leading the way to results for fresh food marketing

In this issue we focus on shrink.
FreshXpert Anthony Totta shared in the Supermarket Perimeter his thoughts on preventing shrink.
Click image above to view the article.

by Ron Pelger
The incredible changing customer

Extensive company changes are in the works today. In many cases, management is being forced to make modifications within their company structure and marketing programs. Along with these transformations comes new management responsibilities and a stronger need to be more creative and aggressive in operating.  
Smarter companies these days are starting to reshape their structures and programs. They realize that their customers are compelling them to do so since the competition has grown more intense than ever before. Customers at every level have a much greater selection of companies in which to do business. It is a buyers advantage.
Today is different. The practice of doing business with customers has dramatically changed. They want to be recognized and want solid intelligent answers to their questions without wasting time. The job of everyone is to meet those needs. And if those needs are shoved aside, goodbye customers and goodbye sales.
The fact of the matter is that companies should not just observe and satisfy internal needs as a first priority.  All operating levels have to be balanced and performed simultaneously keeping sales and the customer at the forefront.
This point should apply to all levels of the produce industry, not just retail. From farms to suppliers, customer focus should never be lacking. If it is, then someone else will sneak in and seize that business.
Suppliers cannot simply assume that having done business with a retailer for the past 20 years or so is always firm in cement. Eventually that cement can crack.
Retailers are always offered attractive product and program deals from other suppliers. In time, one of those programs will be a very tempting opportunity to turn down for a company's bottom line profit.
Retailers are also vulnerable to competitors enticing their customers over to them with programs that are more inviting. The shoppers of today have a far greater selection of food outlets to choose from in spending their money.  
Another vital area that could lure you away from paying attention to all your customers is to concentrate profusely on only the competition. Watching, copying, and trying to keep pace with your competition while you take your eyes off the customer will always put you at risk of slowing your sales down. When this happens, you could most likely wind up last in running the race.
In order to build your company growth in this fast-paced business world today, you better work on your key objectives without losing a grip on customers. Understand all you can about the new no-nonsense customer before it's too late. They’re dealing the cards today and you better make an effort to get the winning hand.

Upcoming events

Southern Exposure

February 27-29, Tampa
FreshXpert Anthony Totta will be attending

PMA Fresh Connections

March 25-26, Philadelphia
FreshXpert Anthony Totta will be attending

Ask the Xpert

Q: What is Produce Shrink? 
A: Shrink is the loss or waste of any produce you purchase that cannot be sold.
Shrink may be in harvesting, processing, transportation, warehousing, or at the retail level. It can occur in the trimming process, products that spoil by lack of selling, outdated products, handling damage, and by aging. Shrink is one of the leading causes of lost sales and profits.
Understanding how to reduce and manage shrink can significantly help improve profit margins.
We here at FreshXperts have the experience and expertise to help companies reduce shrink waste and put the savings onto your bottom-line net profit.
Training employees about proper processing and handling practices can help to significantly reduce shrink. However, constant personnel turnover, Insufficient training, lack of commitment to shrink programs, and a failure to take action are barriers to controlling product waste losses.
Breakdown of Produce Shrink %
Inefficient Ordering 39%
Distressed Product 6%
Poor Paperwork Maintenance 8%
Front End Errors (Systems, cashier errors, etc.) 21%
Improper Handling and Operating (Rotation, culling, merchandising, retails, workmanship, etc.) 26%
"Mr. Shrink" image has been used with permission and is copyrighted by Ron Pelger.

In Season: Market Memo

February Update 2-4-20

As we enter February growers are still challenged with cold temperatures in the Yuma and Imperial districts. We are seeing lettuce ice until approximately 10-11 am thus giving us shorter harvest times. The markets are not as active as we saw in January, but most leafy green markets are still higher than normal. Continuing mild temperatures will cause production to end earlier than expected. We will see a gap between Yuma and Salinas and expect pricing to rise.

In Mexico, more rain is expected in the Culiacan area and production has been a little behind. We expect weather to improve and be back to normal production by mid-February. Expect the markets out of Nogales and McAllen to come down once production is back to normal.
The logistics market out of most areas is steady and there still seems to be plenty of trucks. We expect February to remain steady through the entire month with available single drivers as well as teams out of most areas.
~Paul Grothe

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
Eric Bosveld: M&A; Agro-Economics Specialist
Phil Pisciotta: Local and Wholesale Distribution Specialist
Ron Pelger: Retail Operations Specialist
Jennifer Lawson: Administration, Information Design
Paul Grothe: Foodservice Procurement Specialist
Nick Pasculli: PR & Marketing
Alan Podufaly: Operations; QC
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