Give the People What They Want: Fresh Products

According to a Kellogg survey of 800 American adults, over 68 percent of those surveyed eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables than they did five years ago.

Thanks to widespread health advocacy, the rise of preventative medicine, and easy access to health information, modern consumers know that fresh food is more nutritious than processed food.

As a result, the demand for fresh products is higher than ever.

If you’re a retail or convenience store owner or manager, you want to give your customers what they want. However, you may also be concerned that issues with maintaining profit margins, ensuring freshness, and marketing your product will prevent you from providing fresh foods.

As a smart business person, it’s important to consider these issues. However, the good news is, more often than not, the solution is simpler and more cost-effective than you realize.

Problem: Maintaining A Good Profit Margin

The decision to stock fresh products can be an intimidating choice to make.

When considering supplying fresh offerings, retail and convenience store managers may wonder how they can give their customers the fresh food they want without suffering losses in their net profit.

Retailers may fear that they won’t be able to move fresh food before it spoils.

And that fear isn’t entirely unfounded. According to 2010 data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the U.S. wastes approximately 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of the 430 billion pounds in the available food supply.

Profit and Distribution Solutions:

Don’t be mistaken. Healthy, fresh food is not only popular, but also profitable.

In 2015, the Nielsen Global survey found that 88% of subjects were willing to pay more for healthier foods,

Given this statistic, it’s not really surprising that sales of healthy food products have skyrocketed in recent years.

And the upward trend is expected to continue to rise. The Euromonitor estimates that global sales of healthy food products will reach $1 trillion by 2017.

Thus, it’s more than likely that the high consumer demand for healthy food will not only prevent fresh produce from going to waste, but also bring in a tidy profit.

And for smaller retailers (such as convenience stores and local chains) there’s an easy way to keep delivery costs down. Store managers can coordinate closely with solutions-oriented providers like FreshOne to sort out delivery logistics and maintain profit margins.

Problem: Ensuring Freshness

Speaking of profits, retailers know that freshness is a significant factor in consumer purchasing decisions.

Because consumers only want the best-looking fresh foods, retailer owners and store managers may be concerned about obtaining quality produce, receiving it in good condition from the provider, and then keeping it fresh for as long as possible, whether on store shelves or in the warehouse.

Because of consumers’ high quality standards for fresh offerings, distributors are forced to toss thousands of dollars worth of stock,

The quality of freshness can be negatively affected during delivery if the products are not handled and stored properly. Improper treatment throughout the delivery and distribution process can result in shortened shelf life, lower quality, and consequently, reduced profits.

Luckily, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) has determined some easy solutions to these challenges.

Fresh Solutions:

According to the NACS, these challenges can be addressed with the right distributor and an intelligent distribution plan.

When choosing a distributor, it’s extremely important that managers and owners choose a company that will deliver produce frequently and in good condition to ensure freshness.

Distributors that offer direct-to-store delivery are a good option because they deliver their produce directly from the manufacturer to the store. In addition, many distributors that offer direct-to-store delivery will deliver products during the same day to maximize product quality and shelf life.

Another advantage of direct-to-store delivery is that the distributor delivers produce via their own refrigerated trucks. This is important because correct storage temperature and refrigeration equipment both before and after delivery can significantly impact the quality and shelf life of fresh produce.

By reducing the amount of time between manufacturer and store and by ensuring that produce is properly refrigerated during transit, direct-to-store delivery allows retailers to give their customers the fresh, high-quality offerings they want.

Problem: Marketing The Product

Given the previous two points, you would think that fresh food would practically sell itself. But with the increasing demand for fresh products, retailers will have to develop a smart marketing strategy in order to compete with other stores.

The appearance of the product, as well as how convenient it is for the customer, can make or break your sales.

Merchandising Solutions:

Traditional merchandising techniques will always be effective. Keep your store clean, put your fresh foods where customers will see it, use proper signage, or try some of these other merchandising approaches.

Another key factor in whether customers buy your product is convenience.

If you own or manage a convenience store, you’re already on the right track. If given the option, consumers will often choose to buy their fresh foods from a convenience store because it saves them time.

The NACS found that almost half of all consumers say that convenience stores are a place where they can purchase fresh products.

Ultimately, consumer demand for fresh food higher than ever, and as a good retailer, your customer’s wish is your command. Although you may have some concerns about maintaining profit margins, ensuring freshness, and marketing your product, the solution could be as easy as working with a leading distributor like FreshOne to come up with a smart distribution plan.

The market for fresh products is changing. The people want it, but they also want it to be convenient.

That’s why if you’re a convenience store owner or manager, now is the optimal time for you to begin stocking fresh produce for your customers.

Give the people the fresh foods they want, and start increasing your sales