Produce Talk

MAY 25, 2017
Volume 28, Issue 21


By the time you read this Memorial Day selling is just in front of you and as June follows, it is a great month for sales. It’s warm and everyone has an extra hours’ worth of daylight.  Summer selling has officially started.  Your department right now should be set for summer selling and you should aggressively be merchandising stone fruit, cherries, strawberries, grapes, pears, melons, corn, beans, tomatoes, fresh-cut fruit, cored pineapple, party trays, relish tray items and your entire value-added section. If you’re merchandised correctly, your distribution will increase 2% to 3% easily. Usually strawberries slow down just a little bit, but last year June was a good selling month for the year for strawberries, so don’t back off, keep big spreads on them.  Cantaloupe and watermelon should be in peak selling time so open up on the halves, quarters and slices and keep them full and fresh!  Keeping your cut melons sections full and fresh in the evening is a great way to be beat “comp sales.”  Vegetable items will really sell also, items like tomatoes, snack carrots, corn, beans, asparagus, new potatoes, mushrooms, all the relish tray items, and the entire value-added case will come to life. This will be a big month for grill cooking. In June, everything sells, all you have to do is order it and display it correctly! 

Now would be a great time to get with all your associates and have a “back to the basics meeting”.  It’s important that you put your truck away as soon as it arrives and make sure you and your co-workers rotate the cooler and the sales floor bottom to top.  Spending enough time on the order, updating your ad file, tracking your summer selling items each week and dating your cooler is important also.

Remember shopping habits will change; customers will shop later, so your department needs to be ready for business later in the evening if you want to capture the impulse sales, especially items like cut melons, corn and strawberries. 

New items will be Washington cherries and apricots, California grapes, blueberries and raspberries and homegrown strawberries.



Graduation is a great opportunity to sell party trays.  You need to hang signs and let your customers know you can meet their party tray needs, or they will find a store that will!  There is always a reason to buy a party tray.  Those stores that have them on display everyday are the stores that will capture the impulse sales on party trays.  Make sure you promote party trays, relish trays, baby carrots, celery sticks, carrot sticks, fresh cut fruit, pre-cut veggies, and all the veggie dips for Graduation parties.  Graduation is a tremendous sales opportunity!

Father’s Day is a great cookout picnic day, the only problem is Dad usually gets stuck doing the cooking.  How it works is Mom goes to the store and gets Dads favorite foods, like corn, potatoes, steak, burgers, dogs, fruit for the fruit salad, strawberries, and some watermelon, and then Dad grills.  Anyway, it’s a great day, Dad smells like charcoal and everybody’s happy and content. Sometime during the day Dad gets a present or two, so you need to convince your customers your store can handle the menu and Dads gift giving needs.  Lots of Dads enjoy roses, ferns or bedding plants so they can decorate the yard, so your floral shop needs to be ready.  You can even suggest fresh cherries or Dads favorite melon as a gift.

The Department is still in a transition period but about the second week of June, you should have everything you need to be in full swing of summer selling.  Tree ripened stone fruit is a must if you want to capture repeat sales on stone fruit; displays on stone fruit, grapes, cherries, apricots, the entire berry section, and all the melons must increase if you want to maximize sales.

Farmer’s market and Theme Sales – June is a great month to have a truck sale, tent sale or just a summer fun sale outside. Just use your imagination and spread out on stone fruit, melons, cut melons, ice cold watermelons, berries of all kinds, corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, some floral items and tie it all in with your bedding plants. Price the product right, have a cash register outside and sell hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon slices and ice cold Pepsi and it will be successful!




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Training new personnel takes time and resources. Keeping experienced staff up-to-date on new produce trends requires time and resources too.

Training new personnel takes time and resources. Keeping experienced staff up-to-date on new produce trends requires time and resources too.

Training new personnel takes time and resources. Keeping experienced staff up-to-date on new produce trends requires time and resources too.



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