New Crop Soft Fruit
Peaches, Plums and Nectarines
Summer soft fruit is here and perhaps no other seasonal items generate as much excitement amongst shoppers as the “big three” – peaches, plums and nectarines. Do a good job displaying these items throughout the summer and it will be a memorable soft fruit season for both you and your shoppers. To have a successful season, you must plan, and now is the perfect time to begin. To help you along, here are a few suggestions that will help you do an outstanding job with the handling, selling and merchandising of these desirable fruits.
RECEIVING: Always check each case of soft fruit upon its arrival; there will be varying degrees of ripeness in the fruit. Even when rotating your existing stock, check the newly arrived fruit first to compare it to what you already have in back-stock. For example, it is possible that some of a shipment that arrives Thursday may not need to be placed on the bottom of the rotation under product that arrived the previous Tuesday. So, check first to see how ripe the fruit is and arrange your back-stock accordingly.
STORAGE: It’s best to store your soft fruit at 34-36 degrees for optimal holding. If you want to accelerate the ripening process, store it at 60-75 degrees. Check the fruit that you are trying to ripen daily as this process can happen rather quickly.
DISPLAY: These three items (peaches, plums and nectarines) display nicely. Do not place the peaches and nectarines side by side, and if you have black plums and red plums avoid displaying them side-by-side as well. The key to making this display work is featuring the best side of the fruit – particularly true with nectarines and peaches. Find the highest color spot on the fruit and display this side facing outward towards the shopper. Typically the highest color is the side or the bottom. Putting the best color forward makes a huge difference in how your display looks! Take it one step further and hand-stack the fruit to give it a nice neat appearance that your customers will greatly appreciate. Also, unlike cooler weather fruit that can be on a more lenient rotation schedule, these soft fruit varieties must be rotated every day.
SAMPLING: If you are not literally on a mission to make sure that everyone who walks through the door tastes at least one of these fruits, then you’ve missed an opportunity. There is no better way to move your best tasting fruit than to provide samples. Make sure and have your staff fully engaged and ready for sampling.
To assist you with building excitement around your soft fruit display, Click Here or on the image above to download a promotional poster.