Bringing More Customers to the Produce Aisle

Banana Granola Cereal

Data from a 2015 FMI inaugural Power of Produce report shows that 99% of households buy vegetables and 98% buy fruit. That’s good news for the health of our country! However, only two-thirds of consumers polled said they shop the produce department frequently. According to a recent Supermarket News article, perhaps it’s time to rethink the produce department. While we oftentimes create cross-promotional displays in other locations (such as the cereal aisle or end displays), perhaps we should be encouraging customers – especially that one-third who don’t already do – to make frequent trips to the produce aisle for many of their grocery needs.

We can do this by programming customers to head to the produce departments first for the majority of their needs instead of starting through the zigzagging aisles. Does your customer’s normal grocery run usually involve a box of cereal and bananas? Try bringing a display of cereals over to the produce section. That way, customers can grab their favorite cereal and organic bananas to slice on top all in one place and cross an aisle off their list. This keeps a customer in the produce aisle, where they can spend more time finding other fruits and vegetables to bring home.

According to data collected by Nielsen Perishables Group, in the previous 52 weeks ending May 30, 2015, fruit and vegetable sales at retail totaled $42.1 billion. Fruit sales rose 3.6% in the past year. We can continue to drive more sales within the produce department by encouraging more foot traffic to this area of your grocery store.

Milk, bread, bananas and eggs are the only four staple items that an average consumer typically remembers the price of during a shopping trip, according to a Reader’s Digest article. Since price cannot be a driving factor for more consumption of bananas, this is where cross merchandising within the produce aisle or elevating product education can boost sales. By having helpful and knowledgeable associates available to answer customer questions about selection and preparation, or even product demonstrations or information sheets to take home (contact Organics Unlimited for free bananas bags for your customers), you can increase sales of fresh fruit and vegetables. Positioning produce at the center of the shopping trip instead of putting the focus on dry goods aisles can help you sell more perishables and convert more shoppers into daily produce consumers.

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