Retailers Focus on Berries


Berries are playing a starring role in many retailers' spring and summer online marketing programs.
Grocers across the U.S. are generating high consumer interest, and strong, steady sales, in one of the produce department's most indispensable categories throughout the year in general, and during the summer months in particular.
Ralphs, the Kroger-owned chain that operates in California--where strawberries are now in peak season--features berries as one of "four fantastic foods for better health."
A number of grocers are making the most of berries in their online recipe selections. IGA City Grocer in Tacoma, Wash., includes strawberries in one of its seasonal recipes--Strawberry Syrup Ceviche. Whole Foods' online recipe index, meanwhile, includes Ricotta-Strawberry Pancakes and Homemade Strawberry Jam, among others.
Sprouts Farmers Market touts berries as an ideal ingredient to use in gluten-free recipes, such as Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake. The chain also includes berries in an article in its Food Tips section, noting: "historically strawberries were a medicinal plant loaded with essential vitamins, folic acid, fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium."
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets includes berries in one of its online sections, Aprons Events Planning. The retailer offers a four-berry smoothie mix among its catering options, promoting the tasty treat as a "collection of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries," whirled in a blender with yogurt and ice.