Posts Tagged “fresh produce”
Bringing fresh produce center stage is a goal of discount retailer Aldi, which is in the midst of its $5 billion US expansion program.
The expansion includes building new stores and remodeling existing ones.
The new focus on produce includes a 40 percent expansion in the amount of product lines carried, with the produce department located at the front of the store. Most supermarket chains are investing more in produce departments, which are considered key components in stores.
In a move a couple of decades ago, there was a trend to make produce front and center and the first department shoppers see when entering a supermarket. With produce as an anchor in stores, many chains then look to improve their other in-store departments.
Aldi’s motion to move produce to the front and center suggests the retailer wants to be known as well-stocked store with everything the shopper needs. Additionally, once the fresh produce department is a strong anchor, stores have a tendency to follow through with other departments.
It appears that Aldi with fresh produce, will follow trends of having clean, conventional and organic products that are conveniently packaged. Aldi will likely add even more organic and clean options, in an effort to attract younger shoppers from 18 to 40 years old, who are after more affordable organic options. Whether Aldi will stock more value-added products remains to be seen.
Aldi already offers attractions for Gen X and Millennial shoppers and many of their center-store products have specialty claims, be it free of artificial colors or antibiotic-free meat.
Greater emphasis on fresh often come from higher income households. Will an expanded produce selection beyond basics higher-income shoppers at Aldi? One study shows that 93 percent of Aldi shoppers said pricing/value drove them to the format and 77 percent purchased fresh produce. One-third of shoppers expect to shift much more of their shopping to Aldi.
On price, Aldi will remain a discount retailer, so if the
If other supermarkets want to compete with Aldi, which will remain a discount retailer, those competitors will have to lower their price or invest in other areas of the store to maintain a ‘premium’ on Aldi as well as other discounters by offering a higher level shopping experience.
Studies have shown that 60 percent to 70 percent of markets experienced price declines of 1 to 3 percent when an ALDI opened. Some retailers will also increase service levels, emphasize quality, organic offerings, local items and more choices in general to increase their own competitive advantage.
Fresh categories are driving nearly 49 percent of all dollar growth across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), according to Nielsen’s latest Total Consumer Report, with fresh and perishable foods accounting more than $177 billion in sales.
Although fresh categories are performing well in Retail stores, the sector still has some room for improvement, according to the June 2018 report.
Some findings include:
- Ecommerce is still maturing within food and beverage, but fresh perishables are an opportunity in stores today. Amazon and Whole Foods merged a year ago, and ecommerce within grocery continues to grow, but is still maturing. During the past year, online food and beverage sales represented 13 percent of the overall dollar volume seen online. Fresh and perishable foods generated sales nearly 14 times as high as all online food and beverage sales this year.
- On-the-go fresh produce fails to keep pace with clean snacking. Americans are not rushing to on-the-go fresh produce opportunities although they rank eating more fruits and vegetables as the top factor for healthy eating. They often prefer other snack options. On-the-go fresh produce — pre-cut produce that has been portioned intentionally for snacking purposes — declined by nearly 2 percent in dollars and 6 percent in unit volume over the past year. On the flip side, salty snacks are proof that consumers are seeking indulgence in their snacking purchases, too, as sales grew nearly $1 billion year over year. Still, clean-label products represented more than 35 percent of salty snack dollars in the past year.
In the battle of the burgers, frozen is still winning, but fresh is catching up; meanwhile, alternative protein growth remains strong. Frozen patties are still the staple in the burger category, as frozen meat-based burgers have seen 2 percent dollar growth from last year. However, fresh meat burger patties (up 8 percent) and prepared burgers from the deli section (up 15 percent) are both growing and asserting their importance to the future of the category. Within the past year, sales of alternative-protein burgers have experienced dollar sales growth of nearly 21 percent. However, alternative-protein burgers represent just 6 percent of the overall burger category. Despite this, frozen alternative-protein burgers grew 17 percent year over year, which highlights an area for potential expansion.
New technology extending okra shelf life should help reduce waste and claims. Also, Shappire grapes from Peru are now arriving at U.S. Ports.
A company specializing in products to enhance the shelf life of fresh produce has a partnership with a company that grows specialty produce in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
The partnership initially is on a product from Hazel Technologies Inc. to extend the shelf life of okra grown by Agritrade Farms LLC. The postharvest technology, Hazel Okra, will be used on shipments of the vegetable from Honduras shipped to North America and Europe.
Okra is a difficult item to ship at peak quality, according to a news release, but trials with Hazel products and okra shipments have had positive results. The first commercial shipment of okra with the technology was in December.
Hazel Technologies has a line of packaging inserts designed for different items including tomatoes, melons, tree fruit, avocados and some specialty vegetables.
by Melissa’s Produce
Los Angeles, California – Melissa’s announces the first shipment of the season of fresh Peruvian Sweet Sapphire Grapes! The unusual two-inch tubular shape is not the only unique characteristic of this sweet table grape. Sweet Sapphires have a dark purple, almost black, skin that protects its translucent green and seedless fruit. With a sugar content that exceeds all other fresh grape varieties, the grape has an extremely sweet flavor balance reminiscent of a delicate dessert wine. Surprisingly, each grape is so firm it can be snapped in half and large enough to be stuffed!
Through natural cross-pollination, a tedious process done by hand over many generations of grape seasons, the variety offers both taste and versatility like no other. Serve Sweet Sapphire grapes stuffed as an interesting party platter finger food, as the base for a full-bodied reduction sauce or simply as a tasty sweet out-of-hand snack fruit. Available for a short time during the months of late January – March, Sweet Sapphires are great with cheese, crackers and wine.
Melissa’s Produce is the leading U.S. variety distributor of specialty and organic fresh produce. The company imports exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world.
Remote container management technology is being introduced by Sealand, providing exporters and importers the ability to monitor conditions of fruits and vegetables from inside the containers in which they are shipped.
SeaLand, Maersk Transport and Logistics division’s regional ocean carrier to the Americas, said in a news release the technology monitors temperature, humidity, oxygen levels and the location and ventilation of the containers in transit, whether on land or at sea.
“Moving fresh produce to and from markets in the Americas is an exciting and important business,” Sealand CEO Craig Mygatt said in the release. “Consumers today want access to fresh produce all year long. We’re making that possible whether it’s bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica and Panama to the U.S. or tropical and exotic fruits such as mangoes.
Porterville Citrus acquires packing operations of LoBue Citrus
Sunkist citrus shipments will increase this season, with a member of the cooperative acquiring another shipper.
Porterville Citrus of Terra Bella, CA is a Sunkist grower who has acquired the packing operations of LoBue Citrus of Lindsay, CA., according to a news release.
Under the terms, the LoBue family will continue to own and operate its 1,000-acre citrus farming operation.
“LoBue Citrus has a rich history in the industry, and we are pleased to be able to help them continue that legacy through our organization,” Jim Phillips, president of Porterville Citrus said. “The purchase also marks further growth for Porterville Citrus, positioning us for a strong season ahead.”
For the 2017-18 season, Porterville Citrus will integrate the LoBue Citrus packing facility in Lindsay into its operations and also add a large portion of the organization’s grower network. That will increase the navel orange, mandarin, lemon and specialty acreage of Porterville Citrus and the Sunkist cooperative as a whole”.
“It’s a great to start the season by adding more high quality volume to our mix,” Russ Hanlin, president and CEO of Sunkist Growers said.
Californa prune shipments are expected soar by nearly 100 percent this season. Meanwhile, a significant expansion involving two produce companies is taking place in North Carolina.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service believes the 2017 California prune harvest will total 105,000 tons, a 99 percent increase over 2016’s 52,851-ton crop.
This year, the industry is returning to a more normal size harvest. Harvest concluded about a month ago. Weather in recent years has created challenges for prune growers, but growers say the trees are rebounding this year. California is the world’s largest producer of prunes, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s supply and nearly of all the supply in the U.S.
by Polymer Logistics
Riverside, CA – Polymer Logistics supplied over 22 million Wood-Look crates in 2016, introducing the product to major retailers in both the US and Europe. The introductory year for these crates has proven very successful, with retailers registering substantial sales increases in their produce departments and a study in Italy indicating a 94% consumer preference for Wood-Look crates.
“2016 was the year of our Wood-Look crate solution,” says Gideon Feiner, Polymer Logistics CEO. In response to growing demand, Polymer Logistics opened two new wash plants in the U.S. in the same year, now totaling five in number. The company also appointed a well-known executive in the produce industry – Fred Heptinstall, as CEO of Polymer Logistics North America to support its expansion, with the company achieving growth of more than 35% in 2016. It continues to make investments and anticipates continued corporate growth in the high 20% in the years ahead.
To complement the success of the Wood-Look crates, Polymer Logistics developed an in-store Wood-Look display fixture to create a unified store appearance. The innovative modular Wood-Look display stand is featured at Fruit Logistica 2017 at Hall 21 / C-04. The easily assembled stand can be customized to meet the needs of specific locations and is fully compatible with 600×400 mm as well as 400×300 mm RPCs. The display stand can also accommodate a combination of various industrial style crates from other suppliers as well as cardboard containers to boost overall produce aisle appearance.
With fresh produce often placed at the front of stores, appealing displays draw in more foot traffic and boost overall store sales. The distinctive “fresh from the field” appearance provides a memorable shopping experience while delivering crucial benefits such as hygiene, as well as lower cost and environmental impact. Visitors to Fruit Logistica 2017 are encouraged to see how the new combination of Polymer Logistics eye-catching products can transform both store appearance and operation.
About Polymer Logistics:
Polymer Logistics is a leading provider of One-Touch/Retail Ready Reusable Packaging (RRP) solutions. Since 1994, it has been helping retailers worldwide simplify supply chain management by offering them precisely what they need in terms of logistics services and display products – from the factory to the retail floor. The strength of the brand comes from the Company’s consistent track record in helping clients cut overall costs by up to 60% while simultaneously increasing in-store product availability. Add to that an innovative and flexible approach, expertise in materials handling and logistics management, and a focused commitment to superb service. Polymer Logistics numbers 17 service centers and wash sites with dedicated local teams in the USA and Europe.
The United Fresh Start Foundation is launching a new community grants program to help advance the organization’s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
The new initiative will provide $25,000 in grants to local community organizations and groups that share the United Fresh Start Foundation’s commitment to increasing kids’ access to fresh produce, ensuring they develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. This effort extends the foundation’s work beyond the school day and will provide children with fresh fruit and vegetables after school, on weekends and during summer breaks.
“Food insecurity and obesity are major challenges for millions of children across the country,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We are proud of the work we have done in schools to increase fresh fruits and vegetables, but we know that many children need access when school is out. The program is designed to ensure kids have access throughout the day and the year.”
During a recent Produce Legends Dinner in New Orleans, the foundation announced the plans to launch the Community Grants Program. The foundation is committing $25,000 to the 2017 Community Grants Program. Grants will be available in various amounts up to $2,500. Applications will be accepted this spring and the recipients will be announced during the United Fresh Show this June in Chicago.
The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one core mission — to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Over 11 million wood-grain reusable plastic containers have been shipped by IFCO since entering the market in January.
More than 300 growers have placed orders that are destined for Wal-Mart stores with fresh produce, according to a news release.
“We are proud to partner with Wal-Mart and its fresh produce suppliers to provide them with innovative, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable reusable packaging that transitions easily to in-store display,” Daniel Walsh, president of IFCO North America, said in the release. “Surpassing the 11 million wood-grain RPC threshold so quickly is an impressive accomplishment made possible through strong collaboration between Wal-Mart, the grower community and IFCO.”
After reaching an agreement with Wal-Mart in October of 2015, IFCO designed the RPCs to the retailer’s specifications and also took into account feedback from growers.
“Wal-Mart chooses to use wood-grain RPCs to deliver produce for a variety of reasons,” Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president of produce, floral and global food sourcing for Wal-Mart USA, said in the release. “They have better ventilation, they’re ergonomically designed and very easy to use, and our customers really like the new wood-grain RPCs because they look more like a farmers market or roadside fruit stand, which provides a level of comfort during the shopping experience.”
IFCO Systems North America, Inc. designs, develops, and manufactures reusable plastic containers for fresh products, including fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, and bananas to grocery retailers in North America. IFCO Systems North America, Inc. was formerly known as PalEx, Inc. and changed its name to IFCO Systems North America, Inc. in March 2000. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Houston, Texas. As of March 22, 2000 IFCO Systems North America, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ifco SYSTEMS N.V.
IFCO offers the complete RPC solution, managing all aspects of container logistics: pool management, inventory, tracking, repair, sanitation and transportation.