Judging by the placement of enticing produce displays at the entrance of nearly every grocery store, retailers are clearly aware that the produce department is one of the most important areas of a store’s layout. In fact, “Survey after survey of customer opinion says one of the predominant reasons they shop a supermarket is because of the fresh produce department,” says Dan Hamilton of Hamilton Consulting.
But what makes produce so important and appealing to customers? Obviously, the wide array of colors and scents initially draws a customer to the department, but there are many other factors at play when displaying fruits and vegetable to their best advantage. While location at the store entrance seems to be the most important factor, presentation follows a close second. Here are six factors to keep in mind when setting or resetting your produce section:
Keep displays full
Or, at least, appearing full. FFR Merchandising’s Fresh Area Product Manager, Laura Manson, sees success as a balance between plentiful-looking displays and carefully-controlled stock. “One way to achieve that look is to use fixtures that bring the product closer to the shopper, and shelves that are less deep,” says Manson. This can be accomplished by placing perforated inventory blockers behind select produce.
Maintain a flexible layout
Being able to easily move displays throughout the produce department can give you the flexibility to showcase seasonal or promotional items where they can’t be missed. Mobile merchandisers are perfect for displaying fresh area products without having to modify your entire plan-o-gram.
A simple way to keep produce accessible without overstocking is to merchandise fruits and vegetables vertically. This allows for a greater number of facings per item while also promoting first in, first out rotation to limit shrink. Our Fresh-Fit® Vertical Produce System can help you provide an eye-catching and organized “wall of produce” display to entice shoppers.
Keeping perishable items at their ideal temperature is critical for maintaining freshness and appeal. Upright cooler cases have become commonplace in the produce department and are ideal for vertical merchandising, To help ensure coolers are kept at optimal temperatures, use one of FFR’s convenient TempDot®Plus Time-Temperature Labels.
Use ample lighting
According to Manson, “Ideal lighting will show produce in their true colors and not cause damage to the product.” Recent advances in technology, including LED lights that produce less heat, have allowed lighting to be incorporated into refrigerated cases without damaging delicate fruits and vegetables.
Don’t forget signage
An amazing produce display still needs signage to differentiate between similar items and to call out pricing and promotions. Especially in misted areas, “It is important to protect your signage with waterproof pouches or use a material that will not look soggy one the misters hit them,” says Manson. Our reusable Vinyl Pouch Sign Holder for Misted Environments provides the perfect solution for protecting signs.
Source: Increasing Sales by Design by Chris Auman, Produce Business Magazine, January, 2017.