Beyond convenience and flexibility, quality also motivates the regional shift.
“A lot of items lend themselves to source-based processing,” said Swartwout, citing lettuce and carrots as two examples.
“But the U.S. food distribution chain is so elongated compared to other parts of the world that often flavor or quality may get lost in the shuffle a bit with the extended shelf life.”
“Now some of that is getting pushed back down to the regional or even the local level,” said Swartwout, another member of the Fresh-Cut Processor Board.
“And people want more just-in-time fresh-cut capabilities from local and regional suppliers.”