Crystal Valley Foods Rolls Out New Retail Line, Katiana Valdes Discusses
MIAMI, FL - We often associate spring with the season of renewal, but after you hear of Crystal Valley Foods’ new retail line items, you’ll wonder why summertime doesn’t bear this association, too. After a landmark acquisition of tropical produce importer Joco Produce in December 2019, Crystal Valley has been hard at work incorporating new items into its already extensive portfolio. I sat down with Katiana Valdes, Marketing Director, to find out more about these new products.
“The addition of Joco Produce’s product line has allowed us to offer a full and extensive line of tropical and ethnic fruits and vegetables. Someone of these items include ginger, malanga, yuca, calabaza, turmeric, bread fruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, rambutan, papaya, star fruit, and sapote,” Katiana began. “We are selling all of our tropicals and ethnics in bulk but we have also made a new line to include some of these items in a scannable, retail-friendly clam shell.”
As pre-packaged fruit and veg has become so popular with consumers, I leapt at the chance to learn what these offerings entailed. The exhaustive list includes 2 oz Thai Chili; 3 oz green, orange, and red habanero peppers; 5oz ginger, 3 oz cachucha peppers; 5 oz turmeric; 5 oz ginger; and a 12 oz okra. Crystal Valley is also working on adding more items to the mix, such as bagged jalapeños.
“We already have a good mix of value-added offerings, and these new products really allow us to become a one-stop shop for our retail partners,” Katiana shared. “We have seen an increased demand at retail for all of our specialty fruits and vegetables because more people are cooking at home nowadays and they are experimenting and trying new things. There are a few other factors contributing to the growth of these specialties/topicals as well, a big one being the continued shift in demographics in the United States and its growing diverse population. The Hispanic population in particular, many of whom consume these tropical fruits and vegetables, continues to grow and influence the offerings at restaurants and supermarkets.”
Social media influencers and bloggers too affect consumer trends that spread into retail, Katiana noted, explaining that shoppers are becoming excitedly adventurous when they walk down produce aisles.
But in order to ensure that these products make their way into consumer baskets, Crystal Valley has implemented specific merchandising strategies that retailers can hone in on.
“Consumers are a little wearier nowadays of grabbing product off of a table that perhaps other customers might have touched as well. They are concerned about cleanliness and safety. These pre-packed/pre-portioned items give shoppers a sense of security and it also allows for more ease at checkout since they all have that scannable barcode,” Katiana expressed. “In general, we will see the demand for ethnic and tropical fruits and vegetables continue to increase. it is important for retailers to help make their customers aware of the tropical/ethnic product mix they offer. Demos, large secondary displays in high traffic areas, POS, and social media highlighting benefits and preparation techniques will all help increase sales. Crystal Valley’s marketing team is happy to work with our partners to develop custom POS, social content, and programs in order to promote these unique products.”
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