The produce section is arguably the most important part of your grocery store. Not only are fruits and vegetables some of the most crucial elements of peoples' diets, but the state of your produce section says a lot about the quality of your store. Neat, vibrant and fresh displays of produce in attractive produce baskets lets your customers know that you care about their health and put a lot of effort into making your store a great place to shop. But what if you could make your produce section even more attractive to customers? By offering fresh herbs, you can.
The benefits of selling fresh herbs
Herbs are some of the most useful plants in existence. Clearly they're used to flavor food, but they can also be used in cosmetic, medicinal and ornamental contexts, noted Johnny's Selective Seeds, a company that sells seeds and gardening supplies. They can be sold in fresh-cut bunches, as live plants or as dried bouquets. In your grocery store, it may be best to offer a selection of fresh-cut herbs and live plants. The best part is that every type of cuisine uses fresh herbs, so no matter what your customer demographic is, chances are they'll use several herbs in their daily meals.
How to choose which ones to sell
The Herbal Connection recommended doing some research into the ethnic groups in your area. Find out what herbs they use regularly in their cuisine and offer those options. Easy-to-grow staples like basil, cilantro, parsley and dill are givens, but many consumers are starting to branch out by using less common herbs in their cooking, like arugula, sorrel and sage. If you choose some of the rarer varieties, it's in your best interest to use product signage that explains how they can be used. This may tempt customers to try new dishes.
Ideas for an herb display
Draw attention to your herb selection by being creative with the display. Merchandise Food! showcased a grocery store in Norway that took advantage of its fresh herb choices by creating an attention-grabbing wall. It used tall display risers to create a literal wall of living plants, then used two units below the wall that protruded toward customers to highlight special deals or seasonal choices. Be sure to water the live plants you offer properly if you choose this approach – wilted or dying plants won't sell.
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