Winter Oasis: ideas to boost your tropical sales

Excerpts from a 2/13 Produce Retailer article written by Pamela Piemenschneider.

It’s mid-winter. Local produce is in the doldrums and spring favorites are a ways away.

“Many tropicals are just hitting their peak in February and March,” says Mary Ostlund director of marketing at Brooks Tropicals.

“You can always tell when red Florida guava is in the produce aisle; their great aroma beckons,” Ostlund says.

“Juicy uniq fruits have revved up their season, and our Caribbean Red papayas have ramped up to volumes our customers have been waiting for.”
Uniq fruits have a tangerine/grapefruit flavor and are easy to peel, making them perfect for lunches and snacks.

Ostlund offers advice for retailers to merchandise tropicals with less shrink. “Think of tropicals in concentric circles,” she says. “The innermost circle are the must-haves, the fruits a tropical buyer will put first in their basket: avocados, mangoes and papayas.”

These must-haves give a good entry point for shoppers who might not realize they’re even shopping for tropicals. These core items can attract consumers to other more exotic items.

“The next circle out are tropical fruits that earned places into more conventional dishes but have been making names for themselves by themselves,” Ostlund says. This includes hot peppers, limes, key limes, starfruit and ginger.

“These tropicals find homes in a variety of places in your produce aisle,” she says. “Provide information about how these can add a splash of the tropics to dishes, and you’ll increase frequency of purchases.”