Getting to the Root of Improving Sales

Display Tactics

When it comes to root vegetables, Matt Lally, client director of Nielsen Fresh, Chicago, says any time color can be used as a focal point, retailers should take advantage in merchandising to draw shoppers’ eyes. “Root vegetables offer a surprising amount of color options that can be leveraged as part of mixed displays,” he says. “We call this produce ‘art.’”

Root vegetables should be displayed and kept at very low temperatures, according to industry experts. Water or mist should only be used on items that are bunched and still have the stem and leaves attached.

Oakley Boren, tradeshow and communications manager for Frieda’s Specialty Produce, Los Alamitos, CA, advises root vegetables, like celery root, beets, parsnips and carrots, should be merchandised together in the wet vegetable rack. “Celery root merchandised out of refrigeration dries up. Its rough external appearance easily fool produce managers into thinking it holds up like a potato,” she says. “The misters on the wet rack help the product quality last and look more appealing on the display.”

Matt Hiltner, social media and marketing assistant with Babé Farms’ in Santa Maria, CA, agrees the vegetables should be displayed at retail in a way that shows off color. “With their greens down and colorful roots visible, most root veggies can turn a produce section into a stunning visual feast,” he says. “However, with the watermelon radish, a little extra effort is required. Although watermelon radish isn’t much to look at on the outside, it has a beautiful, bright pink interior. For this reason, it’s a good idea for produce managers to cut one in half and display it next to the product so consumers realize what makes this radish special.”