Attractive, well lit, and easy to access onion displays full of onions are visually attractive to consumers. Since we eat with our eyes first, a few simple merchandising tips can help make the most of a display space in the produce department and help maximize onion category profit margins.
Merchandising Tips: Building Onion Displays with Appeal
Loose or Bulk Displays:
- Onions should be placed, not dumped into the display.
- Placement should be tops up and root end should be down.
- Remove loose skins, damaged, or decayed onions routinely.
- Maintain proper stock rotation, placing newest onions on bottom, older on top.
Bag or Box/Carton Displays:
- Stack neatly. Packs or cartons must be easy to remove for purchase.
- Small mesh bags in 3, 5, or 10 pounds should be at or near waist level and arranged in an attractive manner no more than 2-3 bags deep on a table.
- Include small bags of pearl and boiler onions to build specialty onion sales.
- Value-added fresh-cut and frozen products like whole peeled or diced onions are convenient and appealing to consumers. Let customers know where to find these items.
- Always follow processors sell-by dates and discard any out of date product.
- Keep refrigerated and frozen shelves stocked and fronted.
- Maintain proper refrigeration, humidity, and cooler temperatures to reduce shrink.
General Display Reminders:
- Be familiar with the seasonality and best uses for the types of onions available.
- Maintain proper signage when multiple colors, types, and sources of onions (domestic and imports) are offered and especially when seasons overlap.
- Distinguish between domestic and imports.
- Establish consistent year-round pricing gaps among offerings, setting premium prices according to seasonality, type, etc.
- Onions on ad sell more rapidly than onions not on ad! Promote them several times a quarter to lift volume, dollars, and profits.
Cross Merchandising with Purpose
- Yellow, red, and white onions display well with lots of other produce items like: pre-packaged salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell and chili peppers, oranges, mangos, celery, and carrots. Colorful, multi-item displays can be built around a season, holiday, or special events.
- In a study, 50% of consumers interviewed that purchased pre-packaged salads also purchase onions.
- Perishable protein including beef, pork, chicken, or seafood may be more challenging to cross-merchandise with onions in-store, but are very effective together for advertising.
- Non-perishables that pair well with onions might include seasonally appropriate items like tin foil, bamboo or metal skewers, roasting bags, and slow cooker liners.
- Onion keepers, micro-cookers, knives, and cutting boards are essential kitchen tools, but are impulse buys that can be effectively worked into or near the onion display.
Promotions with Layers of Benefits
- Onions can be included in nutrition and health promotions as well as seasonal, holiday, and special events. For example: onion dips and salsas for Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo and other parties, onions for burgers/kebabs during BBQ season, recipes featuring onions as a vegetarian main dish or an alternative to other vegetable side dishes for any day of the week or a holiday.
- Consumers are spending fewer dollars on food but more of those dollars on produce. Techniques for using produce and recipes are ideal for continuing this momentum.
- As the healthiest square footage of a supermarket, the benefits of fruits and vegetables are best communicated through signage and other printed collateral.
- Onions are nutritionally important and have a number of ways they can be prepared.