Four Seasons senior merchandiser Brian Dey built the display in the top photo at the Lexington Co-op in Buffalo, N.Y. (Photo from Brian Dey)
I recently spoke with Brian Dey, senior merchandiser and natural stores coordinator for Four Seasons Produce, about the keys to building a great avocado display. His tips should prove especially helpful this time of year, when shoppers are already thinking about salsa and guacamole for gameday parties and tailgates.
Five (or so) questions to consider as you plan a display
- What promotion will this display be tied with?
- How much fruit do I need? (And how much ripe fruit?)
- What space do I need – inside the department and elsewhere?
- When will that space be available? (What needs to be moved to make room?)
- What opportunities for cross-merchandising can I leverage?
Avocados can be highlighted as part of any number of recipes – salads, burgers, salsa and of course guacamole. Whether in the produce department or beyond, displays should take that into account.
“Anything you can tie in with guacamole, so red onions, limes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers,” Dey said. “I think avocados look dynamite in the tomato section. The reds and greens really play off of each other.”
Use signage, stickers or separate displays to communicate to shoppers what fruit is ripe and what is unripe. Produce clerks and managers also need to be prepared to provide this information.
“Avocados should be judged by their feel, not how they look,” Dey said. “In some cases having two separate displays, having ripe and unripe fruit on the counter, makes for a better and an easier identifier for customers to choose both.”
In the event ripe and unripe fruit are stacked together, ripe fruit needs to be on top to prevent damage.
Multiply your sales
Rather than pricing avocados individually, offer deals for several pieces of the fruit.
“I think multiple pricing on avocados sells that multiple, so a 2-for-3 will sell two avocados, but a 3-for-5 will sell three,” Dey said. “… Having the 3-for-5 price might be lower margin, but you’re moving more units, creating more sales dollars.”