As summer heats up, retailers would be wise to look to fresh fruit and vegetable specialty items to give their produce departments an infusion of the color, flavor and variety that increasingly open-minded shoppers are looking for.

“Bright and friendly packaging” helped draw consumers’ attention to Quick Fire Shishitos; Quick Fire Shishito Side Dish Kits; and Fire Dragons, Snow Dragons, and Honey Dragons dragon fruit shipped by Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s, said Alex Jackson, the company’s vice president of sales and procurement.

“They were fads in 2022 and have now become everyday staples that shoppers crave year-round,” she said.

Frieda’s is known for packaging innovation and branding that pops on store shelves, Jackson added. Cross-merchandising trends are key in leveraging the company’s products by creating opportunities to shake things up in the produce department and target shoppers searching for produce variety.

“As retailers prepare their spring and summer sets, we are ready to support their cross promotional needs with our bright and colorful ready-to-display shippers.”

Heading into summer, Frieda’s is more bullish than ever on the prospects for passion fruit sales.“ Passion fruit is this summer’s most versatile tropical flavor, elevating drinks, dressing up proteins and adding a burst of flavor to salads, grain bowls and smoothies,” Jackson said. “It’s hard to hide our passion for passion fruit, but it’s even more exciting when we see that the mainstream food industry has fallen in love, too.”

Passion fruit is a “powerful” end-cap product for grabbing attention in the produce department, she added.

For cross promotions, Frieda’s recommended featuring it outside of the produce department with cocktail mixers and spirits.

Going forward, Frieda’s is excited about the possibilities created following the company’s recent acquisition by Legacy.

“Legacy values the strength behind Frieda’s branded produce, and we are elated about the growth potential this acquisition brings,” Jackson said. “Frieda’s brand has a 30% faster velocity than the next leading brand. With unlimited opportunities to leverage our grower partnerships and packing capabilities, we’ve aligned our goals and objectives with those of our clients to scale our growth and continue to be the supplier of choice for the products we choose to sell, both domestically and international.”

How to move specialties at retail

  • Promote when introducing a new item to stores.
  • Use signage to educate consumers.
  • Put exciting seasonal, tropical fruits on end caps.
  • Use special promotions during holidays throughout the year.
  • Find natural tie-ins to products for cross-promotions.

Source: Melissa’s