How sourcing is key to the success of the Fruit & Veg. department

June 5, 2024

The most beautiful fruit & vegetable shelf competition - an Consentio initiative, supported by Je Bosse en Grande Distribution and Végétable, and sponsored by players in the industry - provides an excellent platform to discuss the issues of sourcing, collaboration and communication across the industry.

As a true showcase of freshness, or the green ‘heart of the store’, the fruit and vegetable section occupies a strategic position for most retailers. It plays an essential role being a ‘destination’ that can attract customers and generates a significant share of sales (between 5 and 10% for supermarkets in Europe). While its performances can be measured by its financial performance and its impact on customers (footfall, commitment, % basket, repeat purchases, etc.), a large part of its success lies in well-managed sourcing, relevant product choices and collaboration with trusted suppliers. In addition to their actual products, these suppliers provide expertise and a longer-term vision of their production capability. How do the players upstream in the chain contribute to making a fruit and vegetable aisle a busy and prosperous space?

By meeting consumer expectations

At a time when demanding consumers are looking for tasty, competitively-priced fresh produce with consistent traceability, it's important to offer products that have integrity. Firstly, from their overall quality (presentation, preservation, taste...), and in terms of their history (origin, production methods, sustainability...).

As an independent producer, Les Tomates du Mont St Michel's mission is to 'Offer a top-quality, environmentally-friendly product from France at an affordable price, all year-round'. In a hyper-modern, single-section greenhouse. The company grows grape tomatoes on 17 hectares and fleshy tomatoes on 12, thus ensuring optimum, consistent quality throughout the production cycle. Guilhem Flammen, Sales Manager: "We market our tomatoes mainly to central purchasing agencies. Taking part in this competition is an opportunity to raise our profile with floor managers, as our tomatoes stand out for their consistent color and quality 12 months a year, in addition to being grown very efficiently and responsibly. One of the challenges I put to them: how can we make the grape tomatoes - a popular product sold in bulk - stand out more on the shelf, to improve customer perception?"

Les Tomates du Mont Saint Michiel, sponsor 2024 of the most beautiful F&V shelf competition

By creating value

Optimizing results in a sales area requires making informed choices within the range and spotlighting high value-added products.

The right product in the right place' : as a sales force for various players in French production, Promofel assists department managers in the layout and progressive management of their fruit and vegetable shelves. Mathilde Lalanne, Director: "Our aim is to combine the needs of production with those of distribution, from hypermarkets to greengrocers. Creating value in the fruit and vegetable aisle enables us to promote French production and better remunerate farmers. This is a very topical issue, so we're delighted to be taking part in the competition to reinforce our presence and commitment to the sector's key players!"

Promofel, sponsor 2024 of the most beautiful F&V shelf competition

By optimizing flows and reducing waste

In addition to losses during production, those generated within the chain and at the point of sale are not negligible. They are largely the result of poor communication (errors, oversights, delays, misunderstandings).

Consentio offers intelligent digital solutions across the entire chain - particularly to department managers and central buyers - and supports its users by digitizing their commercial interactions. By adopting a common language between all players in the industry, fruit and vegetable exchanges can be made more fluid, so that the right products find their way to their point of sale more quickly. The platform also simplifies access to a wider range of local produce, while promoting the transparency of product information, traceability and availability. Benoît Motais, Consentio Sales Director France: "We want to support the industry in its digital transition to make it more efficient, and thus reduce waste - up to 25% according to studies carried out among our users. This competition is a unifying event that enables the various players to communicate positively about the challenges they are facing and the opportunities they are finding."


Also worth reading: (French) Booster la rentabilité d’un magasin par les achats : l’exemple du rayon fruits et légumes (

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