leading the way to results for fresh food marketing

Bring to the Table

Something Old. Something New. Something Fresh.

By Jennifer Lawson
It’s time to think…Thanksgiving. Many of you are in the midst of displays and ads focused on the upcoming American Thanksgiving holiday. The holiday centers around food and traditions. Our tables are filled with dishes made using recipes from yesteryear passed down through the generations. I’ve collected our family recipes and compiled them into a digital/print cookbook and these recipes are precious to me. While I look forward to these “comfort foods” and memories, I think it is important that we not be afraid to create new traditions for those who join us at our table and will remember us when we are gone.

Why do we eat these “Thanksgiving” foods? Whether you go back a few generations or all the way back to the Pilgrims, much of the holiday menu is centered around the foods most recently harvested—corn, potatoes, squash, and root vegetables.  Even just a few generations ago, our city-dwelling ancestors would not have been able to imagine the cornucopia of fresh produce—local, cross-country, international, and exotic—now abundant at our local markets.

As we prepare foods for our holiday menu, let’s keep dishes that remind to be thankful for the harvests and bounty of the past but let’s also add a dish to remind us to be grateful for the abundance of foods we have access to today—harvests of our favorite “summer” foods from other parts of the world which extend their “season” here at home, as well as citrus, exotic fruits, and new recipes for all.

I’ve searched around the Internet a bit to find some links to recipes you might want to try this holiday season. Don’t forget the freshness of a salad or slaw—these pair well with a leftover turkey or ham sandwich!
Click the button below for recipe links--Roasted Figs and Prosciutto, Apple Cranberry and Almond Slaw, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans/Cranberries, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Tangerine, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad, and Bell Pepper Slaw.
Continue to Recipes

by Ron Pelger

Don't take making business mistakes too lightly

As we all know, there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. Each day seems to bring more challenges as the clock keeps ticking away. Due to time constraints and stressful deadlines, many people wind up developing the “hurry-up syndrome” and in the process, make numerous mistakes. But can we ill-afford to make damaging blunders in our business these days?

Company decision-making executives, especially in produce, really need to be thinking it through before going out and doing something that could cost them to damage the business.

There are only two types of mistakes: harmless mistakes and costly mistakes. The costly mistakes could bring down a company.

Avoid making these bad produce business mistakes:

  • Cutting marketing dollars
  • Depend on customer loyalty
  • Having a lousy business plan
  • Poor analytics 
  • Ignoring inventory assets
  • Relying on word of mouth
  • Sell features galore
  • Allow costs to get out of control
  • Do what your competitors do
  • Relying on gut feelings to make decisions
  • Overestimating sales and underestimating costs
  • Spending on new customers
  • Use tape and glue strategies on slumping sales 

 Produce is a very tough business today and is wide open to many tense challenges. There are a lot of barbed wire obstacles that lie in wait.  Companies must stick to their own game plan and be at their highest level of ability every minute.
A former professional golfer once said, “The little white ball is always staring at you, daring you to make a mistake.

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In Season: Market Memo

November Update 11-5-19

With Thanksgiving approaching at the end of the month, we are in our seasonal transition period. Growers will be moving from the traditional summertime growing regions to our winter areas further south. As this transition takes place, Mexico and Florida also start-up production for the winter. Over the next several weeks you will see active markets with higher pricing and supplies on the downward trend.

The beginning of the vegetable season out of Yuma, Arizona is delayed due to weather. Central Mexico has also had weather challenges and slightly delayed.

Promote the traditional Thanksgiving feast items related to stuffing and soups.  Expect pricing to remain active until the Holiday is past us.

Transportation has been less challenging as we enter the winter months. However, truck demand will increase on all items for the Holidays so expect truck rates to increase starting in the middle of November. 

Fresh Xperts can help you with your supply or logistic challenges.
~Paul Grothe

Xpert Update

Phil Pisciotta
Phil is one of our newer members. His family has worked in various areas of the produce industry for several generations. Phil and his wife recently moved to Northwest Arkansas to join Oak Groke Management Inc.working with and consulting for The Food Conservancy, a nonprofit corporation.

The Food Conservancy's mission is to assist in the preservation of farmland, the cultivation of growers, producers and manufacturers, develop more market, and provide logistics to handle the produce. By achieving these goals, they expect better viability and lifestyle to keep and attract young farmers on/in the farm business.

Phil is also available to assist FreshXperts clients as a consultant focusing on local and wholesale distribution.
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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

Blue Book
Thanks for the images in this month's newsletter go to:, Jennifer Lawson Nathan Cowley
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