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    Category Advisor: Value-added Vegetables: Apio

    Apio recognized the need for a smaller party tray that combines vegetables with popular snack items such as meat and cheese, as 95 percent of the trays sold nationwide were either 36 ounces or 38 ounces.

    Apio recognized the need for a smaller party tray that combines vegetables with popular snack items such as meat and cheese, as 95 percent of the trays sold nationwide were either 36 ounces or 38 ounces. The smaller size would allow for a wider offering to consumers at different price points.

    To kick off the new size offering, Apio paired it with a seasonal label during a prime time for vegetable tray sales, the National Football League playoffs. The product first hit shelves on Dec. 20, 2010, and was available through the week of Feb. 12, 2011.

    Apio’s 32-ounce vegetable, meat and cheese tray with a football-themed label sold at 14 retailers nationally. At a Southwestern grocer, the tray performed particularly well, accounting for 10.8 percent of the tray category during the football label promotion. Trays posted volume growth of 25.1 percent over the prior year, with 54 percent of growth directly from the introduction of the Apio 32-ounce tray, according to data from Perishables Group FreshFacts powered by Nielsen.

    Following the success of the initial launch of the football-themed label on the new 32-ounce vegetable, meat and cheese tray, Apio plans to expand the program for the 2011-12 football season. The football-themed label will launch this year at the beginning of the NFL football season and will continue through to the Super Bowl.

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