Year End Merchandising Tips

The end of the year is busy time for produce as the holidays come one right after another. With Thanksgiving down, we have just a few more to go. Hanukkah (December 2-10th),  Christmas (December 25th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st)  are filled with cultural and ethnic traditions that will affect your customers’ food and shopping habits. Get to know your customers well and customize your merchandising and displays to their needs.

Christmas Ingredients: Many of the same products popular for Thanksgiving will also be in demand for Christmas celebrations. Provide full displays of potatoes, herbs, celery, sweet potatoes, winter squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, nuts and chestnuts, and cranberries.

Traditional Hanukkah Ingredients: Many Hanukkah foods are deep fried in oil symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Temple. This may include latkes or potato pancakes (with apple sauce topping) and jelly donuts. Stock up on potatoes, apples, onions, sweet potatoes, citrus fruit, honey, and walnuts. Chocolate gelt, a candy is also popular.

Celebrate Citrus: Tangerines are in full swing and very popular as stocking stuffers, gifts and all around daily snacking. Satsumas, Fairchilds, Orlandos and Clementines are all in great supply and never fail to impress with their amazing flavor. Grapefruit and navel oranges are also popular items at this time of year. Highlight your new seasonal fresh citrus items by building big citrus endcaps or placing bins of satsumas or bagged grapefruit in the entryway of your store.

Dried Fruit & Nuts: Holiday season is the time for these categories to shine. Build up a display to include shelled nuts, nuts-in shell and various dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, persimmon, dates and jujube. Provide a delicious fruit cake recipe for easy reference.

Convenience Items: Holiday season also means holiday party season. Make it easy for both guests and hosts to shop with a well-stocked fresh cut display and plenty of options for grab-and-go meals. Precut veggies, mirepoix mix, veggie spirals, riced veggies, cooked beets, and bagged salad mixes are all popular items. Don’t forget to order up on seasonal floral bouquets for the perfect hostess gift.

Party Platters: If your deli department has the resources to offer party platters, get on this trend! Veggie platters, fruit trays, cheese plates, wraps and sandwiches are great items to offer during the holiday season.

Follow these tips for a successful holiday season. Reach out to your Account Manager for additional merchandising and planning assistance. It’s not too early to think about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day planning. Check back for merchandising and display tips in our next Produce Notes.