Progressive Grocer

DEC 2015

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December 2015 | progressivegrocer.com | 67 Made for Each Other Cross-merchandising can drive sales of fruits, vegetables and much more. By Jennifer Strailey C onsumers are as hungry for fresh ways to prepare produce as they are for juicy fruits and crisp vegetables themselves. Cross-merchandising can be an efective tool, both for providing shoppers with new and delicious meal ideas and for reminding them to purchase complementary items that may not be on their grocery lists. According to Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) "Te Power of Produce 2015," "[I]mproved and expanded ideas and suggestions on how to prepare certain vegetables or include fruit as a meal ingredient would 'absolutely' interest 41 percent of shoppers." Te Arlington, Va.-based trade organization further found that shoppers with kids and organic shoppers are most receptive to preparation ideas. "Consumers tell us all the time that they are looking for new ideas for putting more produce on the family plate," afrms Michael Joergensen, VP of marketing for NatureSweet, "and this starts with en- couraging them to put more produce in their baskets." San Antonio-based NatureSweet ofers a variety of retail display racks designed to give grocers fexibility when cross-merchandising or featuring tomatoes in a secondary display. "We know that people buy fresh tomatoes 37 or 38 times a year. Tat means most weeks they are buying fresh tomatoes," Joergensen says. "We also know that they are an impulse purchase. Consumers aren't necessarily putting tomatoes on their shopping lists, but when they see them merchandised, they buy." When grocers use the NatureSweet display racks, Joergensen fnds that they typically sell 25 percent to 30 percent more product. Some of NatureSweet's greatest cross-merchan- dising success stories have been achieved by posi- tioning its Cherubs tomatoes next to a refrigerator case stocked with bagged salads. Cherubs also pair well with fresh refrigerated salad dressings and salad toppings such as almond slivers and crou- tons, notes Joergensen. Inspiration Sells "Cross-merchandising is one of the best methods for building the shopper's basket," asserts Kathy Stephenson, marketing communi- cations director for Pear Bureau Northwest, in Milwaukie, Ore. "It is an excellent way to inspire simple pairings for time-starved shoppers." Stephenson has seen great success at retail when grocers promote fun and favorful salads by cross-merchandising USA Pears with salad bags, nuts and cheese. "We worked with a retailer last year to feature a leading bagged salad and pears, using a custom recipe, secondary display and digital marketing program. Te retailer saw a 130 percent increase in pear sales versus the prior year," she notes. "Te promotion occurred during February, when pear sales are not at their peak season, so it was a great result for everyone involved." Stephenson further recommends that grocers use the pear-cheese-and-wine wheel available through USA Pears to create excitement. Te interactive Cross- merchandising is one of the best methods for building the shopper's basket." —Kathy Stephenson, Pear Bureau Northwest

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