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Retailers see lift from fresh-cut

Harmons and Sendick’s Food Market dedicate a lot of resources to their fresh-cut produce programs and continue to see sales results, the retailers said during an NGA Show panel Monday in Las Vegas.

Harmons, a 16-store retailer in Utah, makes $2 million a quarter in fresh-cut sales, and the category represents 1.8% of total-store sales, said Bob Harmon, VP for the customer, Harmons City.

Harmons offers a wide range of fresh-cut products from “superfood trays” complete with a nut-butter dipping sauce to fajita mixes to fresh salsas and half-cut cabbages all in 96-to-112-foot displays.

In addition to traditional fresh-cut fruit, hummus and salsa, Milkwaukee-based Sendik’s has been adding more fresh-cut vegetables to its merchandising mix, including squash, jicama, carrots, celery and Brussels sprouts.

“We’ll sell bulk Brussels sprouts for $2.99; we sell them in this package cleaned up a little for $5.99,” said Ted Balistreri, owner of Sendik’s Food Markets.

Customers, Harmon said, feel that certain fresh-cut vegetables are less wasteful for their smaller households.

Not counting juice and hummus, Sendik’s offers 118 fresh-cut items, and Balistreri expects to add a dozen more in the next year.

Both Harmons and Sendik’s have on-site cutting areas with associates dedicated specifically to processing these products.

Harmons and Sendik’s keep shelf life as short as possible for these fresh-cut products, with Sendik’s cutting for the same day and Harmons keeping a maximum three-to-five-day sell-by date, usually donating the product to a food bank before the expiration date.

“The customer will know immediately if that cucumber has been sitting out there for a couple of days,” said Balistreri.

The panel was moderated by David Orgel, SN’s Executive Director of Content.

Source: supermarketnews.com

Publication date: 2/10/2015


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