Monthly Archives: March 2011

Focus on Foodies

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The term “foodie” is thrown around amongst food lovers everywhere. The Organic Trade Association notes that consumers who shop organic are also more likely to be adventurous cooks, gourmands, or more popularly termed as “foodies.” A foodie is defined as an epicure, or a person devoted to refined food and drink. Most of us have an inner foodie that yearns for quality food that tantalize our taste buds, and true foodies know that in order to make quality cuisine, you must start with quality ingredients.

This provides opportunities for unique cross merchandising and live cooking and sampling demonstrations. There are many ways you can demonstrate bananas as an ingredient for adventurous eaters. Here are a few:

• Cross merchandise GROW bananas with steel cut oats, dried fruit and pure maple syrup for a healthy breakfast option

• Post this recipe next to the fresh fish counter and display some bananas nearby

• During the summer, display bananas next to organic smoothie ingredients or natural supplements

• Host a cooking demonstration using melted organic dark chocolate mixed with cinnamon and organic cream. Dip toothpicked GROW bananas into the chocolate and offer to customers

How Will Disaster in Japan Affect Produce?

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With the recent unfortunate earthquake and tsunami near Sendai, Japan, there have been many speculations on the effects it may have on the produce industry and future shipments to a country that imports the majority of its food and commodities. Although most industry suppliers and distributors believe there may be some effects on sales due to a weakened infrastructure or a lower demand due to low morale, the outlook is looking good and people are hopeful. In the wake of such a terrible disaster retailers may be weary of pushing sales and marketing while being respectful to a “mourning” period. Japan sheds light on the importance of timely logistics in the produce industry and how a localized disaster could impact many parts of the world. With farms and harbors so easily affected by tsunamis, storms and earthquakes, it is important to have a plan for such disasters logistically or know how to inform your customers about reasons for increases or decreases in prices and supply.

Organic Demand on the Rise

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It isn’t just the stereotypical consumer purchasing organic anymore. As families and individuals are exposed to the potential dangers of conventionally grown foods (genetically engineered crops and harmful chemicals), the demand for organic foods in supermarkets increases. Even with the current economic situation, people are willing to spend a little more on organic foods if it means they’ll be saving money in the long run and keeping their families healthy. They’re seeing a huge value in organically grown foods.
Organic farming is in some ways more complex than conventional farming. It takes at least three years to convert to USDA Organic standards if chemicals have previously been used in a property. Organics Unlimited has always been an organic grower and has worked with many small growers to help them in the conversion process. Add social responsibility to organic, and you are providing produce for your customer that satisfies them on many levels.
In 2005, Organics Unlimited introduced GROW to provide a better life for the residents in communities where they engage in banana production. While the purpose was to better the lives of the farm workers and their families, US consumers who are aware of GROW have embraced the program. Retailers who can provide bananas that are both organic and socially responsible will see an increase in sales and customer loyalty.