Marketers can find gold by adding value to specialty items in various ways, according to Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce Inc., Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s brand.
For instance, World Variety Produce recently added an organic version of its steamed and peeled baby beet product.
The product, offered in 8-ounce packs, can be served cold in salads, sliced for sandwiches and appetizers or paired with creamy cheeses, or it’s ready to add to recipes for soups and other beet recipes, according to Schueller.
World Variety Produce also offers a well-received, value-added roasted Dutch potato product by featuring a it in a a microwavable bowl, Schueller said.
Others agree that value-added and specialty items are a good pairing.
Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, Pompano Beach, Fla., said the company has seen a lot of interest in trimmed asparagus and other similar items, which he sees as being a specialty category of its own.
“There is still a percentage of folks that might consider asparagus to be a specialty item, but more and more, we’re specializing in fulfilling specific needs by taking products that may or may not be specialty and morphing it into something special,” Eagle said.
Eagle said he has seen a lot of success in the company’s microwave specialty items.
“We’ve found we have a lot of success in value-added microwave packs. It’s easy and convenient for people to grab,” he said.
In addition, these ready-to-prepare items take the guesswork out of the picture for consumers who want to try a new item but don’t know how to prepare it. The smaller pack sizes of these items attract a lot of consumers, Eagle said.
“It allows them to enjoy something new without worrying about there being a lot of waste,” Eagle said.