Produce for the Win!

Pricing may get shoppers in the door, but the entire produce experience is what makes the sale.  As the perimeter grows fresher and greener, understanding your customers’ wants and needs is paramount to staying the top pick for where they spend their dollars.

Because produce consumption often is tied to health and wellness, shoppers are recognizing they need to add more vegetables across meals each day.  Targeting the heart healthy and waistline friendly produce speaks to the consciousness of your customers.  Wellness focused signage and samples encourage your shoppers to try new varieties, increasing awareness and demand.

Time-pinched customers are seeking easy-to-access fruit and vegetables more than ever.  Snack packs, pre-cut options, and bagged salads are quick to grab and simple to serve.  Showcasing cleaned, chopped, and ready-to-serve produce draws in even the most rushed shoppers, giving them quick access to healthy options and saving them time along way.  It’s a win-win.

Adding value to the produce experience is a must.  Simple strategies such as cleaning, storing, and prepping tips on a lettered chalkboard engage your shoppers and keep them in your produce section longer.  Rotating different recipes, samples, and cooking demos that tie back to circulars and digital marketing keep customers interested and returning for fresh ideas.  Even having knowledgeable, friendly, and accessible produce associates can add tremendous value for and build trust with your current and potential shopper base.  Furthermore, a produce butcher pulls many strategies into one by saving time, creating ease, and increasing value to your produce department and the shoppers’ experience.

The introduction of higher margin items is a byproduct of a value added produce experience.   Consider certain fruits and a wine recommendation, complete with samples and an associate to answer questions.  Simple recipes may pair well with meats or cheeses, and sharing a tip on a chalkboard is a subtle, yet effective, upsell.  Cross merchandise a display of fresh produce with a charcuterie platter and artisanal breads to tempt palates and inspire new food adventures.  Higher margin items can easily find their way into carts when presented as a clear and tasty option for your shoppers.

Staying fresh with technology keeps your customers plugged into what’s happening in your supermarket.  While paper circulars are still popular, digital coupons, newsletters with recipes and meal ideas reach your shoppers more easily, via handheld devices.  You have the opportunity to pique their interest and stay top of mind as they write their weekly list.  Fresh inspiration and the taste for even fresher produce can be just a click away.

As you can see, the ideas are limitless when it comes to making the produce section the star of your supermarket.  Sticking to the same layout and plan may still get you the purchase among existing customers, but to attract new groups and move existing shoppers to higher margin items, innovation is a must.

In short, if you aren’t wowing shoppers with your produce, you are leaving dollars on the table.

At Supermarket Sense, Anne-Marie Roerink will give you the inspiration and tools to design a powerful produce experience for your customers.  Click here to register for this free educational event in September.

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