Merchandising asparagus can be tricky, marketers say.

Retailers need to put out enough bunches to keep the display looking abundant, but not too many or they’ll end up throwing out unsold, decaying asparagus.

Keeping bunches upright with their feet wet is another challenge, said Mark Chenoweth, president of Brooklyn Park, Minn.-based Carlson AirFlo Merchandising Systems.

Carlson has unveiled a divider bin that not only holds asparagus upright but also fits into existing equipment by hooking directly into vertical racks.

“This new bin offers a fresh way to increase sales and reduce asparagus shrink,” Chenoweth said.

A single unit, made of anodized aluminum with a black plastic, watertight tray, can hold six to eight bundles of asparagus at once, he said.

It’s easily transformed into a three-level display measuring 24 inches wide, 21.5 inches high and 11.5 inches deep.

The tray and dividers give the impression of a wall of produce, he said, and the trays are easily cleaned with food-grade soap and water.

After conducting trials with three national supermarket chains, Chenoweth said retailers have shown interest in the new bin.

“One chain has ordered the product for all their stores,” he said.

Chenoweth said another popular Carlson item is the Sigma Half Moon Asparagus Trays with removable step inserts, also made of watertight ABS material.