“What you do in growing and servicing people with fruits and vegetables is amazing,” he said. “You can give yourselves a pat on the back for helping people eat more healthily. You’re like the offensive linemen of our economy. We couldn’t do what we do without you.”
Feb. 28 sessions covered how suppliers can make the most from customer meetings and how digital is affecting produce shopping trends.
“For my suppliers, it’s quality first and I need you to deliver,” said Teri Miller, produce category manager for Food Lion LLC, Salisbury, N.C., said in one session. “ ... It’s not about what you can do to get into my warehouse but what we’re going to do to sell more produce.”
John Avola, founder and managing partner of Memphis, Tenn.-based Idea Garden Marketing, discussed new consumer habits and how up to 80% of Gen-Y and 75% of Gen-X members use mobile devices for shopping-related activities.
“Consumers don’t shop in a linear fashion anymore,” Avola said. “All digital consumers are hyperconnected and are always connected. They want to go beyond just purchasing that product. They want to be known, want to be recognized and given the information they need at that time.”