Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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Progressive Grocer: More and more retailers are focusing on perishables including produce as a point of differentiation—something that can give them a competitive edge. What role do tomatoes play within the produce category? J. Michael Joergensen: Fresh tomatoes are a top- five item within the produce department, and are purchased on about two-thirds of all main weekly shopping trips throughout the year. They are definitely an item that consumers are looking for. PG: Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated about their produce purchases and are demanding more high-quality items that are fresh, sustainable and safe from a food safety perspective. How can NatureSweet help retailers meet those consumer demands in the tomato category? JMJ: Everything we do has food safety and sustainability in mind. That means there's no cutting corners–NatureSweet Tomatoes are raised right. More than 8,500 full-time Associates nurture them from seed to shelf. They're handpicked at the peak of freshness from inside a NatureSweet greenhouse and are packed and shipped within 24 hours of harvest. And with NatureSweet's proprietary packaging, that freshness will last. Consumers and retailers can feel confident with NatureSweet Tomatoes because every recyclable Speaking with… J. Michael Joergensen Vice President, Marketing, NATURESWEET package contains a traceability code that lets us know when and where the product was grown and harvested. NatureSweet is 100 percent vertically integrated and grows all of our own products, so we know where every tomato comes from. PG: Do you have any tips on ways retailers can merchandise and market tomatoes to boost category sales? Does NatureSweet offer programs to help with merchandising and marketing? JMJ: Fresh tomatoes are an impulse purchase for most shoppers, so it's important for retailers to have them merchandised. NatureSweet offers merchandising racks for both the primary tomato table and for secondary locations, free of charge to the retailer. We know these racks will increase sales 25 to 30%. In addition, NatureSweet offers POS (point-of-sale) signage to provide usage occasion ideas, also at no charge to the retailer. Throughout the year, NatureSweet runs a number of consumer promotions that give the retailer an opportunity to display the product. These programs are designed to highlight the usage occasions of the NatureSweet family, and come with additional display vehicles and sales tools to help pull volume off the shelf. Q A & S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T

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