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Ingles Market named Pear Retailer of the Year

The Pear Bureau Northwest, the nonprofit marketing organization that represents the 1,600 fresh pear growers in Oregon and Washington, has named Ingles as its 2013 Pear Retailer of the Year for its outstanding pear merchandising program.

Ingles is being recognized with this award due to its successful implementation of pear merchandising tactics that resulted in an 86 percent increase in pear sales over the past year. By implementing proven pear merchandising strategies, Ingles has taken advantage of the profit opportunity that pears have to offer.

Kevin D. Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of Pear Bureau Northwest, said Ingles achieved this outstanding level of success in the category by implementing several innovative pear merchandising tactics.

"Offering ripe pears on display was one of the top tactics that Ingles used to see pear sales at this level," Moffitt said in a press release. "They also maintain multi-variety pear displays positioned at the front of the produce department as well as secondary displays to increase visibility for this high impulse purchase fruit. In addition, this season they introduced bagged pears to attract value shoppers."

Moffitt also noted that Ingles is one of the industry leaders in engaging and educating shoppers in stores and online with the expertise of their supermarket dietitian, Leah McGrath.

"Ingles has demonstrated how good pear merchandising increases sales, and in their case that meant an impressive 86 percent sales increase compared to the previous year," said Moffitt.

Jim Ray, vice president of produce operations at Ingles, who accepted the award on behalf of the company, said, "We are honored to receive this award, and look forward to continued success in the pear category."

A formal award presentation will take place at the Pear Bureau Northwest/USA Pears booth (no. 2139) during the trade show at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, October 18-20 in New Orleans.

The Pear Retailer of the Year Award was established by Pear Bureau Northwest in 2011. Past honorees were Demoula's Market Basket (2011) and Meijer (2012). The Pear Bureau's team of regional marketing managers selects the annual recipient based on sales performance, creativity in pear merchandising, and overall excellence in supporting the pear category. Honorable Mentions for 2013 are Tops Markets, The United Family and Roundy's.

Pear Bureau Northwest partners with grocery retailers nationwide in an effort to increase overall success with the pear category. The organization provides marketing and merchandising expertise that is customized specifically for each retail organization, using its pear consumer research findings as well as individual store analysis using an in-house data system that measures pear category performance nationwide.

Retailers who are interested in partnering with Pear Bureau Northwest should contact the organization at profits@usapears.com.