Straight from the fields

BBQ Snackchat

BBQ Snackchat

What can consumers do with onions, squash, corn, melons, peppers, and mushrooms this summer, and how can retailers promote their versatility? Take your pick: grill, slice, smoke, pickle, toss, julienne them, you name it—there are only opportunities when it comes to the preparation possibilities and category winners for barbecue season here in the Northern Hemisphere. And, one could argue, barbecuing is not just seasonal anymore as the table spread creates numerous chances to push fresh produce and drive sales. Check out some of the passionate insights our industry friends have in this issue



Alexandra “Rae” Molumby,

Marketing Manager, Country Sweet Produce

“Heat up the grill, because sweet potatoes are the perfect addition to summer BBQ cookouts. Not everyone knows how to cook a sweet potato unless it is in a casserole, so we created several sweet potato grilling recipes for shoppers. My personal favorite is the Grilled Sweet Potato Kebab, which is made up entirely of fresh produce ingredients. Feature bagged sweet potatoes at the front of the produce department in grilling displays. Complement the displays with produce and barbecue supplies like skewers for shoppers to make their very own kebabs. Retailers can take advantage of the Country Sweet Produce merchandising materials such as recipe brochures and complimentary secondary display bins to inspire shoppers.”



Nichole Towell,

Senior Director of Marketing and Packaging Procurement, Duda Farm Fresh Foods

“One thing we’ve learned from partnering with Weber Grills is, when it comes to grilling, the sides are JUST as important for shoppers! Not only do we love to promote new, inventive ways to make produce the center of the plate with recipes like grilled Romaine salad, we’ve also found that shoppers are equally as excited to devour light yet flavorful summer side dishes to accompany their grilled protein. Retailers can increase basket size in the produce department by cross-merchandising items for grilling pairings with various texture combos like steak and grilled tomato and corn salad, chicken and potato salad and chopped celery, or fish with a colorful, crunchy radish slaw.”



Greg Sagan,

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Giorgio Fresh Co.

“Mushrooms are a grilling season staple! Because mushrooms have that deep umami flavor that everyone loves, they can easily be incorporated into and elevate the flavor profile of any recipe. One of the best ways to drive mushroom sales is cross-merchandising. Mushrooms should be displayed near other products that complement each other such as kebabs, onions, peppers, pre-made salads, and of course, near all of your other summer grilling essentials. Needless to say, all of our classic mushrooms are absolutely scrumptious cooked on the grill, but we highly recommend encouraging consumers to try our stuffed mushrooms. They are available in a variety of delicious flavors, including Buffalo and Mediterranean! Giorgio Stuffed Mushrooms are sure to be a staple at every BBQ this summer.”



Josh Leichter,

Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Trellis Fruit

“Watermelons have traditionally been consumed as delicious, fresh-cut snacks. However, over the last year, consumers have started to experiment with using watermelon in a variety of fun and unique recipes, such as grilling them and topping with basil, balsamic dressing, and feta cheese. As such, a great way to win at retail is to showcase the versatility of watermelons to shoppers. This can be done by leveraging recipe cards and in-store signage in addition to using displays to cross-merchandise with other relevant brands and products, such as herbs. The more you get creative and have fun with it, the more shoppers will, too.”



Katy Johnson,

Marketing Assistant, Prime Time International

“Simple point-of-purchase recipe cards or signs can inspire shoppers to pick up a variety of colored bell peppers. Not only are they a beautiful and bright addition to any dish, but they have many health benefits as well! Peppers are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Flavor varies slightly by color as red peppers are sweet, yellow and orange peppers are fairly mild, and green peppers tend to be more savory. Peppers have a multitude of culinary uses and are delicious when roasted, sautéed, grilled, stuffed, or simply sliced and eaten with your favorite dip!”



Walt Dasher,

President, G&R Farms

“Consumers all over the country look forward to Vidalia® onion season. Their sweet, crisp, and distinctive flavor can’t be replicated. And, of course, their versatility makes them a great component for summer dishes! Simplicity is sometimes best! Retailers, share these tips with your shoppers: Cut the ends so that they sit flat, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Place them on the grill for 30 minutes, and that’s it! As for merchandising, Vidalia onions have many layers, if you will. Call them out—consumers know them by name. Point-of-sale materials, box displays, and recipe cards are an integral part of communicating the beauty and flavor of what some call ‘America’s Favorite Onion.'” 

BBQ Snackchat