Despite their small size, there’s a lot to love about blueberries. They pack in a lot of nutrition and are versatile in use, compatible with many flavor profiles, and a convenient snack option. Plus, they’re bursting with sweet goodness.
The berry category is the largest grossing fresh category in grocery stores, and blueberries make up over 25% of the category. Blueberry sales have grown 3% annually since 2011 in the United States.1
Blueberries, like strawberries and other berries, are largely in-the-moment purchases. Shoppers might add them to the cart because they happen to look especially appealing on a given day, because they’re priced right, or for some other reason that drives an impulse purchase.
However, shoppers do tend to make blueberries a staple purchase when they’re in season. And since peak season is here, it’s a great time to ensure you’re marketing blueberries in the most effective ways—for summertime and throughout the entire year.
Let’s take a look at three ways—and nine specific ideas—to boost visibility of this versatile berry and drive sales.
Cross-merchandise and provide tips and tricks.
Blueberries are perfectly delicious on their own, but they’re also a sweet, colorful addition to all kinds of meals and snacks. Remind your shoppers of all the ways blueberries can be used to help entice more purchases.
1. Display blueberries with complementary items from both inside and outside of the produce department to help shoppers envision more ways to enjoy them: with other fruits, oatmeal, cereal, salad ingredients, and baked goods.
2. Include simple recipe starters by your cross-merchandised displays. For example, blueberry-banana-spinach smoothies, blueberry pancakes, or berry kebobs.
3. Blueberries are a familiar commodity in the produce section, but shoppers always appreciate helpful hints about selection and storage: Blueberries should be a dusty blue color, and they should only be rinsed right before being eaten.
Think beyond the produce aisle.
Grab shoppers’ attention and support impulse purchases by setting up displays throughout the store.
4. Front-end displays catch shoppers’ eyes when they enter your store. Create a blueberry display during peak season—when supply is abundant—for maximum visibility.
5. Another optimal place to display blueberries is in the health and wellness section of your store. As a superfood, blueberries are a natural fit to showcase next to other items that health-conscious shoppers purchase. In addition to doing this in the summer months, try it in the weeks following the New Year, when people are making efforts to eat healthy.
6. Cross-merchandise elsewhere in the store, like in the dairy section—alongside yogurt or cheese—or the bakery—with cakes and other desserts—to boost sales.
Align marketing promotions with summer holidays.
Though available year round, domestic blueberries come into season as Memorial Day hits, with supply peaking in June and going strong through the Fourth of July.
7. Promote blueberries leading up to and following summertime holidays when supply is readily available.
8. Continue promoting berries as peak season wraps up approaching Labor Day, when consumers have one more weekend of cookouts and gatherings to shop for.
9. As summer winds down, remind shoppers what an easy, healthy back-to-school snack blueberries make.
Increasing visibility of blueberries—in the produce department, with complementary foods, and in other areas around the store—can help increase their sales, and summer is the perfect season to showcase this versatile fruit.
Interested in a blueberries program with Robinson Fresh? Let’s connect—we can put together the right program for your business.
1Freshlook, IRI data, 2015-2016.