Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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Page 88 of 121

February 2017 | | 87 Fresh Food Seasonal Produce Spring Cha-ching A new season of fresh produce sparks sales and culinary imagination. By Jennifer Strailey O nce spring has sprung, consumers are eager to lighten their cooking and eating habits with a bounty of seasonal produce. More than ever before, retailers are fueling con- sumption with demos, displays and recipes that encourage shoppers to fill their baskets with a wide variety of the season's freshest fruits and vegetables. At Reading, Pa.-based Redner's Markets, which operates 44 warehouse stores and 20 Quick Shoppe convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, spring produce ushers in a host of opportunities to connect with consumers around healthy eating. "Everyone is excited at the first hint of spring. When the warm weather hits, people are motivated to get moving, be outside and eat better," says Redner's Cor- porate Dietitian Meredith McGrath. "e comfort foods are put on the back burner, and produce gets new life with seasonal and local offerings." One of the retailer's most successful produce campaigns has focused on e Blend, an ongoing program from the Mushroom Council, which promotes mixing finely diced mushrooms with such proteins as beef, turkey, lamb and pork to make healthier burgers, tacos and more. "e goal is always to coach customers on using more fruits and vegetables to enhance flavors, textures and, of course, nutrients," explains McGrath, who conducts com- munity cooking classes and demos on e Blend, and has made TV appearances to promote the campaign. In partnership with the San Jose, Calif.-based council, Redner's implemented a multifaceted promotion including print advertising, in-store signage, social media and in-store demos. "Any time you can use several vehicles to drive a promotion, you are bound to see success and

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