NatureSweet® Lori Castillo Talks Summer Promotion, Tomato Demand, and More
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Tomatoes have made their mark as a mainstay on the grocery lists. Yet with new intrigue being turned toward the category NatureSweet® Lori Castillo, VP of Marketing, sees endless potential. As we dive into amplifying retail dollars in the category, she explains that one of the things NatureSweet is known for is having a strong lineup of in-store and online promotions that helps ensure no tomato goes unrung.
“We partner with retailers on a full year of season-specific promotions that we know will help maximize sales and offer consumers a premium path for the purchase experience,” she shares. “Currently, we are running our Sizzling Summer Salads promotion.”
A team-up with Weber Grills highlights a partnership that crosses store departments; this program gives your shoppers access to delicious grilled salad recipes and a produce-centric source of backyard entertainment. Encouraging consumers to get creative in their grilling, they can try new tomato creations as well as play a Buzzfeed-style “What’s Your Spirit Salad?” personality quiz. (Deep down I’m a Cobb, I know it!)
The program is even more well-timed than usual, as the tomato market further reflects a boost in versatility.
“Due to consumers being at home and cooking in their own kitchens, we’ve seen a healthy increase in demand. Consumers are looking for a way to mix up their traditional recipes while feeding their families fresh and healthy meals. Our tomato offerings are flavorful and healthy ‘add to cart’ options for consumers shopping online or in store,” Lori says. “Small tomato usage also continues to increase as consumers focus more on salads and other healthy products as we transition into the Summer season. We are dedicated to providing consumers with variety to meet the needs of different usage occasions all year long.”
NatureSweet operations work at the highest level of food safety, bringing that dedication beyond tomato varieties to quality and security. And as it owns and operates 100% of its greenhouses, the company takes responsibility for every product down to the seed.
“We have a rigorous quality control system in place, all of our facilities are SQF Level 3 and EFI certified. We have a full product traceability code on every package and can identify where every package came from, down to the exact row in each greenhouse,” Lori explains, adding that only tomatoes that pass every quality test are packed and shipped to retailers.
Intensively cared for and picked by hand, the company hinges its differentiation and success on what it calls its Associates.
“What really sets NatureSweet Tomatoes apart from the competition is our amazing Associates. They get all the credit for raising our tomatoes right,” Lori shares, adding how the team is there through every step of the growing and shipping process. “It is because of their love, day in and day out, that the fruit grows up to be so sweet. Which is why our Associates are the heart, the soul, and the single most important part of our organization.”
NatureSweet Associates are all full-time instead of seasonal, enabling them to build their experience, self improve, and further help the company succeed.
In keeping with its promise for a strong calendar for retailers, Lori already knows what it is on the horizon for autumn.
“Next up, we will be launching a Back to School promotion that will offer consumers a sweeter back to school experience with recipe tips, giveaways and more!” she declares.
As I was recently told, produce never stops growing and the trucks never stop rolling!