Tanimura & Antle's Anthony Mazzuca Shines Light On Holiday Yuma Market
YUMA, AZ - The dust has finally settled after the transition to the Sonoran Desert Valleys in Yuma, so I connected with Anthony Mazzuca, Director of Commodity Management for Tanimura & Antle, for an update on the cold season crops. We discussed what's in store for the remainder of 2016, and what retailers can bring to the plate to drive produce dollars through the holidays.
"The summer heat in Yuma pushed on through October and well into November, pulling much of the initial production forward, and bringing on increased supplies for most of the cold season vegetables," Mazzuca said. "This makes it a great time for promotional opportunities at retail and promoting these items going into the Christmas holiday and New Year."
Despite the shaky start, there has recently been a shift in weather patterns, with daily highs staying below 70 degrees and lows reaching the 30s. Cole crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, are typically the first to react to changes in weather patterns, and have acted as indicators of things to come with leafy greens.
Lettuce ice has delayed harvest start times for leafy greens, and slowed overall plant growth. Yield is dipping below weekly production plans, and the markets are following. Abundant supplies will likely yield to shortages and in some cases, steep market increases. Holiday demand will land squarely in the middle of this period, which will add fuel to a market that is already building steam.
"Expectations are that markets will continue on an upward trend," Mazzuca said. "However, Artisan Lettuce quality is excellent and supply will allow for big promotions. Our Artisan Red Onions are also experiencing very strong quality and supply."
Retailers looking to ramp up sales and decrease shrink can turn to Tanimura & Antle's "Eat Healthy, Be Merry" packaging for its Artisan product Tanimura & Antles Artisan Lettuce®. Launched in October, the label came in response to an independent consumer study where messaging was deemed most important to consumers in purchasing decisions.
"Research and experience with seasonal labeling shows that consumers are drawn to on-pack messaging," Rick Antle, CEO of Tanimura & Antle, said of the new Eat Healthy, Be Merry label. "We're excited to support our retail partners with this program and connect with consumers while continuing to grow our brand equity around our Artisan Lettuce."
The promotional packaging is filling the pipeline just in time for the holidays. In addition, the company offers tool kits with store signage, social media content, and ad templates to help retailers differentiate their produce department.
AndNowUKnow will continue to report the latest on the holiday market in Yuma.