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Roger Pepperl Dishes on Best Practices for Creating More Produce Department Value

Roger Pepperl Dishes on Best Practices for Creating More Produce Department Value

WENATCHEE, WA - The produce department done well, is an aesthetically beautiful vision of art balanced with the precision of a sales sheet and a nod to achieving a profitable bottom line. With consumers looking to build their baskets as we move into the holidays, engaging them in the department itself becomes more essential than ever. Partnering with a company that has marketing and merchandising pumping through its veins is an essential component of any premium produce program and Stemilt Growers is one company helping the buyside impact the consumer space and drive demand. Marketing Director Roger Pepperl is the man with a plan.

As we all look to the end of 2019, I asked Roger about some of the unique tips he has to engage produce lovers and impact repeat consumer-buying behaviors. He pulled back the curtain for me in this feature.

Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director, Stemilt Growers“The first one is emotional, which can sell the consumer on the fact that we are family-owned and in a very beautiful locale,” he shares. “People trust farmers and emotionally bond with the idea of knowing who grew their food. This is an area that many are failing in. Be a winner on this idea. It makes your apple and pear value much more impactful.”

For Roger, the second tip is one of vision.

“Create dynamic color breaks in the apple section,” he says. “Use the colors of Granny Smith green, Golden Delicious yellow, Piñata® orange, Honeycrisp stripy-red and others to break up the varieties in the best way. It can be beautiful and alluring, especially during the more dreary colors that can mark winter weather.”

Using the different colors of apples to create dynamic color blocks in the apple section can brighten up and beautify the produce department

The third is to have signage that explains the taste without being too simple.

“Sweet and tart are overused terms. Go to the Stemilt website and view some of our descriptions to challenge the consumer's taste pallet,” Roger suggests. “It is a visual, but it can really test a person's taste buds when you read compelling copy.”

The last example would be to bring taste to the forefront with demos.

Roger Pepperl shares best practices and merchandising tips to impact repeat consumer buying behaviors

“Try a demo on items that need development such as Piñata and ripened Anjou. Many people haven’t tried Piñata and would really enjoy the story and a taste. The pear market is very small today and when someone tries a ripened Anjou for the first time they are going to be shocked on what they have been missing,” Roger expresses.

And Roger has the retail background from his days with Meijer to know how to view both sides of the coin.

With the holidays upon us there is more to come, and more sales to be grabbed!

Stemilt Growers

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As the founding family of Stemilt, we’ve been farming apples, pears, and cherries in eastern Washington since the early...