SunDate's DJ Ryan Discusses Date Prep and Demand in the Lead Up to Ramadan 2021
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Today, like no other time, is ideal to bolster date offerings. DJ Ryan, Sales and Operations Manager for SunDate, shares that not only is the category at historic heights, but with Ramadan right around the corner, the fruit is shining brighter than pumpkins on Halloween.
“Ramadan is an especially high-demand period, but Medjool dates have been climbing at a double-digit rate year-over-year, as well. We have seen that trend over the past 15 years, and now it’s higher than it ever has been,” DJ explains when illustrating for me the scope of date demand today.
A key tip he shares is that this particular holiday’s shopping is more likely to take place up through the first week of Ramadan, which kicks off Monday, April 12, this year, and ends the evening of Wednesday, May 12.
“It is typical for shoppers to stock up before Ramadan rather than during. So much of the sales are in the two weeks leading up to the holiday—so right now is the ideal time to ramp up your product and displays,” DJ shares.
Happily, quantity and quality are there to meet the needs retailers have to serve consumers, with volume up from last year and the stars aligned for a strong Ramadan.
“This time of the year is the bread and butter for date sales, and that is looking to hold steady even as COVID-19 might limit religious gatherings—that doesn’t seem to be impacting poundage though, so we continue to feel bullish about demand,” DJ assures me.
How, then, can retailers ensure they are not missing an opportunity that is quickly breaking out of the niche box into a more consistent department driver?
“It’s important to understand that Ramadan migrates every year. Retailers might have difficulty preparing for or tracking it, which we are happy to assist with, and many may not recognize what percentage of their shoppers are Muslim. To help spread support, awareness, and gain sales, we have displays that our customers report being very effective,” DJ points out.
As for getting your hands on orders, SunDate is now looking at domestic supply for the remainder of the season and currently sees no issues in transportation.
So, as DJ says, buy dates!