Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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Fresh Food Produce Category Spotlight share this message, including in-store signage and in-store radio; one-on-one education during store demos; con- sumer outreach through events, website and social media; and, finally, print and digital advertising directly to consum- ers," notes Stephenson. Promoting ripe pears at retail is also a priority for Chelan Fresh this year. "Historically, the pear category has not seen a whole lot of excite- ment, but we're trying to change that with upscale packaging and educating consumers on ripe pears," says Mac Riggan, VP of marketing for Chelan Fresh, in Chelan, Wash. "e key for pears is that they are eaten ripe," continues Riggan. "At store, they are seldom sold at perfect eating [condition]. But people don't want to wait; they want to take home the pear and eat it that day." While Riggan appreciates that some grocers are concerned with the appearance of ripe pears and the higher shrink associated with them, he also sees the growth potential for the category, and is keen to work with retailers on a pre-conditioned program that starts the ripening process in the warehouse. "Retailers just need to get over the initial bubble that exists between the higher shrink of ripe pears and the sales increase that occurs when customers realize what an incredible experience it is to bite into a ripe pear and have the juice drip down their chin," he explains. At Stemilt, promoting ripe pears is also top of mind. "We encourage all retailers to carry Ripe- Rite ready-to-eat pears, which means conditioned d'Anjou and red d'Anjou pears," says Shales. "Car- rying ripened pears speeds up the time that con- watching the wheel a Roche Bros. store features the Pear Bureau n orthwest's Pear, w ine and c heese w heel as part of a display.

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