Recommended Display ideas
- Consumers are as time-starved as ever. Trips to the store are shorter and more frequent. Consumers research has shown that merchandising all potatoes together, in one location, helps the consumer shop the category.
- Consumers say they shop the category by type (variety) and use, (i.e., russets for baking to serve with steaks) . By merchandising each variety together on the table, placing bag next to bulk, the shoppers have every offering of that variety in front of them to aid their decision.
- Placing the promoted potato item in the front of the department negates the need to visit the potato table; shoppers don't see all the offerings and try something new.
Variety and availability guide
- Retail data analysis clearly shows that retailers who carry a broad selection of potatoes in each segment had higher dollars and volume than retailers with partial segmentation. Why? The specialty and premium segments generate incremental volume sales and profit dollars. Offering a high-end potato alternative in demographic-appropriate stores shows your chain is on the leading edge of variety offerings that create consumers interest.
- Promote 9 to 10 times per quarter
- On average, discount potatoes by less than 25 percent when on promotion
- Include bagged potatoes in each promotion
- Feature multiple potato subcategories in the same promotion; include Mainstream potatoes with other subcategories
- Include multiple potato items in the same promotion
- Feature multiple potato varieties in the same promotion
- When promoting organic potatoes, include conventional potatoes
- Include the "X FOR" (e.g. 2 for $5) price in potato promotions
- Vary whether multiple potato items are featured on the same circular page or on different circular pages based on objectives.
Display care and handling
- Greening has become the most significant quality issue as reported by consumers. In recent consumer intercepts 23 percent of consumers stated they will shy away from the potato table entirely and not purchase potatoes that day if they see green potatoes on the table. Another 70 percent say they will purchase a different variety of potato if their variety of choice has greening bags on the table.
- Additional research has shown that standard in store lighting will green potatoes on the display in one to two days. Ensure you are offering your shopper the best quality possible by following these simple tips:
- Do not wet rack potatoes. Misting potatoes cause them to break down and shrink more quickly than dry potatoes on the table.
- Refrigeration turns potato starches to sugar causing the potato flesh to turn black when cooked.
- Lighting on the wet rack is closer to the product and caused them to green even faster than those on the dry table.
- Turn directional or track lights away form shining directly on the potato table.
- Examine your space-to-sales ratio when any segment of the category is shrinking.
- If you do nothing else, check the bag and bulk displays daily and remove all greening potatoes.
- Keeping all fresh potato items together in the produce department is key. However, tests of cross-merchandising a small display of fresh potatoes in the meat department increased the category's net volume by a whopping 35 percent!
- Don't succumb to the holiday pressure. Promote potatoes prominently at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter but do not discount more than 20 percent off retail. Even consumers who don't eat them regularly are buying potatoes for their holiday meals. You are leaving money on the table by deep discounting an item consumer will be purchasing anyway.
- 66 percent of the U.S. consists of one and two-person households. Ensure that you are carrying smaller offering like 1.5# and 3# bags, clamshells or tray packs that meet the needs of smaller households.
- Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area, protect from direct light.
- Do not store in unventilated plastic bags. Store on a pallet to enhance ventilation.
- Store between 45 to 50 degrees is ideal.
- Potatoes will last 1 - 2 weeks at room temperature and several weeks at 45 - 50 degrees F.
- Storing in too much light causes potatoes to turn green and also causes a bitter taste.
- If a potato has started to green, the green part can be pared before cooking.
- It is best not to wash potatoes before storing.
- Do not refrigerate or freeze potatoes. At temperatures below 42 degrees the starch in potatoes turns to sugar.