Sweet Potato Suppliers Provide Category Merchandising Insights Ahead of Thanksgiving; Michael Valpredo, Troy Bland, and Alex Jackson Comment
UNITED STATES - What is Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes? I know in my house, it would be a sad affair, since we all look forward to my dad’s famous sweet potato casserole! As many other consumers add the vegetable to their holiday shopping lists, I tapped some category aces to give retailers the lowdown on maximizing sweet potato sales this season.
"This time of the year is crucial for us and our retail partners because people are already seeking sweet potatoes for their holiday tables. As sweet potatoes are a shelf-stable item, retailers can display them prominently in the front of the produce section and strategically throughout the store alongside other Thanksgiving staples,” said Michael Valpredo, President of Bako Sweet®. “Our sales have shown notable increases when sweet potatoes are cross-merchandised with complementary holiday items like cranberry sauce and stuffing mix, as well as positioned next to ingredients commonly used in sweet potato casseroles, such as brown sugar, pecans, and marshmallows."
For more inspiration for cross-merchandising displays, Bako Sweet has many Thanksgiving recipes that spotlight the category. These are great for planning displays and inspiring shoppers with new ideas for utilizing sweet potatoes, thereby upping basket share.
Speaking of displays, Bland Farms® is once again launching its seasonal bins to help attract consumers as they stroll through the produce aisles, encouraging more register rings for the category.
“This year, we are rolling out our eye-catching, festive holiday bins again to help shoppers easily spot their two favorite produce items. Year after year, they are a hit with retailers and are a great way to boost sales and increase marketing efforts,” commented Troy Bland, Sand Candy Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Bland Farms. “Retailers can choose to fill the bins with Sand Candy Sweet Potatoes or a combo of Sand Candy Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potato and Bland Farms’ Premium Sweet Onions®. It's a great way to add a festive touch to the produce department.”
For buyers and retailers looking to stock up on sweet potatoes ahead of the holidays, Troy shares that Bland Farms has their backs with a fantastic supply.
“Consumers purchase nearly 50 million pounds of sweet potatoes in the weeks before Thanksgiving. We recently finished harvesting the freshest quality sweet potatoes in Georgia and North Carolina and have the volume not just to supply but to keep up with demand,” he added. “Aside from harvesting a great crop, Sand Candy really has solutions to tackle any issues retailers face. Our joint collaboration between Battleboro Produce and Bland Farms brings decades of growing experience and decades of sales and marketing expertise to our customers.”
If you want to make a punchy, eye-catching impact in the produce aisles, Frieda’s Branded Produce has a unique solution: Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes. The variety is offered in both conventional and organic and is available year-round or until supply runs out. The supplier offers an organic and conventional 12/3 lb bag option, along with its 15 lb and 40 lb cartons, catering to a wide range of customer preferences.
"Purple sweet potatoes are a popular choice for shoppers this holiday season and all year round. To increase sales, add the fastest-selling purple sweet potato, Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, which are available exclusively from Frieda's with a merchandising bin,” said Alex Jackson, Vice President of Sales and Procurement, Frieda's Branded Produce. “This is a wise and flavorful decision that will help you meet customer demand.”
Frieda’s found that 79 percent of shoppers were willing to pay more for sweet potatoes, and the holiday season is a great time to offer shoppers the chance to try a non-traditional variety. To promote the variety, the supplier recommends educational signage, sampling events, and social media engagement.
Now, with this information, go forth and conquer the holiday season while upping your sweet potato register rings!