Page 116 - December2018
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merchandising review  peppers
makes it more attractive to consumers. “Colored peppers have a di erent, slightly sweeter  avor and give the customer more options,” he says.
 ough there’s a lot of talk about “eating green,” Pedro Batiz, vice president of sales, Divine Flavor, San Diego, CA, points out since research shows the need to incorporate multiple colors of vegetables into a diet to get all the right vitamins, stores can promote colored peppers for this. “ at’s why our Tribelli mini peppers are so great,” he says. “ ey’re available in a trio of red, yellow and orange colors presented in a single package.”
Display space and type for peppers vary by retail location and size of store, and marketers recommend each store customize. “We have some customers carrying up to three SKUs with multiple facings,” says Bailey. “We tend to work with each customer to benchmark their sales against the average and make a recommendation from there.”
Regardless of space, stores are advised to display peppers to pull customers to the category. “Space may vary depending on sales volume, but you should o er a full line of several options for the consumer,” says K-VA-T’s Cox. “A nice grouping of all sweet peppers displayed together will make a great sweet pepper destination area. While promoting on ad, a secondary display location is a must to drive sales and units.”
Shipper options, such as display boxes, are increasingly popular, explains Havel. “A lot of the higher-end stores are using a display- ready box that can be put right out on the  oor,” he says. “It cuts down on labor for the stores. It also draws customer attention since it is a standalone display.”
Ciruli reports the value of getting peppers into secondary or cross-promotion. “We have seen inventive crossover displays either in the refrigerated or butcher isles of the store, where peppers are pre-cut into fajita mixes or skewered into pre-made shish kabobs,” he says. “ ese types of packs add value and are perfect for customers on-the-go looking to have dinner made quickly. Any time you can add value, you create an opportunity to drive sales.”
 ough bulk peppers, especially green ones, are still the major percentage of displays, marketers reference the impor- tance of packaging. “Packaging is getting to be a big thing,” says Havel. “Everyone has a
package, and lots of retailers sell peppers in the three-pack. Selling peppers in bags is also becoming more popular. Anytime you can sell more than one of something, it’s advan- tageous. Just check out what Aldi or Costco is doing.”
Determining the ratio of bulk vs. pack- aged depends on the particular store. “Club stores tend to o er more multi-packs, whereas a regular supermarket store may sell more sweet peppers in bulk and possibly carry a multi-pack,” says Ciruli. “It really depends on the store format and the target demographic for their market.”
Redner’s witnesses growing advantages for packaged product. “Bulk yields a little more shrink, but packaged has a longer shelf-life,” says Cotê. “You can get better distribution with the packaged and you can mix them, for example the yellow-red-orange three- pack. Also, customers increasingly don’t want to think everyone was touching the product. We sell a lot of packaged product.  e medium size in a four-pack bag is also showing success.”
At K-VA-T, Cox reports packaging of three and four packs of di erent colors are the most popular with consumers. “Since there are several sizes and
packs on sweet peppers, it is easy
to promote more often to keep the consumer engaged in the category on
a regular basis,” he says.
Angela Gamiotea, marketing manager for J&J Family of Farms in Westlake, FL, says, “We are looking for e cient ways to package a three- count, stoplight pepper. We currently use a new  ow pack operation, giving the organization the ability to create
new value-added packages that drive lift in the pepper category.  is new, state-of- the-art equipment gives us the option of building new packages with less plastic than traditional clams and is better for the envi- ronment.”
SunFed in Rio Rico, AZ, uses speci cally designed MA/MH (modi ed atmosphere/ modi ed humidity) bags to prolong the freshness of its peppers. “We are packing almost all of our commodities in a MA/MH bag,” says Matt Mandel, chief operating o cer.
As consumers lean toward convenience, Westmoreland’s Coppola believes the industry will see more packages move through the tills. “ ere was once a time when 90 percent would go out in bulk, but today it is almost even bulk to packaged,” he says. “It all depends on customer preference. And as it looks currently, consumers demand convenience.”
Stores can up the ante of their pepper category with ample displays of mini peppers. “Mini sweets have pushed the colored bell
into the minds of the consumer as quick, healthy snacks and helped get kids interested in colored peppers,” says Gretchen Kreidler Austin, director of
marketing at SunFed.
 e mini pepper, emphasizes
Batiz, has turned from a specialty item to a mainstream item because of the growing consumption. “ is product delivers new and more practical snacking options,” he says. As a plethora of mini items gain traction as snacks, Coppola recommends highlighting mini

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