Grape Expectations: 5 Ways to Merchandise Imported Grapes This Winter

Grape Expectations: 5 Ways to Merchandise Imported Grapes This Winter

November 29, 2017

There are a bunch of reasons consumers love grapes. The ultimate in convenience, grapes require almost zero effort to prepare and can be easily tucked into lunchboxes, enjoyed as an on-the-go snack, and incorporated into fresh salads. They also deliver a healthy dose of nutrients and vitamins. So it’s no surprise that consumers are constantly adding crunchy, sweet grapes to their shopping carts. As we transition into the winter months, there are plenty of ways to keep up the momentum of grape sales.



It’s grape import season

The U.S. grape growing season wraps up as winter sets in each year. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer growing season is just beginning. As the supply of United States-grown grapes slows, import season picks up. In fact, the majority of the grapes consumed in the United States from December through April are imported from South American countries, including Chile and Peru.

5 ways to merchandise grapes throughout the winter

No doubt about it: grapes are a consumer favorite. And while 65% plan to buy grapes before they step foot into the store,* there are certain merchandising strategies you can implement to help drive impulse purchases among the other 35% of shoppers.

Here are five ways to merchandise those imported grapes throughout the winter months.


1. Give adequate real estate to grapes.

Many retailers ramp up their grape displays during the back to school season—with good reason, since purchase volumes spike during this time, making it the number two selling event in the United States.* But don’t reduce or hide your grape display when the weather cools. An eye-catching, accessible display of grapes is a key way to keep shoppers purchasing grapes throughout the year. After all, shoppers won’t purchase what they can’t easily see or find in your store.

2. Highlight different grape varieties.

The varietal mix of grapes from around the world continues to evolve, but 46% of shoppers said they do not recognize specific grape varieties in the store.* However, 83% said they would be more inclined to purchase a retailer-promoted “grape of the month.”* As you add Peruvian and Chilean grape varieties to your produce department this winter, highlight the unique characteristics of each: their flavor profiles, firmness, and shelf life information.

3. Time your promotions right.

Align your grape advertisements and promotions to timeframes when supply is plentiful. For winter grapes, this typically occurs late February and stretches through March and April. As you create those advertisements, consider including green, red, and black grapes in your ads; they tend to perform better than ads with only one variety featured. In addition, cross-promote grapes with stone fruits, as well as juice, fruit snacks, and other items from the center of the store that shoppers commonly purchase with grapes.

4. Keep your target shopper in mind.

Sixty-six percent of consumers with children in their households purchase grapes on a weekly basis.* Make sure you’re effectively reaching them by promoting your grapes through all of the appropriate channels, like social media and print advertising. Use catchy promotions that play into the season and highlight the bright flavor of grapes, like “Bring the South American sunshine to your plate this winter” or “Bring the sweet taste of summer to your lunchbox.”

5. Use consistent labeling.

Too many variations in labels can cause consumer confusion, and they may question which product is freshest or bypass a purchase. Clear, consistent labels are as important for supporting impulse purchases as eye-catching packaging.

Is your grapes program meeting your expectations? Do you have the consumer insights you need to make smart decisions for your business?

Connect with our experts if you are interested in discussing opportunities for your fresh produce department.

*Source: Robinson Fresh data.

Andy Kampa

Andy Kampa - General Manager, Robinson Fresh

With experience in both vegetable and fruit category management, Andy Kampa has been with Robinson Fresh for almost 20 years. Currently, Andy is a general manager in sourcing.

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