Even though it's not always the most popular part of a meal, retailers cannot afford to overlook salad products. According to Florette marketing manager Elaine Smith, 50% of its pre-packed salads are sold during the key barbecue period of May to August.

"Salad is synonymous with the barbecue season and due to the unpredictable nature of our British weather, consumers often plan barbecues at the last minute, so convenience is key and it means pre-packed salads are an ideal choice for customers," says Smith. "They can be grabbed from the fridge once the sun eventually comes out, opened and served with no preparation."

retailer’s view
"We always do well in the barbecue season and we make sure we have plenty of promotions, especially in multi-packs of beer and cider, which are perfect when the weather is hot. 

"We're also looking into creating some space for a chiller for meats. This will be done over the next two months so hopefully we'll catch the end of the barbecue season. We're in talks with a local butcher to supply us some cuts on a sale or return basis so we won't be left with any waste. 

"At the moment we have a selection of frozen meats but I think a designated chilled display would be very popular with our customers." 
Dean Holborn, Holborn's, Redhill, Surrey

She adds: "We know with fresh produce comes the challenge of convenience versus wastage and traditionally store owners prefer to order less or avoid listing fresh produce all together because the associated wastage has to come off tightly-managed profit margins. But this doesn't need to be the case if careful consideration is given to stock levels and chiller cabinets are constantly well-maintained."

Florette recently revamped the pack designs of its entire pre-packed salad range. It has moved all branding and product information to a dedicated block at the top of the pack, increasing the transparent area which allows consumers to see more of the product. "Based on our findings, the new pack will further drive sales as the ingredients are easier to identify and are more attractive to shoppers," says Smith. "We've also made the colours brighter so the packs make more of an impact on the shelves and we've included an image of a field and water droplets which act as visual indications of Florette's superior quality and freshness."

Smith also advises retailers to keep checking the weather forecasts to gauge the level of fresh produce to order.

"In terms of planning for big barbecue weekends, the most accurate weather forecasts are sourced about four to five days in advance so it's important to keep up-to-date with forecasts as much as possible," she adds.

Read more:
Cash In: BBQ - Frozen frenzy
Cash In: BBQ - Flame Game
Cash In: BBQ - Side orders
Cash In: BBQ - Spice it up
Cash In: BBQ - Liquid refreshments