Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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138 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 Fresh Food Produce Category Spotlight E nticing cross-promotions, stra- tegic retailer initiatives, and new products and packaging are bringing fresh energy to the pear category. In an effort to drive sales of pears and more, the Pear Bureau Northwest has launched PearUp! A key cross-promotional initia- tive for the Milwaukie, Ore.-based nonprofit, the program creates partnerships with other suppliers to add value for consumers and retailers alike. Last year, the bureau partnered with Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co. to create recipes and a cross-promotion with cereal. "We added a display contest promotion and merchandising training to the program to maximize the educa- tional value for produce staff and increase pear shopper experience," explains Kathy Stephenson, the bureau's marketing communications director. is year, the bureau, which promotes Wash- ington state and Oregon pears under the USA Pears label, will partner with a wine brand to incentivize customers to purchase both products. "Pears are a great pairing food," agrees Brianna Shales, communications manager for Stemilt Grow- ers, in Wenatchee, Wash. "We encourage cross- promotions with gourmet cheese and wine. ey are also the perfect food for party platters, and cross- promoting is a great way to boost sales on multiple Ripe for Growth Pears present fresh opportunities for the picking. By Jennifer Strailey items, especially around the holidays." Grocers considering such a cross-promotion can take advantage of the Pear Bureau North- west's Pear, Wine and Cheese wheel, which creates appropriate matchups for consumers right in the produce department. Retailers around the country, including Wellesley, Mass.-based Roche Bros., have featured the wheel in pear displays. To further maximize sales, the bureau is cur- rently meeting with top retailers and wholesalers to analyze pear category performance and identify opportunity gaps. "Some retailers will be encouraged to add more varieties to their category, expand their display square footage, move pears closer to the front to encourage impulse purchase, and develop cross- promotions or secondary displays to pair with other complementary products," reveals Stephenson. Ready to Eat "e biggest barrier to a perfect pear-eating ex- perience is the process of ripening pears," asserts Stephenson. "We won't rest until all pear consumers know our simple trick." It's simply to keep pears at room temperature on the counter to ripen. e bureau also advises consumers to "Check the Neck" near the stem of a pear on a daily basis. If it gives to pressure, it's ripe and ready to eat. "We use so many communication platforms to

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