Category Captain: Berries: Driscoll Strawberry Associates
Driscoll’s new “Quality Arrivals” program is an ongoing effort to ensure quality fruit for retail displays with which to excite berry consumers, and drive category awareness and sales. Through a three-pronged approach of internal process education, retailer interaction and communication, and supply chain improvements, the company strives to build stronger relationships with its retail partners.
The objective of the program was twofold: to provide the highest-quality berries consistently to retail partners while reducing quality issues, and to improve berry displays to further drive category sales.
Year-to-date through June, Quality Arrivals improved several key retail partners’ category deliveries. Significant improvements to berry deliveries resulted in fewer out-of-stocks, higher-quality berry displays, more frequent buying opportunities and overall better relationships among Driscoll’s, retailers and berry consumers. The trust and relationships engendered by the program enable retailers to achieve category excellence in their respective marketplaces.
For instance, a Western grocery retailer improved its berry deliveries by 70 percent over the prior year, and its retail berry sales grew 7 percent during the same timeframe. The retailer’s margins also improved 3 percent, which shows that not only does Quality Arrivals provide better service, but it also allows the retailer to further drive its berry category sales and margins.
For the first four months of 2011, overall berry sales adjustments have improved by 1.3 points in pounds and dollars over the prior year. This success means that Driscoll’s will continue to employ the Quality Arrivals program to keep the berry category growing.