Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Lee Mannering
New e-Learning courses spotlight trends presentation from Fresh Connections: Mexico
During PMA’s Fresh Connections: Mexico event, PMA President Bryan Silbermann and PMA Chairman Rich Dachman of Sysco shared their thoughts with Mexican produce industry leaders about trends driving the produce marketplace and encouraged attendees to think about what they do as selling health, flavor, and creating experiences that delight consumers.
In the U.S., half of fruits and vegetables are consumed outside the home. Locally sourced meats, seafood, and produce, sustainability, and children’s nutrition were all identified as top restaurant trends. Combined, these present great opportunities for the fresh produce industry. In addition to providing an overview of foodservice distributors, Rich spoke about the various U.S. foodservice operator formats.
He noted that “knowing how this sector of the industry works is important, especially because foodservice operations are capitalizing on consumer interest in healthful eating. Limited service operators are the fastest growing segment. This is generally healthier food and a great segment for our industry with lots of fresh produce on the menu and access to young consumers.”
Bryan Silbermann noted that to create the experiences Rich discussed requires a partnership that starts in the field and ends with the fork. “The competitive factor is as much about what you know about your consumer as it is about what you grow in your fields or greenhouses,” he said.
In addition to standard retail formats, Bryan said “today we see mobile stores in shipping containers, buses being converted into mobile stores - all to provide healthful food to consumers where they are. Also, more consumers are now moving back into cities, with retailers building smaller stores to cater to this population.”
Both Rich’s and Bryan’s presentations are now online in two new e-Learning courses available via the PMA website. I’ve listened to both and can tell you that there is quite a bit of great information and insight in both courses.
Check them out and tell us what you think in the Increasing Consumption Community on PMA Xchange.