Scott Schuette Discusses Fresh-Squeezed Juice Supplier Opportunities for Fresh Thyme Market
DOWNERS GROVE, IL - Demand has drastically increased since last June. This is what Scott “Shooty” Schuette, Fresh Thyme Market’s (FTM) Vice President of Produce and Floral tells me as we talk about the Fresh-squeezed juice category and the wealth of opportunities that have arisen here in recent years and definitely in recent months. With sales up across this sector for Fresh Thyme, the specialty retailer has revealed investments across the program as it looks to build a more advantageous department for the consumer.
“The recent spike in demand for fresh-squeezed juices is mostly due to the easy convenience of being able to quickly purchase a fresh-squeezed grab-n-go solution for healthier living,” Scott shares with me. “I firmly believe that consumers are attempting to make, not only fewer trips per week to the grocery store, but also faster in-store visits when they are shopping.”
With such explosive growth, FTM is currently looking into putting more juice ingredients on quarterly contracts with suppliers.
“These new contracts will help ensure that our promotions align with costs and availability throughout the ever-changing seasons. Suppliers are always being reviewed for potential juicing ingredients that will support the direction of Fresh Thyme Market,” Scott reveals.
So, what new and exciting items are gracing the spotlight for FTM? Items like fresh-squeezed ginger shots and turmeric shots are examples of new products that the company has adopted into its line-up, thanks to supplier partners reaching out with cost opportunities, availability, and most of all, success stories on their product.
“Suppliers are a big help when it comes to making sure trends are passed up the chain to the retailers,” Scott says. “We are looking to partner not only on product development but product creation.”
Even during times of shelter-in-place orders, shoppers find themselves under new restrictions on top of time and still want that “fresh” element to their juices that only an investment like Fresh Thyme’s can offer.
“Many consumers don’t have the time or safety assurance to shop for every single ingredient that goes into a bottle of fresh-squeezed juice, nor do they have extra time at home to prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and fresh-squeezed juice recipes” Scott reflects. “Having fresh-squeezed juice ready for the newly emerging ‘grab-n-go consumer’ has been a big win for the department.”
With 2021 New Year’s resolutions, Scott and the Fresh Thyme teams expect that customers will continue to grow the fresh-squeezed juice category exponentially.
“We are anticipating a minimum category increase of 35 percent year-over-year during the months of January, February, March, and April. Fresh-squeezed juices will become a staple item on many customers’ shopping lists,” he adds.
Attention suppliers, the ball is in your court to help grow the category, and we are excited to see what comes of this great collaboration!