Brianna Shales of Stemilt Shares Spring Strategies to Drive Sales
WENATCHEE, WA - This spring season, I have a prime destination in mind. Vibrant colors, sweet indulgences, and a crisp, juicy bite—if you can’t tell by now, I’m not dreaming of a faraway island, but the section of the produce department that is adorned with delicious apples. With merchandising opportunities sprouting for several premium varieties, Stemilt’s Marketing Director Brianna Shales offered a few tips for buyers to boost springtime sales.
“The 2021 apple crop is down nationally, and in Washington State, which leads the nation in apple production. This has led to a demand-exceeds-supply situation on many core apple varieties,” Brianna explains. “That’s where the four varieties—Cosmic Crisp®, Fuji, Pink Lady®, and Granny Smith—come in. They have great qualities and color, and opportunities for promotion, especially within the bulk size profile.”
As Brianna notes, the Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Fuji varieties combine to make up 25 percent of apple category sales, and Cosmic Crisp is a rising star thanks to increased volume. As varieties like Gala and Honeycrisp see tighter supply this year, retailers can focus on this 25 percent to stimulate category growth.
“Promote often, and promote multiple varieties at one time,” Brianna advises. “Running more than one apple on ad at a time is key in lifting the whole category. There are also good opportunities for in-and-out promotions with these four apples on bags. Bringing in a 5 lb pouch bag for Fuji or Pink Lady and a 4 lb pouch for Cosmic Crisp are great ways to boost the volume moving through the register this spring.”
Complementary to its premium portfolio, the supplier also has a few other strategies up its sleeve to help its retail partners achieve success in the apple category.
“We like to work with each retail partner to build a program that fits their needs for marketing and merchandising. We want to ensure we set the 4 P’s in place: having the right product, placement, price, and promotions. We also want to help build trial for items like Cosmic Crisp and have branded merchandising to help build exciting displays,” explains Brianna. “Packaging is another great vehicle that Stemilt leads in—with our 3 lb Lil Snappers® brand leading the way for kid-size fruit and driving intent purchases with busy parents, and the 4 lb or 5 lb Apple Lover packs as a volume driver. We are happy to work with retailers on customizing programs for social and digital awareness of their promotions.”
With the help of Stemilt and these merchandising strategies, you can make the apple set a go-to destination for even more shoppers. I, for one, already have my ticket in hand.