A week before Thanksgiving, vegetable grower-shipper giant Tanimura & Antle announced, “The West Coast is officially sold out for the weekend.” In the firm’s regular supply outlook newsletter, T&A wrote:  “We knew it was going to be tough to meet Thanksgiving demand this season, but never in the history of our company have supplies been so limited.... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on seven produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The USDA announced the PACA sanctions Nov. 24. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Hong Phat Produce Inc.,... Read more
FNV, a cutting-edge brand focused on increasing consumption and sales of fruits and vegetables among teens and moms, on Nov. 20 brought together celebrities, companies, athletes and social media superstars at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University Campus in Norfolk, VA, for FNV Live, a one-of-a-kind celebration of fruits and veggies. The... Read more
Stemilt takes the Windy City by storm at BlogHer Food 2015
Family-owned-and-operated Stemilt Growers hosted a special breakfast event Nov. 6 at the BlogHer Food annual food blogging conference. Stemilt’s breakfast event was attended by 25 top food bloggers who often feature fresh fruit on their blogs through recipe creation. During the private breakfast event, Merchandising Manager Jocelyn Gerard educated bloggers... Read more
NatureSweet unveils limited-edition winter packaging
NatureSweet, a leading grower of branded premium tomatoes, has revealed its limited-edition seasonal packaging featuring a cheerful snowflake pattern and festive gold foil labels for Cherubs, Glorys and SunBursts products. The San Antonio, TX-based company’s greenhouse-growing practices enable tomatoes to be cultivated and hand picked year-round, ensuring premium... Read more
Brookshire ends potential $1B sale
Last month Brookshire Grocery Co., a Texas-based retailer that operates 152 stores, confirmed that it was looking into a potential sale. The Dallas Morning News said a deal could have been worth more than $1 billion, but on Monday, Nov. 23, the company announced that it was terminating the process of exploring a potential sale. "The company will continue to... Read more
AFM continuing a year of firsts at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
Avocados From Mexico, the top-selling avocado brand in the United States, announced its first-ever appearance in the 89th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. AFM’s float debut builds on its recent announcement to return as the first-ever fresh produce brand to advertise during the Super Bowl, solidifying its stake as a trailblazer in the... Read more
Shorter U.S. apple crop reveals challenges and organic opportunities for retailers
During National Apple Month in October, apple sales typically peak nationally, generating the highest category contribution to total produce of any month during the year. The 2015 October apple category looks very different. Retail scan data just released by Nielsen shows supermarkets are struggling to maintain year-over-year category performance in the face... Read more
NOGALES, AZ – These are good days for the Nogales fruit and vegetable industry. There are many links making this community work. The anchor is strongly embedded in Mexican soil. There, Mexican growers — and in many cases the growers’ Nogales partners — are rapidly expanding. Critically important to this is the thought and sophistication integrated into the growth.... Read more
Honeycrisp apples still on the rise at retail
Retail prices for the consumer favorite Honeycrisp apple rose in October 2015, yet the total dollars apples contributed to the produce department fell by half a percent when comparing the same four weeks in 2014. These and other category facts are illustrated in the latest Stemilt-O-Graphic following the release of October retail scan data by Nielsen Perishables... Read more
Big Y's local produce sales jump to $15 million
Throughout southern New England, local farms are a big part of the fabric of the region. Big Y World Class Markets, which operates 63 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, purchased over $15 million worth of native fruits and vegetables from local growers this past season, a $1 million increase in purchases from last year. The company also added more... Read more
Specialty citrus key for healthy consumers and produce departments
During the winter months, shoppers are looking for citrus fruits to boost their immune systems and brighten up their meals. Frieda's Specialty Produce suggests that retailers take advantage of winter specialty citrus to give their shoppers more variety and liven up produce departments. The company said the bright color and fragrance of citrus will attract shoppers... Read more
MacKenzie honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at OPMA’s annual gala
Ian MacKenzie, president of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association, who will retire at the end of this year, was honored at the association’s annual gala with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognized MacKenzie’s 40-plus years of dedication to the produce industry and the “endless hours, tremendous energy and enthusiasm” that he put forth to assist... Read more
CPAC looking at multiple  research projects, trade agreements
With a full plate of varietal data, trade negotiations and market studies, Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, said on Nov. 16, “I’ve been doing a lot of research stuff today.” Ehrlich said this is the time of year he and growers are able to meet more frequently one-on-one as well as in group settings, and he said... Read more
United Fresh to honor Rick and Tonya Antle with Lifetime Achievement Award
The United Fresh Produce Association will honor Rick & Tonya Antle with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Produce Legends Dinner during the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum, Jan. 12-14, at the La Quinta Resort and Club, in La Quinta, CA. “When you think of true produce industry icons, both Rick and Tonya Antle are at the top of that list,”... Read more
Natural Grocers expansion to continue with 23 new stores
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements, is looking to add 23 new stores in fiscal 2016. The company, founded in 1955, currently has 106 stores in 18 states. In 2015 the rapidly expanding smaller-store format specialty retailer continued its five-year annual unit growth rate... Read more
QPMA’s 30th annual Oyster Party hailed as big success
The 30th annual QPMA Oyster Party took place Nov. 6 at Le Rizz Receptions in St-Léonard, QC. The warm and festive atmosphere was an ideal place for visitors to meet customers old and new, and socialize with friends and suppliers in the QPMA, which is at the heart of Quebec’s fruit and vegetable industry. Business and pleasure with a special flavorGhislain Perron,... Read more
Albertsons names newest executive vice president
Albertsons has named Anuj Dhanda as its executive vice president and chief information officer. Dhanda will start Dec. 7. He was most recently with the Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle supermarket chain, where he served as CIO and senior vice president of digital commerce. “Anuj is an innovative, results-oriented leader who fits our culture and brings extensive... Read more
Domex kicks off fresh crop of Autumn Glory apples with consumer sweepstakes
Domex Superfresh Growers, a global leader in the growing and shipping of fresh apples, pears, cherries and apricots, will offer a multi-faceted suite of digital and in-store marketing support programs to coincide with the release of this season’s Autumn Glory apple crop. The Autumn Glory apple is grown exclusively by Domex Superfresh Growers in the Yakima and... Read more
Florida Citrus Commissioner James S. Horrisberger and Phil Tope of Tampa Juice Service Inc. were among the four men who died in Nicaragua earlier this week when their helicopter crashed into the San Juan River shortly after takeoff. Antonio Lacayo, chief executive of TicoFrut, an orange grower supplying Coke's Minute Maid brand, was also killed in the crash,... Read more