Fresh-on-the-perimeter: Inform and entertain shoppers with a produce destination center

Join Jack Sjogren and Kelly Sayko for “Innovations in the Fresh Perimeter” at Supermarket Sense 2016, September 21-22 in Conyers, Ga.

By Jack Sjogren
Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist

Today’s consumers expect a lot from their supermarket shopping trips. Not only do they want to see a range of fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, they also want to be educated about how to incorporate more of these healthy foods into their families’ meals. Indeed, research by the Produce For Better Health Foundation shows 52% of consumers want new ideas for how to prepare and serve produce.

Destination centers in the produce section can help supermarkets meet consumers’ demands for information and entertainment. Here are a few ideas for creating engaging spaces centered on fresh fruits and vegetables:

Veggie “butchers” — Craft a superb customized, interactive and engaging experience for shoppers by constructing a “vegetable butcher” destination center inside your produce department. Shoppers can ask produce staffers for help selecting seasonal produce at the peak of ripeness, then get assistance weighing their vegetables. Once that’s done, they turn the goods over to the veggie butcher for slicing and dicing. The process not only delivers exact-to-the-recipe quantities at great convenience (and premium prices), it also introduces fun and engaging food theater right in the middle of your produce department.

Ideation stations — Set up a demonstration/tasting station that teaches shoppers how to use in-season produce in creative and craveable ways for meals and snacks. Showing them “how it’s done” gives customers the confidence to try new recipes. They’ll come back again to learn — and buy — more.

Well-timed success — Today’s shoppers are time-crunched. Offer pre-cut, packaged ingredients that can be quickly transformed into a delicious stir-fry, oven-roasted vegetables or a kale-and-quinoa salad. Put recipe cards within reach of the pre-cut veggies, so shoppers know what to buy and can put it all together with success when they get home.

The produce department often is one of shoppers’ first stops in a supermarket. Creating an informative, entertaining and engaging fresh-on-the-perimeter experience in the produce section can set the right tone for the rest of their shopping trip.

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