Produce Sells!

The Lempert Report
July 20, 2015

If you want to boost sales of center store, shelf-stable products, co-brand them with produce.

According to FMI’s inaugural report, The Power of Produce 2015, co-branding sluggish to sell center store products with fast moving produce could increase their sales. The new researchfound that consumers bought 40.4 billion pounds of produce in 2014, representing a 0.6% increase in volume and a 4.2% increase in sales worth more than $60 billion compared to the previous year. They also noted that this upwards trend should continue in 2015 with first-quarter sales already up 3.3% and volume up 0.8% compared to the same time last year.

These increases are nothing to be dismissed particularly when compared to many other categories, most of which are struggling to grow in today’s market.  But the takeaway from this study for retailers is that the strong performance of produce can be used to help.  According to NPG, CPG manufacturers and retailers could “parlay the success of the produce department to lift the stagnant sales of center store grocery categories by merchandizing and advertising items together."

For example, bananas are generally associated with cereal. Why not co-brand them and place them together in the store. Bananas are often purchased on a quick trip. so why not place them together, along with tips and information on the nutritional benefits of eating fruit with cereal and as a result consumers may be reminded, or at least more inclined, to pick up the nearby cereal as well. 

Another idea from the report, cooking greens could be tied to pasta or dairy juices for easy meal solutions and smoothies, while avocados could drive snacking purchases if paired with deli dips and chips. According to the study, 41% of shoppers said they “absolutely” would be interested in suggestions for meals and 48% said “maybe” they’d be interested. Supermarkets should keep this in mind and get creative with store placements.