Matt Mastronardi of Pure Flavor® Highlights Seasonal Pepper Merchandising Opportunities
ONTARIO, CANADA - When it comes to pepper abundance, Pure Flavor® quickly comes to mind as I count down the days to Cinco de Mayo and the grilling season that it hails.
“Nearly everything can be grilled,” Matt Mastronardi, Executive Vice President, tells me as we explore why this particular eating season is thrilling for the industry and consumers. “As there tends to be an abundance of product in the market at this time of year, retailers who go on ad can expect a bump in interest due to grilling season.”
Product quality is strong, he explains, adding that first picks over the last few weeks show the plants are doing really well and making the team optimistic about the months ahead. Meanwhile, there continues to be strong demand for greenhouse-grown colored sweet bells, Matt shares.
“We are excited for our new crops to hit the market,” he says. “Since we grow year-round, we work with our retail and foodservice partners to ensure a consistent supply regardless of the season.”
When it comes to the greenhouse-grown pepper category, Pure Flavor has a rainbow of SKUs, including:
- Red, yellow, orange, and green sweet bell peppers, organic and conventional
- Red, yellow, and orange Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers, organic and conventional
- Red, yellow, and orange Craft House Collection™ Aurora Long Sweet Peppers
- Craft House Collection™ Shishito Peppers
“Merchandising peppers with other ‘grill-worthy’ items will help create interest. Retailers can accomplish this by placing peppers near items like bagged salads, which can help create interest in adding a sweet, crunchy item to various types of leafy greens,” Matt points out.
Color, he adds, also helps, encouraging Produce Managers to create ad opportunities by mixing colors.
“As we continue to navigate through the various restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, getting creative and product versatility is key. Retailers have a fantastic variety of fresh vegetables at their disposal to create colorful and impactful displays for their customers,” Matt says. “Cross-merchandising with high volume movers to create interest in new items will raise awareness for the category as a whole.”
Creativity, after all, is at the core of Pure Flavor’s Craft House Collection—“grown for the chef in you!” Taking that imaginative approach a step further, the team has been creating a “Goes Well With” section on its website and sharing the results across its social platforms.
“As vegetable growers, we need to spend the time to share how to best utilize our products. Through campaigns like our ‘Goes Well With’ strategy, we can breathe new life into the produce category to get people even more interested in more fresh fruits and vegetables,” Matt explains.
He concludes that the uniqueness of Pure Flavor’s products is not about the vast product assortment, but how incredibly versatile those items can be.
“If we share with our retail and foodservice partners how consumers can utilize these products, it helps breathe new enthusiasm into the category and the department as a whole,” Matt says. “With a variety of retail and foodservice customers of all shapes and sizes, we work with our partners to ensure they have what they need to stock their shelves and, if in foodservice, service their customers.”
As a greenhouse vegetable purveyor with a family of growers strategically located throughout North America, Pure Flavor is a strong partner to have in creating category management programs as we move into not just Cinco de Mayo or even grilling season, but into and beyond eating seasons to come.