The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board's John Bakker Provides Key Insights for Driving Asparagus Sales
DEWITT, MI - There is no clear map when it comes to driving fresh produce sales. Often, the road is filled with twists and turns as retailers determine the best way to highlight the many unique categories that call the produce department home. The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) is helping grocers to eliminate some of these unforeseen detours and take sales into their own hands this season by divulging a few of the secrets to success in the asparagus category.
“Marketing continues to be the key to increasing sales. Consumers are eager for spring asparagus, and they need the drive to make impulse purchases at retail,” explains John Bakker, Executive Director. “Don’t let sales lag—continue to keep the promotional pressure on through June to achieve maximum sales.”
To help retailers capitalize on the superb quality of Michigan-grown asparagus, the MAAB offers POS materials to draw attention to the unique category, in addition to its retail dietitian and social media toolkits, which will become available to retailers this month. With promotional volumes building up by Memorial Day weekend and beyond, these tools are sure-fire ways to bolster the category and collect shopper dollars as more consumers opt for a healthy and sustainable offering.
“Consumers are eating healthier, leaning into plant-based food, and demanding to know more about where their food is grown and if it's sustainable,” John continues. “Michigan-grown asparagus has the benefit of being watered by nature, so it doesn’t use excess irrigation water, and its overall eco footprint is lower—all of which appeal to shoppers searching for a product. In a strong asparagus market where freight has been high, Michigan asparagus is a good buy.”
The Michigan asparagus season is set to run from Mother’s Day through the end of June, and optimal soil and weather conditions have positioned Michigan asparagus growers with an excellent quality crop.
“Michigan has a wonderful sandy loam soil that aids in growing great-tasting asparagus season after season,” continues John. “Asparagus is one of the most difficult crops when it comes to predicting harvest, but we are optimistic about the coming season as we have had adequate moisture at this point. We also have sufficient help in place as we ready to kick off the season—an issue we know some producers have struggled with.”
As volume for the category ramps up, promotional pushes from May 16 through the end of the month are imperative to boosting sales across the category, but retailers should continue to highlight asparagus after Memorial Day to further maximize ROI.
Buyers, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board has given you the compass. It’s up to you to use it.