(July 22) Garlic is a favorite seasoning for many consumers. Discover how you can promote it to maximize sales.

FOLLOW YOUR NOSE

Garlic, known for its strong odor, is a member of the lily family. It is versatile and can be used as a spice, an herb or a vegetable. Many people like garlic in sauces, salsa and jelly and as a garnish.

Garlic is grown in Argentina,Mexico, Chile, California and Oregon.

Valu Market, Louisville, Ky., one of three stores, has a 15- to 20-box display of garlic from which the store offers fresh, jumbo white garlic for $1.49 to $1.99 a pound, says Darryl Stephens, produce manager. The store goes through about 10 to 15 cases a week. Garlic sales peak at the first of each month and around holidays, he says. When Valu Market offers garlic at a special price of 99 cents a pound, the stores sell about 60 cases over the course of two to three weeks.

Valu Market offers recipe and dinner ideas using a 4- to 5-foot recipe center right inside the front door. The center has 15 to 20 recipes that are refilled daily. The recipes continually change to offer customers a variety and the store gets its recipe ideas from customers and the Internet, Stephens says.

ENCOURAGES PROMOTIONS

Patsy Ross, vice president of marketing for Christopher Ranch LLC, Gilroy, Calif., says the company works individually with retail stores to help them promote garlic. She encourages stores to do a garlic promotion two to three times a year because big, bulk displays grab consumers’ attention and increases sales.

Ross says that garlic sales also increase when retail chains have an internal display contest because produce merchandisers build displays to compete with other stores. She says that for a Halloween campaign, one chain did a “What’s that smell?” promotion. Stores used varying displays with tractors, decorative garlic and flowers.

Christopher Ranch offers garlic in display-ready boxes in three styles: summer harvest, Halloween (featuring a vampire) and a Valentine box. The company has a variety of recipes available for retailers like tear-off pads, tri-fold recipe cards, recipe racks and recipes tucked inside the garlic bags.

Ross says they have a free-standing floor rack that holds bulk and jarred garlic. She also suggests using a wire rack to display garlic on produce stands. Don’t display garlic around delicate items like fruit because the flavor and smell will transfer from the garlic, Ross says. She suggests merchandising garlic around potatoes, tomatoes, onions and other vegetables.

Inform consumers of the health benefits of garlic. For instance, it is a low-fat salt substitute. Advise shoppers to select garlic that is large and plump and avoid soft, spongy and shriveled bulbs.