Magic Sun expands year-round offerings, organic varieties meet market demands

magicThe fresh produce market, like all grocery categories, is experiencing new challenges relating to the COVID-19 virus. Significant changes with restaurant and foodservice sectors required a balancing act for growers and shippers to find viable options for seasonal volume. The “work from home model” has also created a new market dynamic with consumers increasing their purchases of fresh produce on both conventional and organic varieties.

Alejandro Santander, vice president of sales and operations with Globalmex International and its Magic Sun-branded hothouse tomatoes, said there are always challenges in the ag business and being flexible and resourceful are keys to responding to market challenges.

“This is a totally unprecedented time, which requires new approaches to keep pace with changing buying patterns. We allocate our greenhouse space strategically as we plan and prepare for market opportunities. For our new growing season, which began in July, we changed the mix of varieties to respond to the shifting demands for conventional and organic lines,” said Santander.

As a result of the ongoing market review and planning process, Magic Sun adjusted priorities and expanded its offering of year-round tomato varieties to include Beefsteak, cocktail, grape and tomatoes on the vine. “This helps our retail partners with their sourcing, merchandising and seasonal promotional planning,” said Santander

CEICKOR University, a 17-acre campus and greenhouse located in Querétaro, México, is one of the keys to Magic Sun’s success with its planning process and resource allocation. CEICKOR plays a vital role in production, propagation, and R&D at Magic Sun. The University has developed innovative growing protocols and leveraged new technology to help the Magic Sun team maximize production and enhance quality on conventional and organic tomato varieties.

Tony Otto, Magic Sun sales manager, indicated that one of Magic Sun’s key competencies is the ability to offer consistent volume with the organic program that began in 2015. While there has been a general increase in the overall produce category sales in the second quarter, organics have continued to show an increased rate of growth.

“Magic Sun is well positioned for the ongoing demand for organics and we have now dedicated 25 percent of our total greenhouse volume to organic varieties, which now includes tomatoes on the vine in bulk, mesh and poly bags; Beefsteak bulk and two pack clamshells; cocktail clamshells; and grape clamshells.

“Consumers are looking for a value buy and something they can grab quickly at the store. We’ve seen strong trends on bags and clamshell packs of both conventional and organic varieties that are very popular with online customer orders. These packs also facilitate quick work for the staff filling orders from the in-store shopping services,” said Otto.

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