At least one buyer is already planning on growing sales because of the expanded program, according to an April 28 news release from Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana.
“This expansion will help grow our tropicals program as a category and this growth in sales volume will add to our produce department’s overall annual sales revenue,” Juan Monsalve, national produce buyer for C&S Wholesale Grocers, said in the Turbana news release.
Turbana officials said in their release that ethnic consumers shop more frequently than other consumers and are the fastest growing consumer segment in the U.S. Turbana wants to help retail partners turn stores into one-stop shops for tropical fruits and vegetables, according to the release.
Those observations are supported by research results from The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2014 report, which shows 43% of Asian shoppers buying fresh produce at least five times a month — and some every day — while Hispanics, blacks and whites are more likely to shop for fresh produce only two to three times a month. Fresh Trends 2014 also showed whites are least likely to buy tropicals such as mangoes and papayas.
The new commodities now offered by Turbana, according to the release, are: Groovy Coconut, aji cachucha, avocado, ginger, habanero pepper, malanga amarilla and sour orange.
“Turbana’s Tropicals program adds significant value to retailers as it provides them the opportunity to reach out to a very specific and substantial consumer market, while introducing mainstream consumers to ethnic tropicals,” Ricardo Echeverri, vice president, said in the news release.
Turbana can provide retailers with information about ethnic demographics within a particular store’s reach and what commodities are perferred by those groups, according to the release. The company also offers retailers help with special ordering around ethnic holidays to capitalize on sales potential.
Retailers can customize their orders to meet specific needs of individual stores, according to the release.
“I have been impressed with both the wide variety of items and the high quality of the products we have been receiving,” Paul Bromwich, fresh produce buyer for C&S Wholesale Grocers, said in the release.
Turbana’s full tropicals line is currently offered throughout the Northeast at retailers such as Wakefern and Supervalu. There are plans to soon extend to the South, Midwest and West Coast.