Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 56

SPOTLIGHT

by Andy Nelson

COMMISSARIES, wholesalers
and grocery retailers continue to
work with their supplier partners on meeting ever-evolving
consumer needs for value-added salads.
Fortunately, it's a category that
continues to innovate, with new
products tapping into leading
trends rolling out on a regular basis.
The Woodlands, Texas-based
Fresh Food Group offers an
extensive assortment of chefcrafted, clean ingredient and
natural salads and vegetable
sides perfect for behind-the-glass
programs, in hot or cold presentations, or as grab-and-go solutions, said William Andersen, the
company's president and CEO.
"Our varieties range from
exotic and ancient grain salads to
time-honored family classics," he
said. "Every salad comes with its
own unique dressing designed to

Plant-based, global,
fighting shrink

Organic salad options continue
to trend up for many retailers.
56 - APRIL 2020

SP_Apr20.indb 56

Fresh Food Group is also tracking
several trends with applications
in the salad space, Andersen said:
*	 Plant-based - many of the
company's salads contain
healthy, plant-based proteins
such as quinoa and beans.
*	 Mixed applications - stores are
looking for solutions to reduce
shrink. As a result, Fresh Food
Group customers are asking for
salads that can be used in mixed
applications.

Each customer has
their own best-sellers, and
we try to accommodate
as much as possible."
Joey Granata, FreshPro
*	 Globally inspired flavors - to
delight increasingly global taste
preferences, Fresh Food Group
offers a range of bold, chefcrafted flavors, such as a Mexicoinspired street corn salad and a
pea and edamame-based Asian
salad. Mediterranean flavors consistently perform well in the fresh
salad category, Andersen said.
Fresh Food Group also boasts a
line of freshly prepared vegetable
sides and salad kits that are ideal
for mixed applications.
"The pack size is optimal for
behind the glass and self-serve
cases," Andersen said. "They can
also be mixed with in-house
proteins to create hearty graband-go salad solutions."
Innovation is key in keeping this category exciting and
relevant for millennial consumers
who crave variety, Andersen
added. Fresh Food Group's innovation team provides outstanding culinary support and recipe
development to the company's
customers, he said.

Greenhouse-grown,
local on the rise
West Caldwell, NJ-based distributor FreshPro Food Distributors
sells a variety of fresh salad
products to its retail partners, including Earthbound Farms, Fresh
Express, Satur Farms, Gotham
Greens, Ready Pac, Mann's and
Living Greens.
The company also does
private-label salad programs for
retail, said Joey Granata, director
of produce sales.
Fresh Express and Earthbound
Farms continue to be FreshPro's
top selling items, but greenhouse-grown product from
companies like Gotham Greens
and Living Greens has cut into
those sales, Granata said.
Heightened food safety
concerns have been one of the
drivers beyond the expansion in
greenhouse-grown for FreshPro.
"With the recent scares with
romaine, the greenhouse-grown
items have become more popular," Granata said. "And with

EARTHBOUND FARM, FRESH FOOD GROUP, FIVESTAR, FRESH EXPRESS

SALADS

enhance the flavor, texture and
shelf life. Our freshly prepared
vegetable sides are perfect for
serving on their own or customizing with additional ingredients
to create unique, craveable signature salads."
Quinoa-based and Greek salads remain consistent performers for the Fresh Food Group,
Andersen said.
Some of the fastest-growing
salad categories for the company
include:
*	 "Superfoods salads," especially
those that call out protein content
*	 People are turning to plant-forward proteins. Beyond Burger
and meatless Mondays have
more consumers looking for proteins from plant-based sources,
Andersen said. Fresh Food
Group salads are packed with
proteins from a large variety of
legumes and protein-rich grains
like quinoa.
*	 Coleslaw appears to be making
a comeback. Slaws also have
versatility for made-to-order
sandwich and salad programs.
*	 Overall, the behind the glass
salad section has been in decline
as younger consumers favor
grab-and-go and foodservice-style options, Andersen said.
As a result, Fresh Food Group
sees growth in items that come
in a variety of applications.

supermarketperimeter.com

4/1/2020 4:57:00 PM


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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

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