Grower Direct Managing Director Jim Hanson Apprises Us of the State of Asparagus this Season
MEXICO - Grower Direct Marketing is highlighting its 2016-2017 asparagus season in the run up to the New Year with increased production in Mexico as more health conscious consumers look to add flavor, versatility, and differentiation to their shopping lists.
Managing Director Jim Hanson joined me to share the latest on Grower Direct’s season, and how the asparagus category is primed for growth.
“We have begun our robust Mexican asparagus period that stretches from Baja in October, through Caborca’s peak in February and March, and a promising California season this spring,” Jim shared with me. “We are seeing above average sizing for traditional green asparagus varieties, as new fields come into production. Generally, after a few weeks of harvest, the sizes return to normal and peak with standard and large.”
Quality this season from Mexico has been very good and Grower Direct anticipates that the asparagus in Caborca will continue with increased quality through the season.
Consumers have become increasingly more health conscious, the company added. Asparagus is low in calories and very high in fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K and an excellent source of folate, which may fight cognitive decline, and is also loaded with antioxidants.
“Retailers that have been following Grower Direct’s promotional recommendations have seen excellent growth in the asparagus category. Supply is steady and will grow significantly as the main portion of the Mexico season comes into production,” Jim said. “Grower Direct has steadily become one of the largest distributors of Mexican asparagus to coincide with our distribution from California. Retailers have come to trust the planning that they are receiving from GDM sales staff.”
When I asked Jim what some of his tips and best-practices were for retailers, when it comes to helping drive sales in the asparagus category, he said to display product in high traffic areas in the produce department and always supply moisture to avoid dehydration. Include cross-merchandising opportunities that include deli items, oils and recipe ideas, he added, and, continue to offer varieties in sizes including large and extra-large to vary your display.
With a great season on the books so far and a fruitful season ahead, 2017 looks to be a year of growth for Grower Direct Marketing.