Ugly and bruised produce have always been a costly issue for food stores, causing high shrink rates. Since customers are not commonly waiting in line to buy bruised or blemished produce, food stores have to get creative to reduce their shrink. We came up with a list of 10 tips to help you reduce shrink:

Ordering produce- The process begins when you order the produce. Be sure to use a supplier that provides quality products. Not going with quality produce can be one of the causes of your high shrink levels. Always keep track of your entire inventory and make sure to consider it when placing orders. Keep a weekly record of what you sell and use it to estimate what you should order. For produce, that is harder to sell consider ordering it in smaller bulk sizes. When orders arrive to make sure to fully inspect each package for mold or any damaged packages.

Care for the produce- Once the produce is received it should be taken care of carefully. The produce should be kept in its recommended adequate temperature ranges while in the back room. Items like onions and bananas should not be refrigerated. Look into using night blinds on produce overnight. Night covers cover produce while the store this helps keep costs down by keeping the heat out and the cold in. Using night curtains can help extend shelf life for up to two days.

Reduce prices – Reduce prices on matured fruits by even a few cents when overly ripe. Reducing the price of produce is better than it becoming a shrink in the future.

Train employees- Produce department employees should be well trained and understand produce so they can keep the right conditions for different fruit and vegetables. When restocking produce, employees should be trained to not dump fresh produce onto old produce. Be sure to also train cashiers to ring up produce correctly.

Consider adding fresh juice- In the past few years bruised fruits have become the new superfood in the juicing world. Newly found research has proved that bruised fruits are filled with more antioxidants because they have fought off natural stressors. Studies have also proven that bruised fruits can be 2 to 5% sweeter than unbruised options making it a tasty option for juices. Adding fresh juice to your food store can be an easy way to offset shrink cost. You can use our Ceado ES500 or ES-700 commercial juicers to juice fruits and vegetables with ease.

Other alternate uses – Transfer fruits and vegetables that have matured and are nearing their shelf life to the store’s deli, bakery, food court or juice bar.

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