Mr. Lucky President Miguel Usabiaga Discusses New Mexican Purple Garlic Crop, Consumer Demands, Added 25 Acres, and More
GUANAJUATO, MEXICO - As we make strides into 2018’s spring and summer seasons, there is more in bloom than our produce industry’s flowering crops. For Miguel Usabiaga, President of Mr. Lucky, this year has much to offer, including massive opportunities for growth, both with its harvest operations and product portfolio.
Mr. Lucky is promoting its brand-new crop of Mexican purple garlic, which is in season from now until November.
“The purple garlic is looking better than ever, with good consistent sizing, large cloves, and great color. The amazing taste of Mr. Lucky purple garlic continues to surpass our highest expectations,” Miguel shares.
Garlic is not the only thing making waves for this grower. Mr. Lucky is also expanding its organic greenhouses to bring on a total of 25 new acres that are nestled in Guanajuato state of Central México.
“We’re expanding our organic greenhouse tomato offerings by about 20 percent this year,” Miguel says.
In addition to the added greenhouse acreage, the company is one of the first to use Plant Tape’s technology in Mexico, Miguel shares with me. In fact, Miguel tells me that 35 to 40 percent of its transplants will be using PlantTape technology by the end of the year. Mr. Lucky’s operations are implementing state-of-the-art practices to its offerings available for growing consumer demands.
Foodservice is a competitive field, and Mr. Lucky is quickly becoming a leader in the industry. Miguel sees a bright future and such an increased demand for value-added items, and the company is expanding and renovating production lines.
“We had to expand our production and capabilities because we continued to have increased demand for our products. Last year, we found that we were short for our current customers because we didn’t have enough product, so we had to increase capabilities to resolve that. The expanded acreage and value-added product offerings will increase sales by about 7-10 percent. It will allow us to better serve our customers and have more product to them on-time,” Miguel explains. “We’re also expanding our capacity for value-added products, including broccoli florets, leaf fillets, and mixed salads. We are also implementing the use of optical sorters. These sorters allow us to detect soil material, insects, and other items that might be going into product, ultimately allowing us to produce a safer, better product and reducing the risk of human error.”
Quality is looking delicious and only made more enticing by the processes that the company has implemented to ensure the highest standards for which Mr. Lucky is known.
One of the most attractive aspects of Mr. Lucky’s offerings, Miguel shares, is that it has full traceability—the end-consumers are wanting to know the story behind their product. The company offers this opportunity for consumers to get to know their produce’s origin, with full online access for the public, since the company controls both its Mexican and U.S. operations. The accuracy of Mr. Lucky’s traceability is unique.
“We’re always trying to exceed consumer demands and the customer’s experiences with service, availability, and new product offerings,” he says.
With so much on the horizon, Mr. Lucky seems not only lucky, but also determined, as it continues its growth efforts this year and beyond.