Archive for 'Greengrocer'

How NOT To Sell Fruit & Veg

2011-11-14 15.46.05The media is full of Christchurch stories. Some positive, some anything but.  Government is breathing a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the potential impact of the partial sales of Might River Power. A fair amount of the money Bill English hopes to realise through the sale is earmarked for the Christchurch rebuild.  Meanwhile the Christchurch City Council, which is apparently required to front up with 40% of the rebuild cost, has put a stake in the ground by announcing that it has no intention of financing its share of the rebuild through asset sales.

Across town, the Anglican Church has gone to court because it wants to use $4 million from its insurance payout to partially fund its cardboard cathedral, whilst a group of renegades clustered around the former supermarket trolley manufacturer Jim Anderton is lobbying to have the original cathedral restored rather than demolished.

In amongst all that macro-economic stuff the ordinary citizens and small business owners of Christchurch are trying to come to grips with why , how and when their homes are facing demolition, repair or compulsory aquisition. Not easy for anyone.  And not just in Christchurch.  The rest of us are watching and there is a fair amount of empathy.

Only – my level of empathy deteriorates at a rapid rate of knots when I come across scenes like the ones I am depicting in my photos here…

What has all the hallmarks of a classy greengrocer sits surrounded by empty sections in the middle of Christchurch.  People need to eat, even in a Christchurch in recovery mode.  One would think therefore that if one were a greengrocer with a bit of pride one would make sure all the outside displays were full and properly merchandised but that is clearly only partially the case here.  Ah well, may be I caught them on a bad hair day?  Hm, but how about this?  An over-sized blackboard with nothing but the price and the weight unit on display?  For over an hour at least?  Come on guys, show a little bit of an interest in what you are doing…


Hey, may be you were a bit busy… who knows.  What is totally unforgivable though is the rubbish display.  What are we trying to sell here? Fruit or garbage?  And in full sight as well.  That’s where I stop being sympathetic.2011-11-14 16.27.36



The Ingenious Fruit Seller

A few weeks ago I explored the Wynyard Quarter – one of the new areas of Auckland’s waterfront which has been revitalised and transformed for the public to enjoy. While wandering around I came across this customised fruit cart which immediately caught my eye.

This cart is no different to a typical roadside fruit seller – it’s the same mechanics and employs the same  principle – but this ingenious seller is not just selling fruit but has taken it one step further with the added value of selling fresh fruit kebabs. On top of that, this fruit cart also has brilliant marketing – a name we can relate to, eye-catching graphics and advertising and a website clearly displayed. That sort of stuff allows us to put value on fruit.

I observed a steady stream of customers, which shows it’s still easy to sell fruit and it doesn’t matter where you sell fruit you’ll always find someone who wants to buy it. Especially when it’s quality fruit at a quality outlet. I would definitely buy from here!

Produce Merchants in the middle of …

Well, not nowhere this time, but here are several (and various) produce merchants I spotted while out and about in Beijing.

Produce stalls on campus at Peking University

Beijing greengrocer

Greengrocer on two wheels

Melon delivery truck: straight from farm gate to city = very short supply chain

Supply chain value add: melon on a stick for sale in the Forbidden City

At the Markets Part Two: The Regional Focus

I’m still enjoying Nuremberg’s market…and the more I think about it, the more I think that such markets are using their ability to focus on seasonal and local produce as their main marketing tool, their real point of difference – which is why the sushi in the previous post really stuck in my mind.

This market has survived very nicely by serving the Nuremberg inner city dwellers with very local and seasonal produce, as illustrated below:

Fresh Franconian asparagus.  Not German asparagus, or even Bavarian asparagus – but asparagus grown in the region of Franconia in the state of Bavaria.  Nuremberg happens to be the largest city in Franconia with a population of just over 500,000 in the city itself – including the suburbs that figure rises to 1.2million. 

In contrast, the local discounters like Aldi and Lidl stock asparagus from 4-5 different regions all year round.

Which one do you find more appealing?

I Have Been Shopping (III)

Fruit World, Greenhithe, Auckland, New Zealand

Fruit World is one of the smarter Auckland greengrocer chains.  This photo was taken on 29th  January on the Greenhithe Road in West Auckland where fruiterers hunt in packs several greengrocers are practicing the cluster principle. 

At first glance, there is nothing wrong with the photo, particularly as the ‘follow-up action’, namely Royal Gala apples, were indeed in evidence in store.

At second glance, for me, the Fruit World sign was responsible for a journey back in time.  A time when apple marketing was controlled by the New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board; a time when a greengrocer seen to be marketing new season apples in January would have been heavily fined as he would have been breaking the law; a time when wholesalers and retailers, including yours truly, were playing a game of hide and seek with vigilant Board inspectors who were roaming the nation’s malls and strip shops to search out rogue apple retailers whose view on when the apple season was meant to start differed markedly from those of the Apple & Pear Marketing Board.

The apple black market and it machinations are now fading in memory.  The apple industry was deregulated in the early nineties, last century!  Just imagine though not being able  to get Royal Gala until the last week of February or even worse, the first week of March?  The nanny state taken to the extreme.

On the other hand – are apples really a summer crop?  How naturally ripened is this early apple harvest in the stores now? And would apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums be selling better if apples were not trying to muscle in on their territory?  What do you think?