A note about the 2021 MASTERS OF MERCHANDISING supplement from JIM PREVOR
Every once in a while, the opportunity presents itself to do well while also doing good. Such is the case with our annual MASTERS OF MERCHANDISING supplement. The industry owes a tip of the hat to the collection of industry leaders who elected to invest with us in a marketing vehicle that is both promotional and educational.
Each vendor worked hard to impart their expert wisdom on how to more effectively merchandise the category at hand. By sharing knowledge acquired while working with North America’s retailers, these vendors help retailers move more product and help the world by encouraging a more healthful diet.
Increasing sales of fruits and vegetables is not only a matter of big industry initiatives, but sales in general also can only increase if sales of specific items increase. That means knowing how to build consumer trial and how to offer the most effective assortment; it means knowing how to market things on a day-to-day basis and how to do some out-of-the-box promotions just to keep consumer interest high.
Retailers, please take the time to review this offering carefully. When did you last think about how to increase sales of garlic? Or mangos? Or artichokes? Here is a chance to think of merchandising in a different way. When did you last really consider how to best sell bananas — was it when you were a produce department manager 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Here is an opportunity to revisit tactics with a different perspective.
The sponsors of this year’s Masters of Merchandising section are a special breed. We spoke to many producers who declined to participate, saying they simply had no idea how to merchandise their own items effectively. When we offered to help them research the matter, we encountered all too many vendors who essentially said, “That is the retailer’s problem; we just book loads.”
Merchandising is everyone’s problem, and in the produce industry, “The Times, They Are A-Changin’.” Retailers today are in a position to expect more support from producers, and intellectual capital is just about the most valuable support one can provide. So kudos to our Masters of Merchandising sponsors.
As an added service to our retail readers, in addition to printing extra copies of the Masters of Merchandising 2021 supplement to give to your colleagues (while supplies last), we are reposting each “Master” as Sponsored Content on our webpages and serializing the content over the course of 17 weeks – one sponsor per week. Keep your eyes on this newsletter and website for each week’s contribution. You can also view all of the Masters of Merchandising pages in the special “flipbook” link below and on our full archived digital magazine.
As the old adage goes, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Apples are proven to help lower cholesterol, boost immunity and combat cancer. A primary item in your produce department for years, apples present colorful and unique opportunities to enhance sales. As a pioneer grower of the Honeycrisp variety and exclusive PAZAZZ apple provider, Honeybear Brands prides itself in producing the best-tasting apples from Washington, the Midwest, and the Southern Hemisphere. With high quality fruit, Honeybear is committed to delivering exceptional service and programs that drive differentiation and category sales.
Brand awareness and increased sales are a result of well-positioned signage. From education on where apples are grown to the specific health benefits they provide, Honeybear has a large selection of eye-catching assets that help drive sales. Branded bins in areas like pharmacy and checkout can drive incremental sales, while display and sales contests are also effective ways to get store employees engaged.
Going beyond flavor profiles to provide consumers with descriptions of how the item will make them feel is a current food marketing trend. Pazazz, for example, is bold, bright and unique. All are attractive personality attributes as well as outside-the-box apple descriptors.
TELL THE BEES & TREES STORY
Drawing the connection between bees and apple trees is a sustainability story that resonates with consumers especially as they express their concern for the health of the planet with their wallets. One in three bites of food is dependent on pollinators! Fall is a celebration of apple season and the perfect time to remind shoppers that bees are an essential part of the food supply chain.
Honeybear provides in-store displays for a Bees and Trees Campaign but takes things a step further — planting pollinator habitats on the retailer’s behalf. The story is on-going as retailers check in on the dedicated habitat at different times of the year and bring live images and information to shoppers digitally, while apples produced from those orchards grace their shelves.
INCLUDE SOME PARTNERS
Cross-merchandise to create impulse and added purchases. Encourage incremental sales by cross-merchandising pie ingredients such as pie crust and cinnamon with a pie-pack (tote or bag of apples). Most recipes call for two to three pounds of apples; a good size ring at register!
Consider these engaging happenings: Pazazz apples teamed up with Kemps Ice Cream over the holidays for a digital cross-promotion that asked consumers to engage by choosing between traditional desserts. Sorry pumpkin, apple pie a ’la mode was the favorite. In January, dieticians were challenged to a recipe contest in conjunction with a greens supplier, and February saw the sponsoring of children’s fitness programs promoting healthy eating and exercise to families.
Honeybear has joined forces with the American Institute for Cancer Research® (AICR) to promote a cancer protective diet while raising funds for a vital cause. The CANCER CRUNCHER CHALLENGE takes a light-hearted approach to a serious health problem by encouraging folks to upload their photo to a Pazazz superhero filter and share the reminder to choose super foods with their friends on social media. Honeybear Brands donates $1 for each completed challenge. The impressions generated between AICR platforms and geo-targeting efforts are predicted to be near a million!
Never before has the importance of our essential workforce been so clear. That’s why Pazazz apples will award a hard-working teacher with the Pazazz Teacher Award and $1000 during NATIONAL TEACHER AWARENESS WEEK. POS and digital ads will encourage shoppers to nominate a deserving teacher throughout the month of April.
HANDLING & VARIETY
• Don’t dump; hand stack.
• Temperature changes: Apples ripen 10 times faster at room temperature. This leaves most varieties with low pressure after only four to five days at room temperature.
• Don’t mist apples: misting causes a white buildup, or Calcium (OK to eat, but doesn’t look great). Misting also can make apples dull.
• “One bad apple spoils the whole lot” — it can! Apples are ethylene producers.
• Honeybear Brands offers a wide variety, from conventional and organic Honeycrisp and Galas to Red Delicious and is the exclusive provider of Pazazz.
Fact Resources: U.S. Apple Association & Washington Apple Commission
• 80 to 130 calories per apple (average size).
• 25% of an apple is air — that’s why it floats.
• High in fiber: 5 grams of fiber per apple, that’s more than a serving of oatmeal.
• Largest apple to record is 3 pounds.
• Apples are a member of the Rose family.
• There are 7,500 types of apples grown worldwide.