When I first started working part-time after school in the produce department, the manager told me he wanted to set up an off-shelf display of cauliflower and broccoli. I had no idea what he meant by "off-shelf."
After the display was set up, the produce manager explained to me that its main purpose was to create a visual impact to draw customers and boost sales.
Front checkout free-standing displays
People have become a lot more discerning about the food they eat these days. That means the driving trend is for organic produce to be on more and more consumers' shopping lists. Retailers should take full advantage of this shift by creating "off-shelf" merchandising displays to capture additional organic sales. Additional sales can be captured with "off-shelf" merchandising displays.
Here are eight things to keep in mind when using off-shelf merchandising to sell more organic produce in your store:
- Type - Two of the best-selling off-shelf display methods are the free-standing auxiliary and wing styles. Free-standing displays can be placed in locations around the department as well as other areas of the store. Wing displays are set alongside table end caps to tie in with the main display.
Off-shelf wing displays of organic cucumbers
- Fixtures - No fancy equipment is required for off-shelf displays. You can use the nice clean original cartons the product was packed in (as long as they are in good condition), corrugated bins, wooden crates, barrels, or bushel baskets.
- Setup - Cartons or crates can be stacked on the floor, with organic items then placed in the top portion. Wooden barrels and bushel baskets with false bottoms can be placed alongside major displays to act as extended wings.
- Visual - One of the benefits of an off-shelf display is its eye appeal. It stands out conspicuously from the normal wall or table section. The items will get more exposure rather than just being part of the organic section.
Off-shelf wing display using original cartons
- Different - Any new organic item, size, quality, or packaging usually grabs a customer's interest. Place it off-shelf, and it will get instant attention.
- Growth - Auxiliary displays can increase item sales by 30–35%. The main objective of an off-shelf display is to get customers to make additional purchases.
Some of the best merchandising promoters are the outside grocery vendors. Ever notice how they always manage to obtain key floor spots in the supermarket to set up their baked goods, snacks, or soda displays? They do it in order to gain higher sales rather than relying primarily on grocery aisle shelves.
Organic peach wing display
The off-shelf displays are extremely flexible and can be placed in a number of locations inside or outside of the produce department. They are a simple way to capture the attention shoppers, which leads to additional sales.
One enthusiastic promoter of organic produce is Vince Mastromauro, director of produce operations for Sunset Foods in Highland Park, Illinois. Mastromauro told me, "I was just working on my plans for 2021 and wanted to focus on new organic items. I will be implementing seasonal citrus and tropical organic items such as 3-lb grapefruit, 3-lb navel oranges, 3-lb lemons, 3-lb limes, and tray-packed mangoes."
The fresh produce department is always a favorite focal point with shoppers for fulfilling their healthy dietary needs. With the explosive consumer demand for safer food options, the merchandising of more bagged organic produce will be needed. The appeal of off-shelf support displays will encourage the sales of those already fast-moving items.
Wire bag hanger wing display
"Typically, we sell these organic items bulk, but we are going to set up these bagged items on a table across from our regular organic refrigerated section. These items will be a secondary display as an option other than bulk on the wall set," Mastromauro said.
You have to do the little “extras” with your organic items. When individual items are moved from the organic wall section and placed on an attractive off-shelf floor display, it will draw shoppers and entice them to buy. Creating excitement with off-shelf merchandising is key to a successful organic produce program.