The 12 Produce Merchandising Tips of the Holidays
Christmas Day 2017: MONDAY, December 25
Hanukkah: Sundown TUESDAY, December 12
New Year’s Day 2018: MONDAY, January 1
The Christmas and Hanukkah holidays are filled with ethnic, religious and cultural traditions that influence your customers’ food choices. Understand the preferences of your shoppers? Know your customers and the cultural make-up of the neighborhoods near your store. This will aid you in creating merchandising and sales opportunities by catering to their individual needs through fresh produce variety, displays and special offerings, as well as inspiring meal or party ideas.
Use this checklist of suggestions and tips to help you plan so you can please your customers and set sales records in your produce department this Christmas and Hanukkah season.
1. Nut & Dried Fruit Displays
Nut & Dried Fruit Displays should include: In-shell and Shelled Nuts, Raisins, Dates, Medjool Dates, Chestnuts, Dried Figs, String Figs, Nut trays and a variety of Pistachio packs. Ask your rep about the brands and programs we offer on organic and conventional.
SMART TIP: Take a good look at your inventory on glazed fruit and holiday shipper displays around December 11th to make sure that you have it all out on the sales floor. Consider reducing the retail so you don’t carry it over past the holiday. Turn your cash over and start out fresh next year.
2. Fruit Baskets & Party Trays
These are a MUST during the holidays for those hosting parties or going to gatherings! Utilize Four Season’s fruit basket pre-order program to grow your incremental sales for the holidays. Use our selection of pre-made styles to complement your store-made baskets. Four Seasons will offer pre-made Fruit and Vegetable Trays available throughout the holiday period.
Check with your sales representative about delivery for the holidays. Our pre-made fruit and vegetable trays are convenient, gain extra impulsive sales and require no additional labor from your produce department. These will certainly boost your sales through the holiday period.
3. Easy-peel Mandarins
Easy-peel Mandarins, for snacking and giving, continue to become more popular around the holidays. Offer Clementine and Satsuma Mandarins in gift boxes, 3lb bag Halos and Satsuma Mandarins, and even in loose displays by the pound.
4. Convenience Products Save Hosts Time
Cored Pineapples, Cubed Butternut, Microwave Green Beans, Pomegranate Arils, cut vegetable bags, Vegetable Spiral Noodles and pre-ordered fresh cut fruits and vegetables will sell well all month, especially right before Christmas and New Year’s Day. Are you prepared to have these incremental sellers in stock? Don’t forget the Fresh Salsa!
5. December Holidays are Historically More Fruit Focused
It’s more fruit focused than Thanksgiving, which has a bigger vegetable focus. Expand fruit variety with Coconuts, Kiwifruit, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Mangos, Papayas, Melons, varietal Pears, all fresh Berries, Organic Golden Berries, Pineapples, Clementines, Satsuma Mandarins, Pummelos, and other fresh Citrus. Now will be a good time to try some of our Organic Buck specialty citrus varieties.
6. Herbs & Stuffing Ingredients
Herb & Stuffing ingredients sell well but not as much as at Thanksgiving as more different meats are cooked for the holiday feast. Pay attention to parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, poultry blend and celery and hearts.
7. Traditional Hanukkah Ingredients
Honey, Sweet Potatoes (Yams), Soup Mix (root vegetables), Walnuts, Raisins, Onions, Parsnips, Apples, Oranges, Tangerines, Potatoes for Latkes, Falafel, Donuts, Chocolate Candy (Gelt) (December 12 – 20).
8. Highlight Great Christmas & New Years Movers
Green Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts (both loose and on the stalk to create excitement in your veg displays), Asparagus, Fresh Cranberries, Green Cabbage, Cole Slaw Mixes, Yukon or Red Potatoes and Pearl and Boiler onions are popular holiday dinner side dishes.
9. Cater to the Veggie Tray Makers
SPECIFICALLY WITH: Celery & Carrot Sticks, Baby Carrots, Broccoli Crowns, Cauliflower Florets, all colored peppers – red, yellow & orange, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, sliced and whole white mushrooms, grape & cherry tomatoes, scallions, cucumbers, green & yellow squash, avocados and asparagus. Dips or dressings like Marzetti’s or Marie’s are big sellers.
Mediterranean: Anise, Artichokes, Broccoli Rabe, Savoy Cabbage, Escarole, Endive, Long Hot Peppers, Red Peppers, Green & White Asparagus
Eastern European: fresh Dill, Parsley Root, Horseradish Red Cabbage, Celery Root, Beets, Leeks
Latin: Cilantro, Tomatillo, Batata, Yuca, Eddoes, Yautia, Plantains, Calabaza, Avocados, Chayote, Meridol Papaya, Butternut and Acorn Squash, varietal Eggplant
Southern Cooking: Collards, Kale, Black-eyed Peas, Sweet Potatoes
11. Order & Display Planning Tips
Key Christmas Displays should be in place by December 16th to maximize sales and profits and to keep your labor force as efficient as possible.
Bring in your tonnage and items on your deliveries December 18-19.
Stay Ahead on your “hard goods” like potatoes, onions and dips. Your shrink risk is minimal, but if you are out of product and waiting for deliveries you are going to miss sales and disappoint customers.
Keep bananas with good yellow color on display – these are great in fruit salads! Stay ahead with color.
Beginning on the Monday prior to Christmas and Hanukkah, every day will be busy and you’ll want to capture as many sales as you can.
12. Smart Labor Planning
Develop an off-hour or evening fill schedule for your “hard goods” like salad dressings & dips, salsa, guacamole, humus, and croutons, juices and jarred fruits, dried fruits, fruit mixes, snacks, in-shell and shelled nuts, potatoes and onions
Daytime labor should be focused on fruit, vegetable, salad displays and engaging your customers.
We expect heavy volume pulls on 12/21-12/23. You don’t want to be waiting on items those days that could have been brought in earlier.
HOLIDAY SEASON SCHEDULE
Monday 12/25 – Merry Christmas! Offices are closed for the holiday. No deliveries.
Tuesday 12/26 – Sunday (12/31) – Normal delivery and office schedule.
Monday 1/1 – Happy New Year! Offices are closed for the holiday. No deliveries.
Wednesday 1/3 – Extra deliveries will be made in most regions.