Sprouts Farmers Markets named pear retailer of the year


On the show floor of the 2016 PMA Fresh Summit, USA Pears presented Sprouts Farmers Markets with the 2016 Pear Retailer of the Year award for its pear category improvements in merchandising performance and sales increase.

“On behalf of nearly 1,600 fresh pear growers of Washington and Oregon, we congratulate the Sprouts produce team and appreciate their effort in building a strong pear category,” said Kevin Moffitt, chief executive officer of the Pear Bureau Northwest.

Sprouts follows many of the best practices for increased pear category sales recommended by USA Pears, including displaying two green pear varieties at once. Additionally, it gives shoppers choices by promoting multiple pear varieties, carrying two sizes of top-selling varieties, increasing impulse purchases through in-store sampling, allocating plenty of the valuable front of store space to pear displays, and training personnel to improve category knowledge.

“All of these tactics over the whole season add up to great category performance,” said Moffitt.

“Sprouts entices shoppers to larger purchases by giving them choices in pears,” added Dave Howald, western regional manager for Pear Bureau Northwest. “From two green pear varieties to popular variety displays at the front of the store, they are creating interest and adding value for their customers. And their in-store sampling allows consumers to try new varieties and learn about ripening pears from produce professionals.”

“Sprouts devotes a sizable space to the pear category which includes the ability to flex for promotions as well as driving customer engagement through sampling at point of purchase,” said Chad Miller, vice president of procurement for Sprouts.

Training is a major concern among produce managers and Sprouts is open to opportunities for their staff to learn from experts.

“The NW Pear Bureau has provided us updated regular crop estimates, promotional timing and direction/suggestions with opportunities that increase basket size all of which have been extremely beneficial in our continued success,” said Miller.

In accepting the award on behalf of Sprouts, Miller said, "It’s great to see Sprouts recognized for our ongoing efforts in driving a consumer knowledge and awareness of the category in which we attribute some of our success through the different usages that a pear can play in a enhancing a meal.”

This year, USA Pears also recognized Costco Wholesale, Publix Super Markets, Defense Commissary Agency, Giant Eagle Inc., Tops Friendly Markets and Walmart Stores as 2016 Pear Category Leaders.

The Pear Retailer of the Year Award was established by Pear Bureau Northwest in 2011. Past honorees were Demoula’s Market Basket (2011), Meijer (2012), Ingles (2013), Publix Markets (2014) and Wegmans (2015). The Pear Bureau’s team of regional marketing managers selects the annual recipient based on sales performance, creativity, and best practices in pear merchandising, and overall excellence in supporting the pear category.

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