Consultant John Stanley used Fryers as an example of good practice in a seminar at Four Oaks this month.
Fryers general manager Chris Maddock said he saw edible sales rise by 50 per cent in 2005 so he moved the category forward under the canopy at the centre and merchandised it under the ‘Get the Good Life' banner.
Maddock said making edibles higher profile did not mean bedding had to suffer: bedding went up 38 per cent in 2006 and 21 per cent in 2007.
Maddock said blueberries and strawberries from Garden Centre Plants,
Farplants with the Seeds of Italy range and plants from Hawksmill and FP Matthews had done well.
"Sundries-related add-on sales are far easier with edibles than with bedding. Customers want the best results and will pay to achieve them.
"Merchandising them alongside with good POS makes it simple for the customer to up spend the basket."
Maddock added: "We have been holding Farmers Markets Since 2004. We house them under the plant canopy by moving all the stock out of half of it. It's labour intensive but works well as all visitors have to go on the plant area and as a result many of them buy edible plant stock."
Fryers edible sales increases 2006-08
2006-81 per cent increase. 5.17 per cent of plant sales
2007-101 per cent increase. 6.23 per cent of plant sales
End July 2008-39 per cent increase. 9.36 per cent of plant sales
End 2008-120 per cent increase forecasted.