leading the way to results for fresh food marketing

Taking Time to Nurture Relationships as You  Start the New Year

By Jennifer Lawson
The start of a new calendar year is the perfect time to connect with your customers and clients. Many are soliciting bids and working on budgets. As you reach out, find a way to connect to them that brings value to them. Of course, you want to take the opportunity to remind your contacts of your business, promote your services, and spotlight new or seasonal products but find a way to bring the promotion to their level--connect with the customer don't just make another advertisement. Here are some simple ways to connect.
Email. A simple ecard lets the customer/client know you are thinking of them. Remind them of your range of services during this planning time for the upcoming year. Tips: Stand out--make it attractive; use an engaging and creative subject line; use email services like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.
Engage with Social Media. Engage your social media audience. Consider a poll, contest, give-a-way, or submission of a tip, story, or design. Get them involved.
Promote. Don't be afraid to promote your organization or services. Show how you can meet a need--maybe even a need that has been overlooked. Remember customers may be facing:
  • insurance changes
  • open vendor bidding
  • budget planning
  • staffing changes
  • end-of-year donations or unexpected income
  • set-backs
Remember. Think of your Customers. Many organizations work so hard to gain new customers that they take loyal customers for granted.
  • Reward loyal customers/clients
  • Add value to your email with exclusive deals, coupons, promotions, scheduling, gifts
  • Remember upcoming events--MLK, Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, tradeshows
Inspire. Use your email and social media to provide inspiration for office organization or new personal habits for the new year. Share inspirational posts and blogs. Cheer them on to success.


by Ron Pelger

What lies ahead for your company in 2019?

It’s amazing how professional sports teams can become so highly victorious one year and fall flat on their backs the next. It’s a whole lot easier becoming number one than to remain number one.
The produce industry is a lot like any sport. Every company works hard to build a winning team and reach a top recognizable spot in the industry. But what lies over the horizon after success for all the victorious champions?

As this year rapidly moves forward, a number of companies will probably be enjoying satisfactory results from the previous year. In spite of those successes, this year may be even more challenging than the last. After all, how many newly invented packaged salads can the stores handle? What new competitor will open a store in town? Will consumers eat more potatoes or grapes than they did last year?
If your company achieved suitable progress and is one of the successful businesses for 2018, what will it be like at the end of 2019? After celebrating your victory from last year, be especially careful not to merely take this year for granted.
Any company can go from champ to chump inside of a short time by simply becoming complacent. It could happen to any company as competition continues to use every means of fighting for a bigger piece of the sales pie.
In order to sustain positive growth, 

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In Season: Jan/Feb Market Memo

by Paul Grothe
We have entered 2019 and the produce markets are adjusting to winter weather. Most items are active price wise and short on supplies. The cold temperatures in the West have challenged growers at all levels from the northern areas of Imperial Valley and the Yuma district all the way into Mexico. Cooler and wetter than normal weather has already hit California, Arizona, and Mexico and are forecasted to continue over the next several weeks. These weather patterns will challenge supplies and keep pricing strong for most products over the next four to six weeks.
It is a great time of year to be involved promoting fruits and vegetables as it is the most popular time for consumers to eat healthy after the New Year.

Promote processed lettuce items and toppings for salads like tomatoes, apples, tangerines and spring mixes. Of course, avocados are also a good item to be promoting. Not only are they good for salad toppings but over the next few weeks, leading up to the Super Bowl, demand for avocados increase. One of the biggest consumption days for avocados is Super Bowl Sunday. This year, supplies are good, and pricing should be aggressive to promote compared to the last few years.

At the end of January is a good time to focus on promoting for Chinese New Year. You can feature napa cabbage, Bok Choy and peppers. This year the Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 5th.
We will see the markets continue at high point pricing and short supplies for the rest of January. Quality has been challenging as most items will have some frost damage along with rain damage. Look for minor color defects and occasional small amounts of mildew caused by frost and rain.

Organic Trade is Changing in the EU…Are You Ready?

On May 22ndthe European Council adopted new rules for organic production and labeling of organic products. One of the changes requires that existing trade arrangements be exchanged with trade agreements for all countries doing business with the EU. The new regulation will go into effect January 1st, 2021.

If you are currently exporting to or importing from the EU, it’s important to get engaged in the process now before the rules affect your business.

Organic Trails

by Melody Meyer
A monthly segment regarding all things Organic.

Click to visit Melody's blog, Organic Matters Original post dated July 2018.
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Ask the Xpert

This month the Xpert asks you to take 3 minutes to complete a survey regarding retail pricing.
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Thank You for participating.

Upcoming events

February 14-16, 2019
Portland, Oregon

Suggested Reading

Business News Daily, Andrew Martins, How to Boost Post-Holiday Sales
Linked In, Meindert van Wensen, 5 Tips to Stay Close When Travelling

FreshXperts is a consortium of consultants in the fresh industry. 
Experts in all aspects of the fresh industry–from Farm to Fork
Growers - Retailers - Distributors
Logistics - Foodservice -
Start Ups & New Ventures

For more information about our member FreshXperts, visit our team page
Anthony Totta: CEO; Business and Brand Development Specialist
Tim Vaux: Executive Leadership Specialist
Andrew Southwood: Project Management Specialist
Eric Bosveld: M&A; Agro-Economics Specialist
Ron Pelger: Retail Operations Specialist
Jennifer Lawson: Administration, Information Design
Paul Grothe: Foodservice Procurement Specialist
Nick Pasculli: PR & Marketing

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