Thursday, August 19, 2010

A retailer's view of Uniq Fruit and other tropical fruits and vegetables

The article that I took these excerpts from is called Forbidding Fruit and talks about how the produce aisles in a grocery store have changed with a wide variety of what was once considered exotic fruits and vegetables.

Several aspects of the article are of interest. First and foremost, you hear the voice of several local produce managers (Wegeman's included) and how they see their expanded produce line. The second is a more in-depth view of the Uniq Fruit from the retail level. The Uniq Fruit section is included below. Follow the link below to read the entire article.

Excerpts from an article in the Syracuse New Times by Kevin Corbett.

The landscape is definitely changing in local produce departments as consumers become familiar with a wider variety of rare, exotic and culturally diverse fruits that are gaining in popularity with the help of television cooking shows and growing ethnic influences.

Wise consumers overlook outward appearance to try some out-of-the-mainstream produce.

One of the most unattractive looking fruits is a citrus with two appropriate names: uglifruit and Uniq Fruit.

“The Uniq Fruit is actually a cross between a grapefruit, an orange and a tangerine,” Dwyer explains. “This happened naturally. Someone didn’t do this. It happened over a course of nature, over years. It came from Jamaica and that’s pretty much where it’s grown today.”

Although it has characteristics similar to popular citruses, Uniq Fruit’s misshapen, lumpy rind puts off some customers. “With these, they started doing a marketing campaign years ago,” Boucounis contends. “But their marketing is not that great, the shippers, the country this stuff comes from. If you want to sell something, you’ve got to give samples, let people taste it. You’ve got to let them know what it is. I think they’ve only done an OK job with that. They should be doing TV commercials telling people it’s a unique time to eat uniqfruit. It’s in season for two months a year and the time is coming. Get ready.”