50 MAY 2019 WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS
Produce Fresh Business
While uncertainty in crops
caused a little chaos in the
marketplace, we still see a
bright future for stone fruits.”
—Steven Muro, Fusion Marketing
Perfect Merchandising Partner
A recent study from Fusion Marketing has revealed that
merchandising stone fruit adjacent to other fruits, such as
melons, proved highly e;ective in increasing sales of peaches,
cherries, nectarines and plums.
Later this month, the largest melon grower and supplier
during the o;shore season, Sol Group of Pompano Beach, Fla.
(part of the Fy;es Group), will launch its first summer melon
program. Sol’s summer program will include cantaloupes and
honeydews, as well as the full line of Kiss melons, which includes
Sugar Kiss, Summer Kiss, Honey Kiss and Golden Kiss. All
melons o;ered in the Sol Group summer program are grown
in Yuma, Ariz., and Southern California, and will be available
starting in mid-May.
“Consumers are demanding options that are convenient,
and melons continue to serve this on-the-go meal and snacking
occasion need, as fresh cut melons in the form of chunks,
sliced, cubed and spears continue to be one of the top-selling
fresh-cut commodities year over year,” says Gina Garven, VP of
commercial development and analytics for Robinson Fresh in
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Fresh-cut melons are in the top five subcategories in both
dollar ( 12.1%) and volume ( 11.2%) for prepared produce sales in
the 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2019, according to IRI.
“Melons serve the need of the health-conscious consumer
as they are typically low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals
(such as folate, vitamin K, magnesium and lycopene) and have
a high water content as compared to other fruits,” Garven
says. Further driving melon demand is the sports recovery
attributes of certain varieties. she says: “Melons, and especially
watermelons, are a natural source of an amino acid called
citrulline, which has been found to expand blood vessels and
help with reducing muscle weakness.”
“We see these front-door displays as a significant and
continued method of driving stone fruit sales,” he says.
When it comes to grocers with a strong online stone
fruit presence, Muro points to San Antonio-based H-E-B
and Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, both of
which offer nutritional information, usage ideas, tips and
recipes on its respective websites. “H-E-B’s website features beautiful pictures of peaches, nectarines and plums
that create appetite appeal,” Muro says.
In the summertime stone fruit section of its website,
H-E-B also offers information on how to select, store and
freeze peaches, as well as tips for grilling peaches and
nectarines and serving them in a variety of recipes. “
Cherries are great in marinades for meat and poultry dishes,”
the website says.
H-E-B also features stone fruits in its Primo Picks flyer
that highlights fresh produce and other products available
in-store and online.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
How can grocers maximize merchandising to increase
sales of stone fruits? Fusion Marketing recently conducted
stone fruit testing to evaluate the importance of a number
of variables, including adjacency (merchandising stone
fruit next to different fruit, as well as next to other stone
fruit), point of sale (POS) and display size. The research—
which involved 35 test stores, as well as an additional 35
control stores around the country—revealed that when
stone fruits were merchandised next to other fruits, such
as melons, it increased sales of stone fruit in the test stores
versus the control stores more than any other method.
Fusion’s research also discovered that POS was the sec-ond-most powerful way to increase sales of stone fruit,
and the third was display size. Further research identified
an opportunity to expand stone fruit consumption into
other dayparts, specifically breakfast. “Stone fruit is predominantly viewed as a snack, afternoon or lunch item,”
Muro says. “But as peaches can be messy to eat on the go,
cross-merchandising them with yogurt or cereal for the
breakfast table represents untapped potential.”
Do You Know
New Study Examines
A new study published by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) of
Mission Viejo, Calif., reveals that while just more than half (51%) of
U.S. households purchase avocados, shoppers of the fruit are not
all the same.
The Avocado Shopper Insights: Regional Demographics
and Purchase Trends report shows that avocado-purchasing
households are diverse, varying by region and demographics.
Perhaps most surprising, the study (based on IRI Consumer
Network data) found that the majority of U. S. avocado-purchasing
households (64%) do not have children.
Further, the study found that while avocado-purchasing
households are found in eight U. S. geographic regions, the
demographic makeup of these households varies by region, as
do their avocado purchasing habits.
“These demographic and purchase insights help us see how
the avocado shoppers in one part of the country di;er from
avocado shoppers in other parts of the country,” said Emiliano
Escobedo, HAB executive director, in a press release. “This can
help us spot and better understand growth opportunities in
various regions and across various demographic groups.”
The study also looks at avocado shoppers in each region with
regard to household penetration, buying rate, average number
of trips per avocado-purchasing household and dollar spend per
trip. To learn more, visit hassavocadoboard.com/retail/market-