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Pear Bureau Northwest Names Wegmans Pear Retailer of the Year

Wegmans receives recognition for pear category performance strategies that led to sales increase

Portland, Ore.  (October 24, 2015) – On behalf of the 1,600 fresh pear growers of Washington and Oregon, Pear Bureau Northwest names Wegmans Food Markets the 2015 Pear Retailer of the Year for their merchandising performance and sales increase in the pear category. The award is presented at the Pear Bureau’s PMA Fresh Summit Booth on October 24, 2015.

Not only does Wegmans offer all 10 varieties of pears during the year, they also implement several proven merchandising strategies to improve their sales and volume over the prior year. Maintaining strong sales requires implementation of a complete program throughout the season, and according to Kevin D. Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, Wegmans successfully offered their shoppers what they wanted.

“Wegmans displays conditioned pears that are ready to eat in a few days instead of ready in a week,” stated Moffitt. “Recent consumer research shows that over half of all pear consumers will eat their pear within the first two days of purchase. And, we know that ripe pears can outsell unripe pears by as much as 19.5%* at retail. The research supports this choice by Wegmans and contributed to their exceptional performance.”

Moffitt also shares more pear category best practices that Wegmans utilized including carrying two green pears, like Bartlett and Anjou all season, providing the choice of two sizes of bagged pears for busy shoppers, adding secondary pear displays to increase visibility and impulse purchases, and promoting recipes and pairing ideas when sampling pears. “The practices implemented  by Wegmans continue to put them at the top of the pear category performance, and we are proud to recognize their outstanding efforts.”

Dave Corsi, Vice President of Produce and Floral at Wegmans, accepts this award on behalf of the company. “Wegmans is honored to receive this recognition from USA Pears. The pear category is a vital part of our fresh fruit offering. When comparing other fruit segments, the pear category has outperformed any other throughout the past year. It’s a solid performer, but at the same time we still have opportunity for further growth. Over the years, the Pear Bureau has provided great tools to educate our customers about the quality and eating characteristics of the many pear varieties. Without their assistance, we would not be equipped to provide the best in flavor, understanding the optimum level of ripeness and varietal differences, to our customers.”

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), and Publix Markets (2014). 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.

Pear Bureau Northwest partners with grocery retailers nationwide in an effort to increase overall success with the pear category. The organization provides marketing and merchandising expertise that is customized specifically for each retail organization, using its pear consumer research findings as well as individual store analysis using an in-house data system that measures pear category performance nationwide and third-party research to show retailers how they perform versus their competition. Retailers who are interested in partnering with Pear Bureau Northwest should contact them at profits@usapears.com or 1 (800) 547-4610.

* Conditioned pear sales impact study conducted by Nielsen/Perishable Group on behalf of Pear Bureau NW, April 2012

 About Pear Bureau Northwest

Pear Bureau Northwest is a non-profit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote the fresh USA Pears grown in Washington and Oregon, home to 84% of the US fresh pear crop. The Bureau represents 1,600 growers and develops national and international markets for Northwest pear distribution. For more information, visit www.usapears.org.

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