Greenhouse grower Nature Fresh Farms has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years. Just in the past 16 months, the company added greenhouse production in Mexico and a distribution center in Texas. Additionally, through continuous innovation and research, the portfolio of produce offerings has grown since the company launched in Leamington, Ontario, 20+ years ago. “As a result of our expansion, we felt we had grown out of our branding and it no longer represented today’s Nature Fresh Farms,” says Sarah Krzysik with the company. “Our new brand is an entirely new look. Featuring an inviting greenhouse, we have changed our logo and brand colors to better reflect who we are. The new branding was designed to express who we are, differentiate us, and resonate with our customers and consumers.”
In addition to the need for new branding, the company also recognized the need for a more sophisticated approach to its packaging. “Because of our rapid growth, our packaging had primarily been designed to get us on the shelf,” commented Krzysik. “We knew we needed to put more intention into it and appeal to the consumer. Through market research, our team concluded this will be accomplished through our new brand forward approach, with simple messaging and a clear view of the product.”
The expansion path continues and includes branching into a new product: strawberries. “We are always trialing and developing potential products and looked into growing strawberries to accommodate demand for locally-grown strawberries,” Krzysik said. The plan is to be in market early in the new year. “Greenhouse grown strawberries address the seasonal challenges with field supply, and we were truly amazed at the interest we received once we presented the greenhouse-grown samples to our partners,” she said.
Doubling organic acreage
Across the border in the Delta region of Ohio, Nature Fresh Farms has confirmed the expansion of its organic acreage and the construction of a new distribution center. The property expansion will include doubling the greenhouse acreage from 45 to 90 acres with the extension dedicated to year-round organic supplies. “Using state-of-the-art tech will allow us to grow organic tomatoes and peppers year-round.” Over the course of the pandemic, organic sales surged, and Krzysik has seen that trend continuing. “Consumers are more focused on maintaining their health and living a more nutritional lifestyle.”
The construction of a new distribution warehouse on the Delta property is planned to begin in the summer of 2022. “We will be adding 60,000 square feet to strengthen our logistics and operations out of Ohio.”
Demand for fresh produce remains strong and Krzysik believes that trend will continue as shoppers keep being focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “This time of year, as the cold and flu season begins, more consumers are looking for fresh, vitamin-packed, local produce to boost their immunity.” In order to keep the shelves stocked, strong communication and advanced planning with customers are key at Nature Fresh Farms. “They help in minimizing disruptions. We’ve adapted to being agile and innovative as a result of unexpected delays and material shortages and are prepared in case these obstacles continue to affect the movement of inbound and outbound freight into the future.”
Nature Fresh Farms greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario.