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Completed project

Apples and pears quality assurance program (AP21002)

Key research provider: Strikeforce AMC Pty Ltd
Publication date: Tuesday, November 29, 2022

What was it all about?

In 2022, this investment worked with retailers to improve the instore presentation (appearance and quality) of apples and pears by increasing the store produce staffs’ understanding of best practice merchandising principles.

There were two key components to the program:

  1. In-store quality assessments of the apple and pear displays, including an evaluation against best practice merchandising principles to help improve the quality of displays and produce.
  2. Store staff education on the importance of well-merchandised product in line with best-practice guidelines to assist and grow sales outcomes.

The program ran from April to July, with 700 stores across Coles and Woolworths receiving weekly visits from a team of dedicated merchandising representatives. The program’s primary goal was to see whether improved displays encouraged consumers to increase the frequency and weight of their purchases.

The program was highly successful, with the data showing an improvement in sales across merchandised stores versus not merchandised stores of up to 3:1. Woolworths and Coles both saw strong results across the presentation, availability, and quality performance measures, with several areas identified for improvement. Over 1500 store produce staff were trained on correct merchandising principles.

Key results included:

  • Ninety-seven per cent of stores now have the quality of display rated as either Good or Fair, up from 78 per cent at the commencement of the program.

  • Eighty-four per cent of stores have a full/ or three-quarters full display, up from 61 per cent, and 86 per cent of stores now have no product presentation issues, up from 52 per cent.

  • Product with defects has steadily reduced throughout the program, and a gradual upward trend was seen in product availability. The results showed a steady improvement in the reduction of defects and the availability of products, meaning the training and the weekly merchandising visits helped change in-store behaviour and lift display standards.
Related levy funds

This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund