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US: SunFed debuts Almost Famous program
With the vision of creating an exciting destination in produce departments and addressing the changing sustainability goals of today’s shoppers, SunFed is launching its Almost Famous produce program in stores nationwide.
“Sustainability has a changing definition for consumers, and one of those shifting aspects is the desire to find programs that seek to decrease food waste,” Brett Burdsal, Vice President of Marketing, SunFed, said. “We have always used this imperfect produce outlet and have continued to look for ways to maximize output from the farm in terms of production, and find homes for the fruits and vegetables. When we saw that opportunity to start something new and noticed people were responding to reducing food waste, we saw the perfect opportunity to make an actual program on a consistent basis.”
Currently, SunFed offers items ranging from eggplant, green bell peppers, colored bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and yellow squash, dependent on time of year and product availability.
The Almost Famous program brings imperfect produce items to consumers that are just as fresh as the company’s #1 brands. These fruits and vegetables may be cosmetically imperfect, but still bring the same high-flavor profiles and consistency that SunFed's partners have come to rely on.
“We don’t see this just as a value-buy and an opportunity to increase sales,” said SunFed, Vice President of Operations, Matt Mandel. “We see this as a movement that will grow and continue. It is an opportunity to change the produce industry for the better, as well as retail for the better.”
For the SunFed Almost Famous program, the company decided on a bag concept. With the value-proposition of a grab-and-go item, this program addresses the challenge of selling the items in bulk for retailers, and also ensures the produce is rung up correctly at the register.
“This packaging concept is the best way to tell the story of SunFed’s Almost Famous program and helps retailers differentiate in the produce department,” Craig Slate, VP of Sales for SunFed. "It comes down to the execution, and we have it in spades. SunFed offers an entire merchandising and marketing program that will generate more brand-value for the retailer, while creating opportunities for consumers to purchase produce items that fit into their buying behaviors, sustainability goals, and their budget.”
While the Almost Famous program responds to the consumer demand to diminish food waste, it is also a great opportunity to address the customer who wants to use more fresh produce as ingredients and elements of a dish, and so may not be as concerned with the aesthetics or cosmetic challenges of the produce.
“As we continue to see fresh produce move toward the center of the plate, this program is a great strategic way to build on those trends,” Mark Cassius, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SunFed, said. “Whether its bringing freshness to people of all socio-economic backgrounds that may not typically buy produce, or fulfilling the different needs of a diverse range of shoppers, this program supports our goal of expanding where, and what, we grow as a one-stop shop and true partner for retailers.”
Publication date: 1/6/2017
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