leading the way to results for fresh food marketing


It's ALL about educating consumers.

by Ron Pelger

Category Observations
  • Organic produce has grown in leaps and bounds the past 10 years, but it's starting to slow its pace. 
  • Organic is 10% of total produce sales and appears to be getting stuck at that level. Why? In my opinion and from what I know at the retail sales floor (produce departments),
    • All the concentration has been and continues to be on those consumers who want and buy organics. They already made the list. They are the 10% of sales.
    • It's time to focus on "uneducated customers". Retailers need to invest in educating the "non-buying organic shoppers" and turn them into "buying customers" of the category.
It's the same as when fresh-cut salads entered the market with a bang back in the early 1990s. We had to educate consumers about the convenience of it. We had to convince them to trust it. The retails were higher than the leafy and iceberg lettuce, but it saved consumers time in preparing. We made them aware of that and won them over.
It's all about educating consumers.
Click the image below to read Ron's OPN article.
In August, we shared an overview of FreshXperts. This month, we'd like to spotlight Sales Training for Grower/Shippers. Here are a few questions a FreshXperts advisor may ask:
  • Do you know how to communicate your brand concisely?
  • Where do you see your company five years from now?
  • When viewing your customer types/numbers in a pie chart and considering your end game goals, do you have the best customer mix?
  • What are your returns in comparison to Market Reports? low-medium-high (sample image below)
  • What percentage of your sales is devoted to marketing in your budget?
  • Do you have a budget?
  • Do you use a CRM?
With the answers to these questions, the consultant can help the Grower/Shipper set a PATH for sales training, resources, and other business development tasks to take the company to the next level.

In Season: Market Memo

September is in full swing with local produce programs in most regions underway and in their peak production.  This means slightly lower demand in the major growing regions on the west coast.  We have seen a change in freight as there is plenty of capacity on the west coast.  Markets are lower and pricing has come off from the July/August rates. The end of September will bring a change in weather and most of the local programs will wrap up with rain or shorter daylight hours.  That means winter growing regions are about to plant and get ready for production.  Now is a good time to contract for commodities and freight out of these areas.  Contracts involving freight and production in Yuma, McAllen, Mexico, and Florida are well underway.  Fresh Xperts can advise you through contracts for freight and commodities.

~Paul Grothe

Calling Produce Pros

Facebook Group: Produce Pros
FreshXperts hosts a facebook group called Produce Pros specifically to highlight the awesome merchandising skills of retail store produce professionals.
This week some awe-inspiring displays, concepts, and ideas were shared.
Interested in following or adding photos of your efforts? Visit today.

by Ron Pelger

Don't lose the customers you already have.

A department store owner in London named Gordon Selfridge originated the phrase, "The customer is always right." Those words have been tossed around in business for many years over, but do companies and employees really follow its meaning?

Many companies make golden promises, obligations, and commitments to acquire business. Needless to say, there is an ample amount of pledges made about their quality and services. Much of it is applied to lure new business. But are all those promises honored or will a company get snowballed down the road after it becomes a customer?

There have been many stories from individuals regarding their experiences with companies that became lax in standing behind promises they made prior to obtaining their business. After the deal was secured, they paid little attention to the customer. As this careless practice continued, customers were left walking out the door.

With today's costly operating challenges, customers are re-examining their association with suppliers. Customers want more attention, action, and better value for their money. If they don't get it, they will leave in an instant and get it elsewhere.

Retaining regular customers should be the top priority at your company today. You should be making it easier on your regular customers to do business with you rather than giving them reasons to check out your competitors.
A study revealed that 68 percent of disgruntled customers quit their suppliers and switch to other sources because they feel they were mistreated. Does it make sense to lose customers when they are difficult to capture in the first place?
Here are some mistakes that suppliers make with their customers:
Customers get what they see; Overcharging; Poor quality; Lack of knowledge; Boorish salesperson; "We can't"; Out of stocks.

Click the button below for the complete article.

Continue Reading Article

Upcoming events

SEPC Southern Innovations

September 12-14, Nashville
FreshXperts member Anthony Totta will be attending

PMA Fresh Summit

October 17-19, Anaheim
FreshXperts member Anthony Totta will be attending

Wally Stauffer-Mentor Extraordinaire

FreshXperts CEO, Anthony Totta, shares his thoughts regarding his mentor, Wally Stauffer.
(click image to view)
Suggested Reading
Blue Book Services, Produce with Pamela, "Import All-Stars: The search for the next big thing", August 9, 2019.
Kansas City Journal, "Hy-Vee will bring new concept to 11 Kansas City stores", September 9, 2019.
FreshXperts, "An overview of FreshXperts", August 2019.
Organic Produce Network, Ron Pelger, "Let's End Any Confusion About Organics" September 5, 2019.
FreshXperts, thePATH, "Special Wally Stauffer edition", August 2019.
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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
Ron Pelger: Retail Operations Specialist
Paul Grothe: Foodservice Procurement Specialist
Nick Pasculli: PR & Marketing
Alan Podufaly: Operations; QC
Phil Pisciotta: Local and Wholesale Distribution Specialist

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