Prepared meals zoom on growth charts

03/08/2011 01:19:43 PM
Jim Offner

“There are a lot of new innovative products that have gained distribution,” said Steve Lutz, vice president of the Perishables Group. “Costs will come down as more products and competitors enter the space.”

Some produce shippers prefer to focus on individual items, particularly in categories like potatoes.

“The only offer we have on the potatoes would be the Potato Jazz, and there are commodity items where we add value, like the 4-pound tray where you double wash and put a premium pack out there for convenience,” said Jim Richter, Overland Park, Kan.-based executive vice president of sales and marketing for Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh.

Phil Fendyan, vice president of sales and marketing for Renaissance Food Group LLC, Rancho Cordova, Calif., said his company brings a full line of diced carrots, as well as carrot sticks.

“We have dip-type items we’re selling — a full range of products,” Fendyan said.

According to a loyalty card study of consumers on the East and West coasts, shoppers with no prepared produce in their shopping baskets spent $40.64; with fruit, they spent $98.73; and with vegetables, $103.56, the study reported.


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