Monday, April 26, 2010

Tropicals inch closer to the mainstream

Excerpts from an article in The Packer special section Tropical Fruit Marketing by Abraham Mahshie published on 04/23/2010 11:23AM

Marketers of tropical produce say that while demand in ethnic markets remains strong, mainstream consumers also are gaining new interest

For many Asian and Hispanic cultures, tropical fruit and vegetables are a staple part of their diet. Even when prices rise, they will still buy the foods they are accustomed to eating, suppliers said.

Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said that a produce section must have variety and address the demographics of a particular store’s community to be successful.“

If you are not addressing every single part of your community — ethnic Hispanic, Asian or folks who are wanting to try something new and different — then you are losing those sales to someone else,” she said. “It’s not what do you carry, but how do you carry it.”Ostlund said knowing how to carry tropicals means understanding what the right mix is for your store to address the needs of its consumers. She added that Brooks works with buyers to design a specialized produce mix.