Wednesday, February 4, 2009

98 cent produce pack increases Fresh & Easy produce sales

The 98 cent produce pack is having its intended effect, says the latest Fresh & Easy news release. First, background on the 98 cent produce pack.

From coverage in The Packer, Jan. 19:

Tesco offers 98-cent produce packs
By Bob Luder, Senior Writer
Fresh & Easy has introduced 98-cent produce packs, it says, in response customers on a budget needing fresh quality products.
According to a news release, British retail giant Tesco's U.S. division, El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, has noticed a sharp spike in its sales of canned foods over the past few months, particularly canned fruits and vegetables. The 98-cent pack was created to satisfy the need for budget-friendly fresh products.
"One of the things we've noticed in this recent economy is that customers are looking to save money," said Brendan Wonnacott, Fresh & Easy spokesman. "But obviously they don't want to compromise on quality. That's why we've introduced the 98-cent produce packs. They're affordable, but also high quality."
The 98-cent produce packs are delivered fresh daily to stores and currently include apples, oranges, peaches, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes. With the new line, customers can always choose from six fruits and vegetables, which will rotate depending on season and availability.
"The reception we've received from customers has been fantastic, whether it's with comments on our Web site or leaving comment cards on site," Wonnacott said. "They're very excited about this new opportunity. It's been selling very well."

Today, sliding across the inbox, is this news release from Fresh & Easy:

Produce sales at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores have increased more than 11 percent since January, when the grocer introduced 98-cent Produce Packs in response to customers looking for fresh fruits and vegetables on a budget. This sharp increase in sales shows people are continuing to look for ways to stretch their budgets while seeking out quality items.

TK: The release quotes Simon Uwins, chief marketing officer for Fresh & Easy, stating that the 98 cent produce packs offer customers a "great way to save money without compromising on quality or freshness."

The Perishable Pundit said this about the concept on Jan. 13:

We know value is the hot thing today and, certainly, consumers like a deal. However, one day the store is promoting its green credentials; the next day it’s the place you get stuff for under a buck. This is no way to build a consistent image.We also wonder if it is actually addressing the problem consumers experience in shopping for fresh produce at Fresh & Easy

TK: I think Jim protests too much (as usual when it comes to his takes on F & E) about the value-themed Fresh & Easy 98 cent produce strategy. With the economy in the iron grip of the reccesion, the 98 cent produce pack appears to be working - and that's a good thing for consumers and for Fresh & Easy.

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