retail stores? It means business as usual! There is no indication that we should expect produce sales to be down this year. In fact–there are a few reasons to plan for an increase in sales. Restaurants are still not operating at full capacity so more people will be cooking at home—which also happens to be a new hobby for many people during the Covid-era. Online shopping and curbside service have been huge successes for many locations and have really helped to drive sales. Many people are also looking forward to a familiar comfortable holiday event to feel a sense of normalcy. Here are some ways to make sure this holiday season runs smoothly.
- Pre-Packaged Products: Customers will be looking for pre-packaged product this year more so than past holidays. If you are not able to repack product in-house at your stores, look into sourcing packaged items like cranberries, green beans, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Also, offer convenient pre-cut packaged items like celery, butternut and yellow onions. Talk to your Account Manager about pre-ordering these items.
- Stock-Up on Hard Squash: Start bringing in those bins of hard squash and cases of specialty varieties like Honeynut, Butterkin, Black Futsu and Jarrahdale. Standard squash varieties are great but play with eye-catching unique offerings to keep displays intriguing and customers interested. Now is the perfect time to introduce customers to their new favorite squash variety!
- Holiday Essentials: There is so much fantastic produce available around the holiday to keep displays creative and full, but there are many key items to keep plentiful supply of. Stock up on sweet potatoes, yams, russet potatoes, butternut squash, mushrooms, pink lady apples, yellow onions and walnuts. Add color and break up displays with high-demand items like green beans, Brussel sprouts, celery, bulk carrots, cranberries, and Fuyu persimmons. Bunched herbs like Italian parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary are also essential in many holiday recipes.
- Signage: This year in addition to those beautiful displays, providing more recipe cards and holiday meal panning tips for shoppers would be very beneficial for those new to cooking a holiday meal. Make sure to post recipe ideas and shopping lists on your social media accounts too.
- Adjust Future Orders: Lastly, remember to slightly decrease your banana pre-orders the days following the holiday. The week after tends to be slower than normal business and bananas typically are not high on the shopping list. You don’t want to find yourself with over ripe bananas on hand!