Some highlights worth noting from the Dole Food Co. 10-K report on fiscal year ending Jan. 1, 2011. I found interesting some specific details about the market share for Dole's banana and salad business.
Some notable details from the Dole report:
At January 1, 2011, we had approximately 37,600 full-time permanent employees and 36,700 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide. Dole is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.
On October 28, 2009, Dole completed a $446 million initial public offering of its common stock and received net proceeds of $415 million.
For the fiscal year ended January 1, 2011, Dole generated revenues of approximately $6.9 billion and operating income of approximately $194 million. At January 1, 2011 we had total assets of $4.3 billion.
The DOLE brand was introduced in 1933 and is one of the most recognized brands for fresh and packaged produce in the United States, as evidenced by Dole’s 68% unaided consumer brand awareness — more than twice that of Dole’s nearest competitor, according to a major global research company (Millward Brown).
The global market for fresh fruit and vegetables is approximately $675 billion, with just over $100 billion in the U.S.
Market Share Leader. Our most significant products hold the number 1 or number 2 positions in their respective markets. We maintain number 1 market share positions in North American bananas, North American iceberg lettuce, celery, cauliflower, and packaged fruit products, including our FRUIT BOWLS, FRUIT BOWLS in Gel, Fruit Parfaits and fruit in plastic jars.
Valuable Asset Base. We are an asset rich company, which provides significant competitive advantages to our operations and value to our investors. In addition to the DOLE trademark, we have an impressive base of tangible assets. We own 117,000 acres of farms and other land holdings, including 25,400 acres of farmland in Oahu, Hawaii and approximately 2,600 acres of peach orchards in California. We have the largest dedicated refrigerated containerized fleet in the world, which, at year end, included 13,800 refrigerated containers, 11 owned and 17 chartered vessels. We intend to return six of the chartered vessels during 2011. We own and operate over 60 ripening and distribution centers in Europe and Asia. We own and operate over one million square feet of state-of-the-art vegetable processing facilities. Additionally, our packaged food business processes its product lines in over 1.9 million square feet of owned manufacturing facilities.
Diversity of Sourcing Locations. We currently source our fresh fruits and vegetables from over 20 countries and distribute products in more than 90 countries.
We will continue to shift our product mix toward value-added food categories while maintaining and building on our key market leadership positions in commodity fruits and vegetables. For example, we have successfully increased our percentage of revenue from value-added products in our fresh vegetables and packaged foods businesses, where our packaged salad lines and FRUIT BOWL and other non-canned products now account for approximately 53% and 55% of those businesses’ respective revenues. Value-added food categories are growing at a faster rate than traditional commodity businesses and typically generate stronger margins. We plan to continue to address the growing demand for convenient and innovative products by investing in our higher margin, value-added food businesses.
Our fresh fruit business segment has four primary operating divisions: bananas, European ripening and distribution, fresh pineapples and Dole Chile. We believe that we are the industry leader in growing, sourcing, shipping and distributing consistently high-quality fresh fruit. The fresh fruit business segment represented approximately 68% of 2010 consolidated revenues.
We are one of the world’s largest producers of bananas, growing and selling approximately 153 million boxes of bananas in 2010. We sell most of our bananas under the DOLE brand. We primarily sell bananas to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. We are the number 1 brand of bananas in both the U.S. (an approximate 34% market share) and Japan (an approximate 32% market share) and the number 2 provider in Europe (an approximate 9% market share). In Latin America, we source our bananas primarily in Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru, growing on approximately 32,000 acres of company-owned farms and approximately 71,500 acres of independent producers’ farms. We ship our Latin American bananas to North America and Europe in our refrigerated and containerized shipping fleet. In Asia, we source our bananas primarily in the Philippines. Bananas accounted for approximately 40% of our fresh fruit business segment revenues in 2010.
Consistent with our strategy to focus on value-added products, we have continued to expand our focus on higher margin, niche bananas. While the traditional “green” bananas still comprise the majority of our banana sales, we have successfully introduced niche bananas (e.g., organic). We have also improved the profitability of our banana business by focusing on profitable customer relationships and markets.
While bananas are sold year round, there is a seasonal aspect to the banana business. Banana prices and volumes are typically higher in the first and second calendar quarters before the increased competition from summer fruits.
Approximately 90% of our total retail volume in North America is sold under contract. The contracts are typically one year in duration and help to insulate us from fluctuations in the banana spot market. Our principal competitors in the international banana business are Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc.
We are the number 2 global marketer of fresh pineapples, growing and selling more than 32 million boxes in 2010. We source our pineapples primarily from Dole-operated farms and independent growers in Latin America, Hawaii, the Philippines and Thailand. We produce and sell several different varieties, including the sweet yellow pineapple. We introduced the sweet yellow pineapple in 1999, and now market a substantial portion of this fruit under the DOLE TROPICAL GOLD ® label. Varieties of pineapple other than the sweet pineapples are also used in our packaged products. Our primary competitor in fresh pineapples is Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Pineapples accounted for approximately 8% of our fresh fruit business segment’s revenues in 2010.
We began our Chilean operations in 1982 and we are the largest exporter of Chilean fruit. We export grapes, apples, pears, stone fruit (e.g., peaches and plums) and kiwifruit from approximately 600 primarily leased acres and 12,400 contracted acres. The weather and geographic features of Chile are similar to those of the Western United States, with opposite seasons. Accordingly, Chile’s harvest is counter-seasonal to that in the northern hemisphere, offsetting the seasonality in our other non-tropical fresh fruit. We primarily export Chilean fruit to North America, Latin America and Europe. Our Dole Chile business division accounted for approximately 5% of our fresh fruit business segment’s revenues in 2010.
Our fresh vegetables business segment produces and markets fresh-packed and value-added vegetables. We source fresh vegetables from Dole-owned, leased and contracted farms. Our value-added products are produced in state-of-the-art processing facilities in Yuma, Arizona, Soledad, California, Springfield, Ohio and Bessemer City, North Carolina. Under arrangements with independent growers, we purchase fresh produce at the time of harvest and are generally responsible for harvesting, packing and shipping the product to our central cooling and distribution facilities. In 2010, value-added products accounted for 53% of our revenues for this segment. The fresh vegetables business segment accounted for approximately 15% of 2010 consolidated revenues.
We source, harvest, cool, distribute and market more than 20 different types of fresh and fresh-cut vegetables, including iceberg lettuce, red and green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, green onions, asparagus, snow peas, artichokes and radishes as well as fresh strawberries and raspberries. Products are grown by independent farmers under seasonal contracts, with harvesting primarily provided by us. Many of our fresh-packed vegetables are packaged in the field reducing handling and increasing product quality. We sell our fresh-packed vegetables products primarily in North America, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Western Europe. Based on our estimates, we are the largest supplier of iceberg lettuce and celery, and the third largest producer of cauliflower and strawberries in the U.S. Our primary competitors in this category include: Tanimura & Antle, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Ocean Mist Farms, the Nunes Company, Inc. and Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc.
Our value-added vegetable products include packaged salads and packaged fresh-cut vegetables. Our U.S. unit market share of the packaged salads category for DOLE branded product, as reported by IRI, was approximately 26% for the 2010 fiscal year. New product development continues to drive growth in this area. Packaged salads go through a three-step process: (i) vegetables are grown for us by farmers under seasonal contracts, (ii) vegetables and other ingredients are delivered to our plants where they are washed three times in chilled, chlorinated water, and packaged under strict cold-chain and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) standards, and (iii) salads are shipped to retailers’ warehouses for delivery to stores. Our primary competitors in packaged salads include Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (which markets Fresh Express), Ready Pac Produce, Inc. and Taylor Fresh Foods, Inc.
Our top 10 customers in 2010 accounted for approximately 31% of total revenues. No one customer accounted for more than 7% of total 2010 revenues. Our customer base is highly diversified, both geographically and in terms of product mix. Each of our segments’ largest customers accounted for no more than approximately 20% of that segment’s revenues. Our largest customers are leading global and regional mass merchandisers and supermarkets in North America, Europe and Asia.
Dole is undertaking strong measures to improve food safety. We spearheaded the industry-wide Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements in California and in Arizona. We developed and adopted enhanced Good Agricultural Practices, which include raw material testing in the fields, expanded buffer zones and increased water testing. We also use radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to track leafy greens as they move from fields to trucks and through processing.