Progressive Grocer - September 2017 - 89
Consumers increasingly ask
for their favorite fruits and vegetables
By Jennifer Strailey
randed fruits and vegetables continue
to transform the produce department
and the consumer's shopping experience in the vitally important store
Whether trumpeting local, convenience, freshness or a healthy lifestyle, produce brands have the
power to influence purchasing decisions and build
customer loyalty like never before.
For Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets
LLC, offering exclusives on branded produce items
sets it apart from the competition.
Earlier this summer, the grocer heralded the
arrival of several locally grown branded produce
items, including the year-round availability of
Pick'd microgreens, to its New York customers.
Pick'd Red Vein Sorrel, Pea Shoots and Spicy Mix
are the result of an exclusive partnership with Fulmer Valley Farms, in Andover, N.Y.
Last month, Tops reintroduced Amaize Sweet
Corn, thanks to its local partnerships with New
York-based Eden Valley Growers and Reeves
Farms. The corn became available exclusively at
Tops for a limited time beginning in mid-August.
"We're extremely excited to partner locally and
bring this one-of-a-kind sweet corn to our customers," says Jeff Cady, director produce/floral for
Tops. "Our customers always look forward to this
time of year, and start asking for it by name as we
edge into the later summer months."
This fall, Tops plans to draw customers to its
stores with several exclusive grape varieties.
"These partnerships are very important to Tops
because they help us differentiate ourselves among
our competition and give our customers more variety, while offering a fantastic shopping experience,"
asserts Scott Tyo, category business manager, who
estimates that Tops offers upwards of 50 exclusives
throughout the year.
"Offering these branded items at a value is indeed
a focal point for us, especially since so many of our
competitors just offer name-brand items," adds Tyo.
"We want to offer customers the best of both worlds."
As demand for local remains strong, Tops works
with more than 200 local farmers to offer fresh
produce during the homegrown season.
they help us
and give our
Tops Markets LLC
September 2017 | progressivegrocer.com |