The high performance touted on the company’s web site refers to the bags’ financial performance as much as it does to physical features like size, strength, affordability, green qualities, etc.
“Selling produce packaging based on superior financial performance in the produce department is not only innovative, but also rather bold,” says Scott Koppang, PCI’s director of marketing and sales in an exhibitor news release published as part of the Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 Fresh Summit trade show. “But the truth of our claim is that when PCI’s Home-Toters® are made a consistent part of a store’s fresh produce display, produce sales go up,” which may be one reason, as the company states, that nine of the top 10 Progressive Grocer Super 50 chain stores use PCI’s high performance products in their produce departments.
The Home-Toters® branded bags Koppang mentioned are known more widely as apple or banana bags, although they also can be used to merchandise -- and, it seems, quickly boost sales of -- most any roundish fruit or produce. The Nebraska store sold peaches in them, at a slight discount, and claims to have generated the amazing sales results noted above in only six hours.
“To be sure,” Koppang admits in the company's PMA show news release, “the manager who ran the test was a believer. He fully anticipated great results, merchandised his display accordingly and overshot even his high performance objective,” adding later in a phone conversation that the store might had done even better had they used Home-Toters® branded with their logo."
Koppang also said that the company conducted in-store sales tests with the National Onion Association and the United States Potato Board during 2013 and achieved less stellar results – a category sales increase of “only” $166 per week in each of 79 test stores on less than a $20 investment in PCI’s product. Do the math on that!
Bags of various sorts have been sold practically forever on their ability to communicate branded messages in all kinds of retail settings; PCI began business by selling to farm stand customers in 1947. Bags are a “marketing investment for your image,” writes Jaimey Alumbaugh-Wilman in her Bag Talk! blog. (http://actionbag.blogspot.com/ ) She’s right, of course, as anybody who has ever shopped for groceries, or even high-end specialty merchandise, can attest. But it’s the rare bird of a bag that flies so far from the commodity nest as Package Containers’ Home-Toters® – and consistently produces such astonishing sales results.
TakeAway: Don’t overlook the small things. They may have the potential to produce a powerful increase in revenue. © by Brian E. Faulkner
Package Containers, Inc., PCI, produce packaging, produce sales, produce revenue, produce industry, grocery store, Produce Marketing Association, PMA, Progressive Grocer Super 50, Home-Toters, Scott Koppang, National Onion Association, United States Potato Board, Jaimey Alumbaugh-Wilman, Bag Talk! blog