United Fresh aims for more produce in C-stores - The Packer

United Fresh aims for more produce in C-stores

06/19/2014 05:13:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Chiquita Brands International introduced “Chiquita to Go” in 2006. The single bananas targeted sales at convenience stores and other non-traditional outlets.United Fresh Produce Association hopes a new partnership will boost fresh produce sales in convenience stores.

Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh announced its partnership with the National Association of Convenience Stores June 19, according to a United Fresh news release.

The partnership is designed to help convenience store owners develop their own fresh produce supply chains and in-store management, according to the release.

Produce sales at convenience stores rose 16.7% to $328 million in 2013, more than double the growth rate of produce in all channels. There are more than 151,000 convenience stores in the U.S.

“The business opportunities for convenience stores that manage fresh produce well are vast,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “Fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, ready-to-eat meals and snack products, and even whole commodities can deliver attractive margins and new customer segments to retailers.”

Henry Armour, the National Association of Convenience Stores’ president and CEO, said convenience stores are a “tremendously underdeveloped source of produce sales.”

The groups met in Chicago the week of June 9 during United Fresh’s annual convention. They discussed challenges in supply chain management, in-store handling and merchandising and other barriers to produce for convenience retailers.

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