New avocado strategy: fewer squeezes, more sales

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A novel merchandising approach, supported by a staff-training program, has “dramatically’ boosted avocado sales.

Following consultation with all major supermarkets and greengrocers, Avocados Australia identified and tested four principles for the selling of avocados in a range of formats and locations:

  1. Use of coloured-foam display pads.
  2. Avocados displayed on the foam pads according to stages of ripeness.
  3. Ensuring consistent availability of ripe fruit; and
  4. ‘Buy Now, Eat Now” and ‘Buy Now, Eat Later’ header cards.

The new approach resulted in an average 30 per cent increase in the fruit bought per customer; a 16 per cent increase in the number of consumers buying avocados; and 47 per cent more consumers buying two or more avocados.

There was a corresponding fall of 41 per cent in the number of squeezes per fruit bought, and a 60 per cent reduction in bruise volume – a big problem in avocado retail.

Retailers reported the merchandising system was simple for staff to use and maintain, and say its low cost (about $50) made it all the more attractive. More than 150 stores have already implemented the new strategy, with at least another 150 saying they plan to do so within three months.

The online training program includes five short sections, containing practical in-store footage, covering: 1. Customers; 2. Ordering, receival and storage; 3. Ripening; 4. Care and handling; 5. Display, signage and merchandising.

Short quizzes at the end of each section reinforce key messages. There is also a downloadable industry-endorsed ‘Certificate of Completion’.

The program has been developed to be easily accessible via computers or smartphones and takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

See more at the Avocados Australia website.