The summertime, being one of the busiest seasons of the year, has traditionally been a great time for food retailers in terms of customer traffic and sales. Whether people visit their local grocery stores or shop for groceries online, the summer season is expected to excite—resulting in challenges to retailers in more ways than one.
Good news—there are ways to heat things up during the summer season in your food retail stores. From showcasing summer food trends to refrigeration equipment maintenance, here are some tips for the hot and busy season:
Showcase What’s Hot This Summer
BBQ cookouts, family road trips, and beach getaways are on the list of your summer-starved customers. That is why it is necessary to showcase summertime favorites that will match the lifestyle of your customers. Fresh fruits, produce, quality meat and cold beverages are some of the chartbuster food items this summer, and these present opportunities for retailers to improve their merchandising game. You should highlight these items using display cases that do not just attract customers but are also practical and energy-efficient. Placing these food items front and center will help you win customer dollars.
Take Good Care of Your Refrigeration Equipment
As one of the hottest and busiest months of the year, it is expected that your refrigeration system will work harder and longer with the increased hours of daylight that the season brings. To summer-proof your refrigeration equipment, you must take steps to assure the good care of your refrigeration units. This means assuring that your refrigeration equipment is kept dry and away from sources of moisture and keeping the doors on your reach-in merchandisers closed to maintain the low temperature inside the case. Avoid the problems that come with overloading cases with too much product. Perform preventive maintenance on a regularly scheduled basis to keep your equipment operating effectively and efficiently.
Prioritize Food Safety
Over the past few years, we have witnessed several food recalls from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). At a time when customers consume more food and safety is a number one concern, this summertime season is the right time to reinforce food safety in your food retail store. Cases of food poisoning increase in the summer as warmer temperatures and humidity give an opportunity for foodborne germs to thrive. That is why food handling, preparation and storage, and food safety protocols should be carefully observed in your retail store.
Stock Shelves with Food Trends
Every season has food trends and summer is certainly no exception. For all the gatherings that are bound to happen during the warmer months of this summer, retailers should stock up on picnic-ready and easy-to-share foods, such as grazing platter foods and grab-and-go snacks. Likewise, the vegan food trend is here to stay as well as the need for functional food products that promote overall health and wellness.
These tips are helpful in influencing store sales, expanding customer base, and improving store traffic but it is also critical to remember the first rule to win your customers’ pockets—go back to the basics! Take care of your customers’ needs and welfare and make sure you aim to go above and beyond their expectations. Make this a summer to remember for your customers!