3 Ways to Sell (and even Upsell!) Your Strawberry Rejects (those tiny berries)Feb 06, 2021
When you get stuck with tiny berries, but your customers are expecting big beautiful dipped strawberries, how would you adapt?
This was my strategy:
Not long ago we had a strawberry shortage. Compound that with a late frost that killed off a lot of supply AND record rainfall, the few berries that were coming to market were small, weak little things. Due to supply and demand, prices skyrocketed, too.
I was on a long list of bakeries waiting for berries, and, well, I'd already committed to about 200 boxes of chocolate dipped berries (at last year's prices, ugh) and I was receiving requests for many more. My fingers, my toes, my everythings were crossed. I did a happy dance when I got the call that I was up next to pick up berries. Grateful as I was to get them, when I finally got my flats, the strawberries were not the best for chocolate dipped strawberries. The flats were a mix of berry sizes, and a lot were wee tiny berries.
Berries are sold by the container or flat, by weight or volume, not by the piece. You can usually estimate that a quart of berries has about 24 large berries with a total weight of about 1.5 pounds. This particular year? Not the case. It was still about 1.5 pounds of berries, but there were a handful of large, several medium, and a whole bunch of wee babies.
Those berries! I couldn't afford to waste them, I wasn't sure I could purchase more berries in time, and I'd already sunk a good deal of cash into this round, so I had to get creative and resourceful.
I changed my menu around and offered:
- Standard Large Dipped Berries - reserved for the already committed boxes.
- Kissing Sweetheart Berries - a Free Upgrade (in the video above).
- Berries as Roses - a really effective Upsell!
- Small Berries in a crystal clear long stem rose box complete with a satin bow, for pretty presentation - another Upsell!
I popped this photo on social media with a "hurry...while supplies last" message, and sold through almost all of those baby berries in a couple of days! All hands at the shop were busy dipping and making roses! It ended up being a profitable berry year after all!
And for the berries that were bruised or starting to suffer from rough spots due to excessive rain? We followed my Grandma's mantra. Waste not, want not. The strawberries were trimmed, cleaned, sliced, and then they were frozen for future strawberry cake batter.
Put these innovative ideas for chocolate dipped strawberries in your back pocket for a "rainy day" fix or just for inspiration on upselling your berry products.
(If you're interested, I have a blog post up over at ArtIsInCakes.com that takes you through the steps of making those berries as roses, along with my modeling chocolate recipe. Feel free to head over there and swipe the recipes and watch the tutorial - and upsell those orders.)
Being a small business owner, you quickly realize that to survive you have to be prepared to innovate, experiment, and try new things to achieve success.
No year is the same as the last one. And, 2020 definitely proved that. Entrepreneurs who are resilient and adaptable, they're the ones most likely to survive. We can't afford to be "stuck in our ways".
And if your reading this, you're most likely an innovator! We all have our stories of adaptation. So tell me! What's the latest thing you've had to change in order to pivot or adapt to changing atmosphere and business conditions? What has been your most recent "pivot"? I'd love to know, and I'm sure others would to. Please share your ideas over at https://www.facebook.com/chefequation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope it's helpful, informative, and motivational. You can overcome your obstacles, it just sometimes takes a new point of view to do it!
Happy Baking and Berry Dipping!
Need supplies and tools and ingredients? You'll find those items on our ecommerce store and sister brand, Art Is In Cakes!
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