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    Brookshire’s Pilots Bulk Potato, Onion Program

    Retail merchandising effort puts ‘mealtime magic’ in the bag

    Custom-printed tote bags urging Brookshire Grocery Co. shoppers to “Create Mealtime Magic” with potatoes and onions via a unique partnership between the United States Potato Board (USPB) and the National Onion Association (NOA) were deemed highly effective at driving incremental potato and onion sales in 79 test stores.

    During the six week pilot, stores merchandised with the “Mealtime Magic” tote bags realized $36 more per store/week (+6.5%) in bulk potato sales and $82 more per store/week (+7.5%) in bulk onion sales, as measured by Nielsen Perishables Group. Beyond bulk sales growth, the entire category of potatoes and onions also benefited from using the tote bags, with overall sales of potatoes climbing $76 per store/week and onions rising $90 per store/week.

    All in all, an investment of less than $6 per store/week in tote bags created incremental joint category sales in the test stores of $166 store/week – an exceedingly strong return on merchandising investment.

    “By displaying potatoes and onions in these highly visible tote bags, we were able to increase produce awareness, as well as provide our customers with the added convenience of a ‘grab-and-go’ opportunity,” said Chris Mooney, VP, Fresh Foods for the Tyler, Texas-based BGC. “We are glad to note the tote bags increased sales for a product where sales growth is rare, and we are pleased with the results of the pilot program.”

    “Create Mealtime Magic” Home-Toter craft paper bags are available exclusively from Package Containers, Inc. (PCI). USPB and NOA have negotiated discounted pricing for potato and onion industry members, who should contact their respective organizations for more information. Industry members and their retail customers are encouraged to collaborate with each other in order to take full advantage of this novel merchandising tool and realize the maximum sales benefit to both of these produce categories.

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