Produce markets across Texas in a state of flux

01/13/2012 11:30:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

To make the drop-off process more efficient, Ben E. Keith implemented an order scanning system in its trucks.

About 80% of the company’s fleet has it, Sewell said.

“It’s helped us reduce delivery times and increase order accuracy a great deal,” he said.

Retail diversification

South-central Texas is dominated by San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co., but several companies are expanding southward from Dallas-Fort Worth.

Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi Inc. plans to open its first Houston location in the suburb of Katy, and Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s plans to open a handful of Texas stores this year.

Even Austin-based Whole Foods Market Inc., plans some hometown expansion, doubling its number of stores in the Austin area to four.

Minneapolis-based Target Stores Inc. also is a company to watch. Target did extensive marketing for its fresh produce in Dallas and Austin in 2011, including a radio jingle by Austin-based artist Alyse Black.

Norman Scott, retail salesman for Chefs’ Produce, said he’s seeing expansion of Target’s fresh produce program in Houston.

“Target is a retailer to watch in the Houston area,” he said. “It looks like they’re making a go of it here. There’s not a lot of items in produce, but it’s such a draw at those stores.”

Scott said Cincinnati-based Kroger and HEB still have a strong presence in Houston.

“They’re both very powerful in this market,” he said.


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Chris Jones    
Chicago  |  January, 17, 2012 at 07:21 AM

This Brent Erenwert guy must be the same guy who created Produce Universe has anyone seen what he created its genius

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