Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 38

Produce: Imported fruits & vegetables

Competition benefits consumers
Another example of how imports have transformed fresh
produce availability in the U.S. is dragon fruit, Schueller
says. Fifteen years ago, dragon fruit was a relative rarity
in the U.S. market. Domestic product from California and
Florida supplied the market for only a few months out of
the year.
Then Vietnam, Nicaragua and other countries entered
the market. Not only did dragon fruit imports fill holes
in the market domestic production couldn't fill, they
also competed head-to-head at times with fruit from
California and Florida.
"If domestic fruit is expensive, it's still a competitive market, thanks to Vietnam and other countries,"
Schueller says.
The story of another specialty fruit, passion fruit, illustrates how technological leaps can help imports provide
U.S. retailers with year-round suppliers of high-quality
produce.
In the past, Schueller says, Melissa's sourced passion fruit from California in the summer and fall and
from New Zealand later beginning in late winter or
early spring.
Still, there were significant gaps in supply. New production from Florida has helped fill them, but just as, if
not more, important has been the advent of hothouse
passion fruit in New Zealand, which has significantly
expanded production from that country.
"It's almost year-round now - we carry passion fruit
ten months out of the year," Schueller says.
One of the biggest produce commodities of them all,
grapes, also has reaped huge rewards from the extension of programs to include imported fruit.
For a long time, the fresh grape deal in the U.S. meant
California product, available from about June to early
September. The development of new early and late season varieties has since expanded the California season
from May to December.
That has created a competitive environment for late
fall and early winter, when Chilean grapes are available
for shipment to the U.S. if needed.
And when domestic grapes do finally wind down for
the season, not only Chile but also Peru and Mexico
are there to meet the need, ensuring retailers access to
affordable, high-quality grapes year-round.

Mexico is
the biggest
exporter
of fresh
produce to
the U.S.
by far,
responsible
for nearly
70% of our
vegetable
imports
and almost
40% of fruit
imports.
Source: USDA

Safe, on-time deliveries
To help ensure that imported product makes it to the
U.S. with its quality intact, proper temperature management and the best handling practices possible are
extremely important, Michel says.
"Since mangos are a tropical fruit, it's essential to
maintain shipping and storage temperatures in the range
of 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 12 degrees Celsius),

Blueberries, once
seasonal, are
now a year-round
commodity in
the U.S. thanks
to imports.

38 - DECEMBER 2019

www.supermarketperimeter.com

depending on the varieties," he says. "Lower temperatures can injure mangos and cause flavor loss, ripening
inhibition, and shorter shelf-life."
Packaging is also crucial. In 2020, mango shippers
will begin using a new 5-down common footprint box,
whose benefits include a stronger design, improved
pallet stability, increased ventilation for cooling and
ripening purposes, better durability in high-humidity
environments and reduction of overall shipping costs.
"Retailers who have seen the new box are excited and
support this change," Michel says.

Mexico's starring role...
Every morning, Lance Jungmeyer, president of the
Nogales, Arizona-based Fresh Produce Association of
the Americas, which represents growers and importers
of Mexican fruits and vegetables, eats an assortment of
fresh berries as part of his breakfast.
A couple of decades ago, that would have been
impossible. The difference, Jungmeyer says, is imports.
"Twenty or 25 years ago, an item like blueberries or
raspberries wasn't always in the store," he says.
When domestic product was in season, retailers might
be able to promote blueberries or raspberries four or five
times a year. Now, with year-round availability thanks to
production in Mexico, Chile and other countries, retailers
can promote berries year-round: blueberries one week,
blackberries the next, followed by raspberries and
strawberries.
"That shows value to consumers and it helps retailers
keep departments exciting and create pull," he says.
"Imports really opened up retailers to a world where they
don't have to plan all promotions around seasons."
When you rely on seasonal promotions, you're counting on Mother Nature to deliver your product at the
precise time you've planned your ad. If it's off by just a
week, your ad won't match up to your influx of product.
"Retailers now have a lot more control," Jungmeyer says.
In about the last quarter-century, U.S. per-capita
consumption of fresh produce has grown 12 to about 21
pounds annually. That's a big increase, Jungmeyer says,
and it wouldn't have been possible without imports.


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Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019
Editor's Note - Planting their flag
Contents
The Wire - Walmart revamping produce departments
Grocery fresh food sales soar
Consumers more interested in sustainability
Plant power
GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES
TRENDING UP
DISPLAY CASE 101
Bakery - Brownies
Deli - Ethnic trends
GLOBAL CHEESES MOVING MAINSTREAM
Meat & Poultry - Nutrition labeling
Value-added
PORK: A VALUE-ADDED STAR
Produce - Imported fruits & vegetables
NEW VARIETIES, NEW MARKETS
Imported fruit: a winter forecast
PEPPERS
FRESH LOBSTER: FROM FOODSERVICE TO RETAIL
Food safety - Employee wellness
Commissary Insider - PEELERS
SPOTLIGHT - ENTREES
RESTAURANT ENTRÉE SALADS INSPIRE NEW FRESH EXPRESS LINE
Product Showcase
Advertisers
Fresh Takes
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Editor's Note - Planting their flag
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Contents
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Consumers more interested in sustainability
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Plant power
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - TRENDING UP
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - DISPLAY CASE 101
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 21
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Bakery - Brownies
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 23
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 24
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 25
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Deli - Ethnic trends
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - GLOBAL CHEESES MOVING MAINSTREAM
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 28
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 29
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Meat & Poultry - Nutrition labeling
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 31
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Value-added
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - PORK: A VALUE-ADDED STAR
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 34
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 35
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Produce - Imported fruits & vegetables
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - NEW VARIETIES, NEW MARKETS
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 38
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Imported fruit: a winter forecast
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - PEPPERS
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 41
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 42
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 43
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - FRESH LOBSTER: FROM FOODSERVICE TO RETAIL
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 45
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Food safety - Employee wellness
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 47
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 48
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Commissary Insider - PEELERS
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 50
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 51
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - SPOTLIGHT - ENTREES
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - RESTAURANT ENTRÉE SALADS INSPIRE NEW FRESH EXPRESS LINE
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 54
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 55
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Product Showcase
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Advertisers
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - Fresh Takes
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 59
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2019 - 60
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