Fresh-on-the-perimeter: Smart steps to creating a produce destination center

By Jack Sjogren
Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist

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

Destination centers in the produce department are a huge opportunity for grocers aiming to capitalize on consumers’ dual demands for freshness and convenience. But these fresh-on-the-perimeter spaces require some strategic setup and merchandising. Here are a few things to consider before you jump into creating a produce-centric destination center.

  • Think through the equipment you’ll need in your produce destination space. For example, a juicing program requires much more than shoehorning a juicer into the space between displays. Consider how you will wash, store and stage the fruits and vegetables for juicing. Build your destination center space accordingly.
  • Make sure your staff gets properly trained, both to create fresh products like juices and to answer customer questions about nutritional information and how to prepare unusual fruits and vegetables. Investing time and money in staff training will significantly boost your chances of creating a delightful experience that drives sales and shopper loyalty.
  • Display colorful fruits and vegetables to full effect, and enhance those colors with properly matched LED lights. The lights should help advertise and maximize freshness — and guide shoppers to displays that will surprise and delight them. Energy savings are important. But as you set up your produce destination center, think beyond efficiency and align the lights you use to the color and quality of what’s on display. Today’s vast array of lighting possibilities can enhance product integrity while turning fruit and vegetable displays into gallery-worthy showpieces.

Take time to be strategic about how you’ll create a fresh-on-the-perimeter destination center, and you’ll see results. Amping up shopper engagement in your produce department will add even more value to what’s already some of the most important real estate in your grocery store.

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