Retailers and suppliers have found secondary displays, such as display shippers or bins, are a good way to call attention to a product, squeeze more space out of the produce department and add incremental sales.

Display-ready boxes continue to grow in popularity among grower-shippers and retailers because they can enhance brand and product merchandising, show country-of-origin information, allow for quick and easy in-store setup reducing labor requirements, and they can function as either primary or secondary displays, said Lin Moses, marketing manager for International Paper Industrial Packaging Business, Memphis, Tenn.

Sales data from Information Resources Inc., Chicago, validates that dried fruit sales increase by 60% as a result of these displays, said Joe Tamble, vice president of sales for Sun-Maid Growers of California, Kingsburg, Calif.

“Shipper displays are key for maximizing sales of dried fruit and generating incremental sales for retailers,” he said. “Currently, over 20% of dried fruit category dollars are generated from displays.”

Sun-Maid offers a variety of display units for raisin and dried fruit items that arrive in-store filled and assembled.

“They provide an easy way for retailers to drive impulse purchases and increase market basket size,” Tamble said.

The use of display shippers in general is on the rise, said Keith Jackson, senior manager of package engineering resources for Packaging Corp. of America, Lake Forest, Ill.

The units can be especially useful for products used in conjunction with fruits or vegetables in the produce department because they allow shoppers to clearly see and to shop the product, he said.

Display units allow the product to be the primary marketing piece, with the packaging sending a complementary message, he said.

Warehouse stores often use the color and design of display shippers to help attract shoppers to a specific area in a department, he added.

“A box can become a marketing tool from 20 feet away.”

Because of the perishable nature of produce, related products are more likely to be merchandised in a display shipper than produce itself.

For example, the shippers allow the produce manager to cross-merchandise items like caramel coating mix with apples or chocolate dip with bananas.

Rock-Tenn Co., Norcross, Ga., is one of the largest manufacturers of display shippers in the U.S., said Kathy McGowan-Carnes, director of marketing for merchandising displays.

The company makes displays that can be used for temporary promotions or occupy a permanent place in the produce department.

Often, the displays are used in a meal solutions section so that several items that make up a meal can be merchandised together, and time-starved shoppers won’t have to traverse the entire store to pick up the ingredients for that night’s dinner.

Sometime displays are sent to stores or distribution centers prepacked and ready to set up, while other times, produce managers receive easy-to-set-up displays that are filled in-store.

“We customize our services depending on a specific customer’s needs,” she said.

Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash., can send colorful secondary display bins along with its pears, cherries and apples.

“You just pop them up, they’re not much effort to build,” said Suzanne Wolter, marketing director.

Produce managers can use them for bulk or bagged fruit.

Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., also offers a variety of pop-up display bins, said Roger Pepperl, marketing director.

Some are used for special products, like SweeTango or Pink Lady apples or the new Lil Snappers “kid-size fruit” or organic fruit.

Stemilt also has a bin that promotes the company’s U.S. Olympics water polo team campaign.

The cardboard, pop-up bins typically include information about the product or program and includes a quick-response code, he said.