“We introduced it in response to customer requests,” he said.
“We did some trials, and felt it was a complementary item.”
In 2011, Princeton, Fla.-based New Limeco LLC ramped up production of its ginger, chayote squash and other Hispanic root vegetables from Central America, said Eddie Caram, the company’s general manager.
In the past, the company typically brought in one container of root vegetables a week. Now, Caram said, it’s more often two.
“In the past six months we’ve seen an increase, with more chains” establishing root vegetable programs with New Limeco, Caram said.
Plantation, Fla.-based Fresh Quest Inc. imports Central American vegetables as a complement to its melon program, the company’s mainstay, said Lou Kertesz, vice president of sales.
“It’s not something we mass produce,” he said.
“We try to find a gap for certain commodities, see if we can fill a void. It’s a source of diversity for us.”
This winter, Fresh Quest plans to bring in greenhouse-grown French beans from Guatemala, herbs from Guatemala and okra from Honduras, Kertesz said.
The company’s greenhouse-grown bean deal is a year-round program.