Greg Sagan Reflects On Giorgio Fresh's Past Innovations and Those To Come
TEMPLE, PA - As a vegetarian, there’s no produce item I seem to celebrate more than the mighty mushroom. Not only are the fungi and its countless varieties taking the top spot as the go-to meat alternative, they are also guiding culinary influencers to new inspirations and innovations that are locking mushrooms as a leader in food fads and a must-have item in shoppers’ carts—a feat Giorgio Fresh has worked to achieve for the last 90 years.
For almost a century now, the third-generation family-owned company has operated as a pioneer for the category and has invited more consumers to celebrate the versatility and deliciousness of mushrooms. I spoke with Greg Sagan, EVP Sales and Marketing, to learn more about what new and exciting innovations Giorgio Fresh has in the works to keep mushrooms a triumph in and out of the produce industry.
“We’ve long been known for innovation in the industry, and we have worked hard to bring innovation straight to the consumer. In the past year, we launched BLENDABELLA (a portabella tapenade) and Savory Wild (our portabella jerky) both of which have been received well by consumers and show that we continue to stay on trend and on top of product development,” Greg tells me.
Giorgio began in 1928 when Pietro Giorgio built his first mushroom houses in Temple, Pennsylvania, thus beginning a proud and long-standing tradition of growing high-quality mushrooms. This tradition of excellence has continued decade after decade, increasing tenfold with every addition of canneries and modern facilities.
“It is our obsession with detail that has led us to set the industry standard for quality and reliability. Today, as we continue to grow, we are investing considerable time and energy into the innovative management philosophy called Kaizen. This program stresses the value of seeking ‘continuous improvement’ in everything we undertake—from growing and processing to service and delivery,” Greg explains.
This holiday season has already been busier than ever for the mushroom provider, which released new packaging for all of its fresh mushrooms—including whites, browns/portabellas, exotic, and organic—as well as debuted a new line of stuffed mushrooms.
“Consumers are at the core of everything we do, and when it came time to refresh our brand, we really thought hard about our consumers and what they want, which is simplicity. As a result, our labels have a cleaner look, and we’re hoping this clarity drives shoppers to our website for recipes,” Greg says.
Specifically, Giorgio streamlined the consumer shopping experience by color-coding each segment to help them stand out on store shelves and by making names more prominent on the labels so that they are clear and easy to see. Throughout the holidays and beyond, Giorgio is expanding its recipe arsenal with new mushroom-centric recipes on their website, which is also featured on the new packaging.
And, as we cozy up to the winter months and all the entertaining they bring, Giorgio is launching its new line of stuffed mushrooms with three delicious flavors: a Fiesta Cheese Blend; a Cheese and Imitation Bacon Bits Blend; and an Artichoke, Spinach, and Cheese Blend—all of which are offered in a convenient microwavable tray that is perfect for any and all holiday needs.
Congratulations to Giorgio Fresh on 90 years, and here’s to 90 more chock full of innovations, excellence, and every type of mushroom!