(Aug. 18) Dried fruit creates a colorful display and is a nutritious, portable snack. Build up displays to boost impulse purchases.

Cross-merchandise dried fruit with holiday baking goods like sugar and flour to encourage impulse buying, or merchandise near the canned fruit.

Art Driscoll, chief operating officer for Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif., suggests using shelf trays, display shippers and stickers for dried fruit. Driscoll says stores that merchandise dried fruit in the produce department increase sales 30% over stores that display it in the grocery section.

Customers of Strack and Van Til, a 16-store chain based in Highland, Ind., can find the 8- by 4-foot dried fruit display near the candy and potatoes, says Roy Millspaugh, produce manager. During the holidays, the store may carry a mix of dried fruits including apricots and prunes in bulk, while it carries packaged dried fruit year-round. The price of dried fruit ranges from $1.29 a pound to $3.99 a pound. Strack and Van Til promotes dried fruit using recipe cards customers can pick up from a rack in the middle of the department.

Cross-merchandise dried fruit next to the fresh version, suggests Peter Haenebalcke, vice president of sales for the Hershey Import Co., Edison, N.J., a wholesale distributor of nuts, dried fruit, seeds, trail mixes and natural and organic products.

Jeffrey Freeman, vice president of sales and marketing for shipper Mariani Packing Co., Vacaville, Calif., says one of the best dried fruit merchandising efforts he’s seen was a display of fresh pineapple with packages of dried pineapple around it in a high-traffic area.

Hershey Import recently developed a new product called TenderFruit, which is a rehydrated dried fruit. This soft fruit tastes more like the fresh version. TenderFruit is available in six varieties: dried apricots, pineapples, tropical fruit mix, peaches and orchid fruit mix, which come in 8-ounce bags, and dried mangos, which come in 7-ounce bags. Although TenderFruit has a slightly longer shelf life than regular dried fruit, it needs to be refrigerated after the resealable bag has been opened.

Around Halloween, Sun-Maid Growers of California, Kingsburg, offers retailers two merchandising bins, says Rob Muller, director of marketing for the United States and Canada. These bins are filled with miniboxes of raisins as an alternative to candy for trick-or-treaters. Sun-Maid also includes header cards that say “Raisin healthy kids” and “Treat them right.” The 20- by 14-inch cards are low-profile and focus on images of children. Although they correspond with Halloween, they can be used any time of year, Muller says. During the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays 19- by 25-inch cards promote the “Memories in the baking” theme.