Value-added produce booms in popularity - The Packer

Value-added produce booms in popularity

03/08/2012 11:40:00 AM
Cynthia David

Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh, which markets seasoned, microwavable Potato Jazz and Zingers, has seen sales pick up in the past six months as the economy improves, said Jim Richter, executive vice president sales and marketing.

While value-added potatoes remain less than 1% of the potato category, Richter said the value-added category is exciting because it gives traditional commodities a chance to break out of the endless supply and demand curve and give customers a restaurant-quality dining experience at home for $2.99 to $3.99.

Nelia Alamo, director of sales and marketing for Oxnard, Calif.-based onion-grower Gills Onions, said 2011 was one of Gills’ best yet at retail, and she’s expecting a good 2012.

"There’s cooking going on, but it’s more assembling than cooking," she said, adding that some magazine recipes now call for fresh-cut vegetables.

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