Posts Tagged “produce”

Study: What Prevents Cross-Generational Consumers from Buying More Produce

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DSCN4865By Category Partners

Idaho Falls, ID – Why aren’t consumers eating more produce; and, how can the produce industry respond to meet their needs and bolster sales?

These are precisely the critical questions Category Partners (CP) and Beacon Research Solutions (BRS) sought to answer, in their just-released “Barriers to Purchase” study.

Understanding specific challenges the industry needs to overcome, in its sales and marketing efforts, is a key step in accelerating growth; particularly in today’s complex retail environment and among an ever-changing consumer base, which spans four generations and comprises diverse motivators. This is the intent of the “Barriers to Purchase” approach, which – opposite typical research – focuses first on what prevents consumers from buying, vs. triggers.

The study revealed a sizeable portion of shoppers, across a nearly 70-year age range, who aren’t consuming much produce – not even half of consumers eat produce daily and around 10% only eat weekly – and for a multitude of reasons (often, generation specific). The study also presented an opportunity, as all generations seemingly want to eat more produce; if the industry can respond to their unmet needs. The study identified 17 relevant barriers and possible implications, including:

Price/too expensive – even with an improving economy, price was the top barrier, selected by more than 50%. Price competitively and promote strategically, so consumers perceive value – and are incented – in their purchases
• Spoiling/inability to eat it all – ensure shoppers know how to select, store and use. Also consider package size in overcoming this barrier, as more consumers “right size” their purchases
• Poor appearance/quality/color – reinforce quality and related control practices throughout the supply chain (especially store-level rotation, culling and merchandising). Similarly, ensure
shoppers understand proper selection practices, per item (i.e., appearance is not the leading factor for all produce; consider shopper education for flavor, touch and smell)
• Preferred type/variety not available – establish awareness of shoppers’ preferences, provide a responsive assortment and avoid controllable out-of-stocks
• Packaging is too large and lack of bulk/loose items – U.S. households are shrinking, so ensure shoppers have a balanced choice

Related to the barriers, the study also pinpointed meaningful motivators, throughout shoppers’ decision-making process for produce. The results surprisingly indicated consumers – while planning for, and selecting, produce – may be slower to adhere to broad trends; like social media/blog use, convenience and veg-based diets. Study findings include:

• More consumers are deciding in store vs. planning
• When planning, shoppers are leaning toward traditional vehicles (ads/circulars, personal recipes, cookbooks), vs. newer sources (social media, blogs)
• Produce brings shoppers in store, with zero percent selecting home delivery as a purchase format
• Flavor, as a driver, is nearly as important as health
• While “locally grown,” “natural,” “organic” and “non-GMO” are top of mind for many, 31% of shoppers are not seeking this information
• Pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans receive much attention, but 95% of shoppers still are meat eaters
• Most consumers enjoy cooking, often devoting more than 30 minutes and several ingredients
CP & BRS worked with leading produce suppliers and commissions, including Domex Superfresh Growers, Chelan Fresh, Wada Farms, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Farm Fresh Direct, B&C Fresh, International Fruit Genetics and the California Strawberry Commission, to conduct a multi-generational study. In June 2017, CP & BRS surveyed 4,000 produce shoppers nationwide – evenly split among Millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer and Silent generations – to better understand what deters shoppers from eating and buying more produce; and what changes can be made to positively influence their behaviors
The study’s ultimate goal is to provide the industry actionable insights, both barriers and motivators, so all members – especially retailers and suppliers – can align to develop sales and marketing programs that connect with shoppers and strengthen consumption and sales. Stay tuned in coming weeks, as we’ll follow up with “Barriers to Purchase” findings specific to Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Silent generation.
About Category Partners:
Aa nationally recognized resource, among produce companies and retailers, for delivering actionable business/consumer insights, marketing/sales plans and technology/data solutions. Category Partners is grower/shipper owned and headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, with offices in Denver, Atlanta and Laguna Hills, CA.
About Beacon Research Solutions:
a leading consumer research and data analysis firm, who works with clients to deliver need-based insights. Beacon’s methods for identifying and evaluating key business insights, include: consumer surveys; focus groups; syndicated research; category reviews; trade research; in-store testing; loyalty-card data analysis and promotion/pricing analysis.

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Wal Mart Introduces “Quality Carts” for Produce

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028Specialized carts designed to keep employees out on the floor culling produce and reducing wastage, is being implemented by Wal Mart Stores Inc., the latest step in a push to improve its fresh food offerings and revive sales growth, according to a recent news story by Reuters.

“Quality carts”, as they are being called by the world’s largest retailer, are being deloyed at 500 stores.  There are plans to have them in all of its nearly 5,000 U.S. outlets by the end of the third quarter, Vice President for Central Operations Shana DeSmit told Reuters in an interview.

Equipped with weighing scales and a box to collect the discarded produce,  the carts are being equipped weighing scales and a box to help employees carry out tasks that were typically carried out in the back room.  With the carts, employees can sort fresh produce by removing items nearing expiration and weighing them to manage inventory counts and help with replenishment.

Wal-Mart’s service levels have suffered due to fewer employees in store interacting with consumers.

The retailer is introducing one such cart per store and will eventually add more, said DeSmit.  The produce collected through the carts is either donated or sold through markdowns.

A renewed emphasis on fresh food, which includes produce, deli items, meat and baked goods, has been a crucial turnaround strategy under U.S Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran.  Wal-Mart is the largest grocer in the United States, with nationwide sales of $167 billion in 2015.

Wal-Mart has started revamping the layout of the food section at 3,000 stores, in recent months, including super­centers and its smaller Neighborhood Market stores.  It has taken steps such as lowering display cases and opening up floor space so that shoppers can see more clearly across the food area.  It has replaced black plastic crates with ones that look like wood to give the store more of a farmer’s market feel.

In February, the retailer said it would hire hundreds of fresh food managers to improve its offerings.  The company is on schedule to have such managers in a third of its stores nationwide by the end of the year, Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said.


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Retail Prices on Fresh Produce Seen Increasing This Year

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IMG_6029Fresh produce  prices will increase 3.5% to 4.5% due to inflation this year, according to the latest USDA retail price forecast.

That compares to 2% price drop in 2012 for all fresh produce.

The Economic Research Service, a part of the USDA, report retail fresh fruit prices for 2013 are predicted to rise 3% to 4% in 2013, after 1% inflation in 2012 and 3.3% higher prices in 2011. With fresh fruit prices decreasing .5% in April, the USDA reported the fresh fruit index is up 1.4% from the same time a year ago.

The Department of Commerce in April reported the average retail price per pound of red delicious apples was $1.33 per pound, up seven cents per pound from April 2012. Retail navel orange prices were 98 cents per pound in April, up from 91 cents per pound the same time a year ago. Retail banana prices, at 60 cents per pound in April, were unchanged from a year ago.

Fresh vegetable retail prices are predicted to rise from 4% to 5% in 2013, after a 5.1% decline in retail prices in 2012 and a 5.6% gain in 2011.

The fresh vegetable index dropped 2.7% in April, but prices were still up 4.6% compared with the same time in 2012. The average retail price of tomatoes in April was $1.46 per pound, up from $1.39 per pound in April 2012.

The consumer price of all food consumed at home in 2013 is forecast to climb 2.5% to 3.5%, the same forecast range as food consumed away from home.

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Texas Looking to Allow Heavier Trucks to Cross Border

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DSCN0159Overweight trucks legally transporting produce into the USA from Mexico might be possible, if the state of Texas eases some rules and regulations.  The state and some others see a benefit of easing border congestion.

The Texas House of Representatives recently passed legislation to create an “overweight corridor” at the USA -Mexico border, and the Texas Senate is expected to vote on it soon.

The proposed corridor, from the Anzalduas Bridge to the Pharr/Reynosa Bridge, would be an area where Mexican trucks carrying fresh produce would be able to enter the U.S. even if they were overweight. Trucks would then offload their extra weight at a U.S. cold storage facility.

A Mexican truck, under current law, carrying produce that weighs too much, faces a stiff fine if it crosses into the USA.

Currently, trucks are weighed on the Mexican side of the border, and extra product is typically offloaded there if the truck is overweight.  This procedure delays truck movement at the border and exposes perishable fruits and vegetables to the elements as it waits for another truck to pick it up.

Trucks that are overweight would be charged a fee, under the proposed law, which is much smaller than the current fine.  The big rig would then be allowed to proceed to a cold storage facility in the overweight zone’s boundaries.

Arizona already has a similar law.

Funds from the overweight fees would be used to maintain the roads that will be carrying the heavier loads.

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Wal-Mart Working to Upgrade its Handling of Produce

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WalMartYou buy a tasteless cantaloupe at Wal-Mart, or a sour grape sold as being sweet, just bring your receipt back to the store and they’ll refund you money, under a new police in U.S. stores selling produce.  This according to a recent story by Reuters news service.

As the largest grocer and seller of produce in the United States, Wal-Mart  has already lowered prices on produce as it tries to get its shoppers, many of whom are on limited budgets, to buy more healthy fare.   The huge chain, which made a splash in produce nearly 20 years ago, but has since seen its produce departments lose some of their shine, says it is now working on getting fresher produce to its stores more quickly and training its staff to do a better job of selling the goods.

Walmart is buying directly from growers and relying on its own distribution centers and trucking systems to get product from the field to shelf faster.  It has produce experts working with farmers in key growing regions and aims to double its sales of locally grown produce by December 2015.

Buying more local produce and cutting supply chain costs have helped Walmart keep a lid on prices, which has been key in its push to stay ahead of rivals that include traditional grocers such as Kroger Co and drugstores such as Walgreen Co. Walmart started to see sales gains in produce earlier this year after it began making improvements in produce handling.

Other chains, such as Safeway Inc and Texas’ H-E-B, have already offered guarantees on their produce, but Walmart’s push will be the biggest as it is the nation’s biggest retailer.

Walmart customers not satisfied with the produce can bring their receipt back to the store for a refund. Walmart said the shoppers will not need to bring back the produce to qualify.

To ensure that fresh produce makes it to the stores, Walmart said unnamed third-party service providers will do weekly checks in more than 3,400 of its stores selling produce. Walmart said it would benchmark itself and its competitors week over week.

Walmart also said it recently began a produce training program for 70,000 employees. Store managers, market managers and produce department managers are set to learn more about handling fruits and vegetables. Quality guides for workers will illustrate how to identify top produce, the company said.

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Hunts Point, New York City Fighting Continues with Lawsuit

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Last month the produce vendors at the Hunts Point Terminal Wholesale Market sued New York City, naming as a defendant the Business Integrity Commission, a law-enforcement agency that regulates public food markets and haulers and carters, among other industries. Known as BIC, the agency has long been a source of contention for the produce executives, who claim it oversteps its authority, according to Crain’s New York Business.

Hunts Point is the world’s largest produce wholesale market and thousands of 18 wheelers deliver fresh fruits and vegetable to the complex each week.

The lawsuit accuses BIC of defrauding the produce market and of being duplicitous because although the agency’s role is to root out corruption and remove employees who have ties to organized crime, it awarded a consulting contract several years ago to an obscure security firm whose principals had extensive criminal records. BIC required the market to pay the firm, Global Consulting, $100,000 to prepare a report on security procedures at Hunts Point, Crain’s reports.

Two years of negotiations between the city and the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market over a new 30-year lease and a revamped facility have led to a dead end and a lawsuit. The two sides agree on only one point: They are at an impasse.

The last time any meaningful discussion took place between the market and the city, which owns the land at the 113-acre site, was in January. That’s when the market, operated by 41 merchants who are part of a cooperative, rejected the city’s offer to extend its lease by 10 years while it continued to work on a deal to renovate the 46-year-old facility.

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Time Temperature Indicator is Food Safety Finalist

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DeltaTRAK will showcase the ThermoTrace Time Temperature Indicator (TTI) solution at the United Fresh show in San Diego, CA May 15th and 16th,  (booth#1508). The TTI solution has been chosen as a United Fresh Best New Food Safety Product Finalist.

DeltaTRAK’s ThermoTrace TTI solution provides customers with a cost effective way to use 2D bar codes combined with chemical label technology to monitor accumulated temperature abuse of products as they travel through the cold chain. Recently selected as a United Fresh Best New Food Safety Product Finalist, the solution is unique in the marketplace and enhances our customer’s ability to add temperature information to the PTI guidelines for documentation.

DeltaTRAK’s FlashRF Data Central is a cloud-based solution that provides a system wide view and control of locally installed FlashLink RF 2.4 GHz wireless temperature/humidity monitoring networks. FlashRF Data Central is accessed through all modern web browsers and provides an easy-to-use interface that combines topical facility maps, logger temperature graphs and hierarchical facility network structures. Produce growers, shippers, processors and retailers can quickly access temperature data at any given time giving you better visibility of produce quality.

DeltaTRAK manufactures and sells a variety of data loggers and in-transit recorders to meet your cold chain management needs. Data loggers and in-transit recorders are an important part of any cold chain management solution. The ability to record temperature during transport helps to determine if a shipment of produce should be accepted or rejected. Data recorded during storage can help determine if a temperature-sensitive commodity is being stored at its optimum temperature for freshness.

For more information please contact your DeltaTRAK representative at or by calling 800-962-6776/925-249-2250.

DeltaTRAK, Inc. is a leading innovator of Cold Chain Management and Food Safety, and Environment Monitoring Solutions.

Source: DeltaTRAK

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Hunts Point: World’s Largest Food Distribution Center

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* Located on 113 acres in the South Bronx .  Hunts Point is owned by New York City.

* Four primary rows with each being one-third of a mile long.

* 1 million square feet of interior space.

* Opened in 1967.

*Has operated as a co-op for about 20 years.

*Has elected board of directors representing about 50 produce companies on the market.

*Hunts Point employees over 3,500 workers.

*Hunts Point serves about 23 million people, mostly in the Northeast with produce from across the nation and from around the world .

*Hunts Point is the largest food distribution center in the world and also includes the Fulton Fish Market.  Revenues exceed $2 billion a year.

*Negotiations between the market and NYC over the past 10 years to build a new facility have failed.  Produce wholesalers cite needs for more and better cold storage.  Rebuilding, renovation, and moving the market to New Jesery are often topics of discussion.

*Unloading delays are commong at Hunts Point in part due to lack of cold storage. Refrigerated trailers are often used as storage facilities.  Truckers receive no detention for delayed unloading.

 *Hunts Point receives $172.5 million in cash and tax breaks from New York City.

*Hunts Point leaders are in a “fight” with the NYC’s  Business Integrity Commission, an agency created to root out organized crime in the carting industry.  The commission has overstepped its authority and is interfering with business by setting operating hours and hitting delivery and storage trucks with parking tickets, produce house operators say.  They feel the commission has over stepped its authority and its mission should only deal with organized crime.



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Ontario Food Terminal has Wide Distribution Area

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Over the years is seems there have been fewer problems with unfair claims and rejected loads at Ontario compared to Montreal.

The Ontario Food Terminal  averages buying and selling about a 1 million tons of produce and horticultural products a year, which equates to an average of 5.4 million pounds of fruits, produce and horticultural products distributed daily.

Based in Toronto, it is the fourth largest wholesale produce distribution center in North America behind New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The heaviest truck traffic at the terminal takes place on Sunday is the busiest receiving day for the terminal.  However, it is a small operation compared to Hunts Point Terminal Market in New York, with Ontario having roughly 600-850 pallets and an average of 25 tractor-trailer loads in a 12-hour period.

 The terminal has 21 warehouse tenants, 5,000 registered buyers and the farmers market area includes 550 stalls. The registered buyers are able to buy fruits and vegetables  and floral products on a wholesale basis.  These buyers then sell their goods to  independent and chain supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, foodservice  institutions among others.

Terminal wholesalers distribute product by truck throughout Ontario and as far east as the Maritime Provinces.  Ontario products also are shipped to the USA from the “U” shaped terminal tha has 21 market wholesale houses.

Since 1954, the Ontario Food Terminal has been located in the Toronto district of Etobicoke.  There is approximately 100,000 square feet of storage available in the coolers. Some of the new portions of the building have racking systems available in the cold-storage rooms.

The 40 acre Toronto site is located at 165 the Queensway between Park Lawn Road and Stephen Drive in South Etobicoke. If you are driving from the east, take the South Kingsway exit from the Westbound Gardiner Expressway to the Westbound Queensway.

If you are driving from the West, take the Eastbound Q.E.W. to the Park Lawn Road Exit and proceed North to the Queensway.

Hours of operation:

Mondays to Fridays:
4:00 am to 2:00 pm

6:00 am to 11:00 am

 The terminal’s website does not address the issues of unloading hours for truckers, or if there are gate fees, or unloading charges.

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Purple Sweet Potatoes with New Holiday Recipes

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LOS ALAMITOS, CALIFORNIA –Traditional recipes from Hanukkah’s potato Latkes to Christmas morning pancakes, have been given a fresh twist with Stokes Purple ® Sweet Potatoes, distributed by Frieda’s.

The line of new recipes was created for Frieda’s Inc., by Los Angeles bloggers Erika Penzer Kerekes of the cooking site, and vegan blogger Carolyn Scott Hamilton of The Healthy Voyager. The recipes highlight the versatility of the sweet and savory Stokes Purple®Sweet Potato.

“Frieda’s encourages produce retailers to include Purple Sweet Potatoes in their potato displays. Not only are they a nice color break, but they will create more impulse sales for the entire potato category. Their bold purple color is a wonderful addition to the holiday table,” says Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s, Inc.

Frieda’s new line of Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato recipes includes Sweet Potato Latkes, Sweet Potato Pancakes with Bacon, Sweet Potato Muffins, Sweet Potato Vegan Bisque and Vegan Mashed Potatoes.

In addition to the recipes, Frieda’s also recently created a YouTube video featuring the Stokes Purple® at

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Inc. celebrates 50 years of innovation in fresh produce. Founded in 1962 by Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s was the first wholesale produce company in the U.S. to be founded, owned and operated by a woman, and is still a family- and women-owned business today. With the mission of changing the way America eats fruits and vegetables, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 specialty items to U.S. produce departments, including Kiwifruit, Spaghetti Squash, Habanero Peppers, Black Garlic and many more. Learn more at


Twitter: @FriedasProduce



YouTube :

Source: Frieda’s Inc.

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