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 from 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.