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Strawberry SnackChat

Strawberry SnackChat

While strawberries are now a year-round category, they undoubtedly remain a signal of spring, inspiring retailers to build berry patches—not only at the entrances to produce departments but as gateways to the entire retail experience. An amazing category partner in this arena will only amplify such messaging, turning buy-side competitors into category captains. What will strawberries say about your produce department, retailers? Let’s explore some of the best-of-the-best berry suppliers to find out what opportunities await you…

CarrieAnn Arias,

Vice President of Marketing, Naturipe Farms

“What better way to kick off spring than with fresh, delicious strawberries? These delectable berries really get consumers thinking about the warmer months and all of their favorite foods that are coming into season. Spring is the perfect time to put strawberries front and center in your stores to take advantage of this shift in consumer demand. We recommend building your strawberry displays cross-merchandised with other delicious complementary products like angel food cake—who doesn’t love strawberry shortcake? Our customers have had success with boosting impulse purchases and driving more sales this way.”

Cindy Jewell,

Vice President of Marketing, Bobalu, LLC

“Each year, retail category data reminds us that the berry category is a sales leader within the produce department, and strawberries are the foundation of the berry category. Additionally, we know 71 percent of households purchase strawberries. At Bobalu, we focus our efforts on ensuring quality, flavor, and consistency every day to ensure our brand is in the shopping cart and that our shoppers enjoy every berry. Our goal is to build brand loyalty and keep consumers coming back for more.”

Frances Dillard,

Vice President of Brand and Product Marketing, Driscoll’s

“The fresh berry category continues to maintain healthy sales and growth during this challenging economy. Consumers are looking for flavorful, healthy options that are worth their dollars and fit in their budget. Strawberries play an important role at the in-store ‘Branded Berry Patch’ destination. Driscoll’s retail strategy is to have strawberries be part of a full berry patch offering with placement front-of-store.”

Kyla Oberman,

Director of Marketing, California Giant Berry Farms

“The berry category continues to be a top performer for the produce department, accounting for more than 11 percent of total produce sales at retail. Strawberries alone account for more than 5 percent, according to IRI/Freshlook. Not only is the produce department better with berries, but so are shoppers’ baskets! We know retail baskets’ value tends to double when strawberries are included. As a result, we encourage retailers to make the most of this—along with the allure of berries—by merchandising the full berry patch with a variety of package sizes, both conventional and organic.”

Michelle Deleissegues,

Vice President of Marketing, GEM-Pack Berries, LLC

“Few products create buzz at retail like strawberries. Consumers anticipate spring strawberry ads, creating excitement that carries through the entire produce department and store level. Collaborating and timing peak berry promotions with shippers gives retailers the opportunity to build energy that will carry throughout spring and into summer. Colorful, bountiful berry patch displays, co-promoting blacks, blues, and raspberries drive deeper sales for retailers and promise bright, healthy eating benefits that entice consumers.”

Kiana Amaral,

General Manager, BlazerWilkinsonGee/Foxy® Berries

“Strawberries have become the fruit-based representative for the Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day holidays. Cross-merchandising them in an area that is close to the flower or card section of the store will ensure an additional purchase from a consumer that is already at the store to pick up flowers and a card. Adding other additions such as dipping chocolate, pre-baked cakes, or marshmallows will drive multiple item purchases. Additionally, grocery stores are now acting as distributors to craft bakeries that need to purchase stem strawberries for their specialty decorating businesses. Stores should consider offering customers bulk deals on stem strawberries to help consumers fill their stem berry needs over these holidays.”