Eat-at-home trend benefits fresh produce at retail in Ohio

10/31/2011 11:36:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

“They set the bar pretty high,” he said.

Giant Eagle also operates Giant Eagle supermarkets and Giant Eagle GetGo convenience stores throughout Ohio.

Produce Packaging processes fresh-cut produce for retailers, Fritz said.

Some of its more popular items are vegetable trays and 8-ounce fruit cups. Produce Packaging also repacks tomatoes, pears, peppers and other fresh produce in retail packs.

About half of the company’s business is with retailer buyers and the other half is with foodservice buyers, Fritz said.

This summer, Produce Packaging installed a new onion peeler that will allow it to handle a larger volume of peeled and fresh-cut onions.

The peeler also enables the company to produce onions at lower cost, and it can now offer contract pricing on peeled and fresh-cut onions, Fritz said.

DNO, which has offered fresh-cut items for about 20 years, is working to expand its fresh-cut business to retailer buyers..

It currently sells its FreshHealth Kids-brand fresh-cut fruit in single-serve packs to schools. It also supplies fresh-cut produce to independent grocers, convenience stores and commissaries, said Alex DiNovo, vice president.

Slowly, but surely, Ohio retailers are buying more fresh-cut produce from DNO, Tony DiNovo said.

“It’s a slow progression,” he said.

A March report commissioned by the Columbus-based Ohio Grocers Association said there are 7,951 retail grocery locations in Ohio. That includes neighborhood markets and national supermarket chains, as well as fruit and vegetable markets, beverage stores and bakeries, but not drugstores or convenience marts.


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