The quality of fresh produce is often the main reason consumers give for choosing one grocery store over another. Retailers can take advantage of this by making sure that the look, feel and feel of their product shelves stand out as much as the fruits and vegetables sold there.
When retailers decide to create a new product department and reorganize an existing one, they must remember that creating a sense of freshness, seasonality and convenience for customers is essential, said Chris Schotsman, vice-president. president of sales and marketing for Cayuga, Ontario. based on Cayuga screens.
This includes flexible merchandising displays for seasonal and local produce and the use of fruits and vegetables to create a mass display without overstocking the product. Another must: allow buyers to easily move around the department while shopping, but at the same time make it interesting.
Lighting is also a critical factor in products, Schotsman said – in particular, “a lot of lighting, directed at the product and the right ‘color’ to enhance any product color.”
Some design concerns are long-lasting, others change over time. Some of the trends currently being tracked by Cayuga Displays include:
- Emphasis on floor-standing refrigeration, moving from long sets of tables to more use of pods;
- Merchandising areas / cross solutions (eg caprese salad station);
- Growing “snack” products, farm market decor, multiple display heights, a mix of mass and smaller displays (eg.
- The development of flexible mobile housings capable of maintaining temperatures both at critical control (below 40 degrees F) and at moderate temperatures, a flexibility that lends itself to innovative display solutions; and
- The ability to configure item PODS with good client access.
Cayuga Displays was one of the first manufacturers to introduce Euro-Slant rear tables in the mid to late 1980s, and since then the company has developed working relationships with production professionals, design consultants , engineers in many aspects of product merchandising, including small footprint checkouts for today’s small square foot stores in urban areas.
“With our experience in producing non-refrigerated tables, bins and shelves for products, we are able to develop a consistent look in a product department, even when refrigerated cases are included in the design,” Schotsman said. “We can finish screens to match, all produced and managed by Cayuga for consistent service and quality. “
Some of the company’s most popular products for the produce departments include its line of 3×3 and 4×4 “fresh-to-go” mobile refrigerated bins; autonomous refrigerated MRO cases; 3×3 non-refrigerated market bins, produce dry tables with casters, produce dry tables with shelves for additional merchandising under the tables; and the ability to provide multiple types of finishes for product cases.
Cayuga’s FRESH GO BIN mobile refrigerated bins and MRO cases are popular because they are flexible, adaptable to a variety of products, they perform well, and they can be “cut out” to match unrefrigerated displays, Schotsman said.
“Some of our non-refrigerated table designs with multiple layers of vertical merchandising are popular for smaller footprint stores; a growing trend, ”he added. “As we manufacture dry tables, refrigerated cases, self-contained refrigerated cases for products and other perishable sections of the perimeter, our customers appreciate the consistency and continuity of the way departments are articulated with a cohesive image that emphasizes ‘focus on the products that are offered to customers.
Understanding the business from the customer’s perspective is crucial, said Schotsman. What are the pain points they face? How does merchandising work in practice? How can a supplier help increase sales? How can they help reduce shrinkage and install and maintain equipment with minimal friction so they can focus on what is most important?
Work the angles
Rockford, Illinois-based Siffron’s innovative Fresh-Fit Super Slant Produce System shelving system offers an attractive and organized presentation of the “product wall,” according to the company.
The unique slanted design promotes first-in, first-out rotation to ensure product stays fresh and easily accessible, the vertical layout allows shelves to appear full using less product – helping to reduce overstock shrinkage – and Integrated shelving perforations and open pattern wire front fence and dividers allow for maximum drainage and airflow.
The Super Slant Fresh-Fit production system protects and showcases a variety of healthy foods while creating a convenient and easily accessible display for your customers, according to Siffron. The system ensures that products remain fresh and easily accessible while maximizing visual impact using minimal space.
Produce the essentials of the design and merchandising of the DGS Retail department
- Simple displays are often the best. Use natural materials like wooden displays and props to display foods and products.
- Create the illusion of huge quantities of products by displaying the products in a thin film cascade or cascading food displays. This implies for the customers that you are selling huge quantities and it also protects the products from bruising by not stacking them too deep.
- Use food boosters and displays to help create the “mountain” look of the products. The screens will look full when they are actually half empty. This process is often referred to as a “dummy up” display.
- Ideally, you will create product merchandising displays that appear full but are not really full. These kinds of dummy food displays are easier to use and look fresh. They also help maximize sales and reduce shrinkage.
- Add professional signage that informs the buyer of the nutritional value of the products and perhaps tips on how to prepare them in meals. Chalkboard panels add to the impression of the fresh farmers market.
- Use table, counter, and clip-on panels for nesting table, wicker basket, or wooden crate displays.
Chicago-based DGS Retail provides design products and services to grocery stores and other retail customers.