The first thing most shoppers typically encounter when they walk into a grocery store is the produce section. This isn’t mere coincidence; it’s by universal design. Visiting the grocery store to stock up can be both challenging and exciting, especially for those on a pursuit of healthier dietary choices.
Locating produce at the front of the store with brightly colored, nutritious fruits and vegetables makes shoppers feel healthy.
According to a study conducted by Food & Wine and Consumer Reports, produce that is good quality, competitively priced and available in abundant varieties are the key factors that shoppers consider most important when choosing a particular grocer. As a recent Food Marketing Institute report shows, a store’s produce section “plays a large part in what makes it attractive to consumers, and the better its fruit and vegetable displays, the more money consumers are willing to spend—not only in the store’s freshest sections, but throughout the entire store.”
The produce section sets the tone for how “fresh” a grocer’s brand is perceived. Whether produce is neatly stacked in the middle of the section or along the perimeter, all fruits, vegetables and other produce-related products are VIPs in this game. In other words, the fresher a produce section looks, the more highly the store will be distinguished by shoppers, no matter which sections or aisles they navigate. So, as a result, customers are more likely to return to a store based on their levels of trust with its fresh produce.
Pusher tray systems from Retail Space Solutions help keep displays of packaged produce looking more attractive and orderly. Organization—combined with freshness and affordability—creates a stronger brand image, higher rates of loyalty and, of course, a bigger bottom line.
A report from the Food Marketing Institute, titled “Findings of the Power of Produce,” demonstrates that consumers do, in fact, judge a book—or a store—by its cover. While price and promotions are important in driving traffic, “appearance easily dominates the purchasing decision tree,” according to the report. That can be especially true in the produce section, where customers are demanding more variety, local fare and eye-catching displays paired with promotions. FMI suggests that by making the produce section more eye-catching, grocery stores can convert more customers and boost sales.
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