Big companies, big news
The company-related news for the fresh produce industry was far from all bad, however. Stories on Wal-Mart staying silent on its plans to cut food prices, including fresh produce; McDonalds featuring produce growers on TV ads and featuring blueberries on its menu; and deli chains Jason’s Deli and Jimmy John’s struggling to figure out whether or not to offer sprouts each garnered more than 1,000 hits on thepacker.com.
Jason’s and Jimmy John’s, in fact, both removed sprouts from their menus following a sprout outbreak, but, interestingly, Jimmy John’s eventually reinstated them.
Other compelling companies or company combinations in the fresh produce news included:
- Naturesweet suing Mastronardi Produce in a trademark dispute.
- Del Monte. Jurors to decide Del Monte dispute.
- Wendy’s and Smashburger. Burger giants join avocado menu craze.
- Earthbound Farm, which launched a fruit division.
- Retailer Market 52, which filed for bankruptcy.
- Campbells, which bought Bolthouse Farms.
We’ll reveal the other, non-company-related top news stories for 2012 in a few weeks, but, to give you a sneak preview, I’ll say that while many of the most-viewed stories on our website ranked among what I would consider the top news stories of the year, some surprises did emerge.
For instance, we extensively covered the proposed merger between produce industry organizations Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association, but none of those stories cracked the Top 10 most-viewed stories overall — and didn’t even really come close. In fact, none of those stories made the Top 40.
The Delta bankruptcy; multimillion PACA case; cantaloupe outbreak; East Coast Brokers & Packers quitting tomatoes; and mango recall all made the overall Top 10 most-viewed list, in that order.
Weather-related stories also made huge Web waves, with our breaking-news story about hail hitting California stone fruit getting the most page views of any story we published online in 2012 — a whopping 4,013 page views, as of the first week of December.