Organic produce continues to be an excellent growth segment for The Nunes Co., based in Salinas, CA, and its Foxy brand of vegetables.
Sales Manager Doug Classen told The Produce News that the newest additions to the line are red and green cabbage.
“We now offer all of our core items in both conventional and organic packs,” he said. “Our goal is to give our customers a choice in all the items that we offer.”
Over the past year, The Nunes Co. has greatly expanded its organics line, including a full line of bunching vegetables, some of which are only offered as an organic product. Classen said the company continues to listen to its customers and offers them what they are looking for.
“The organics sector is driven by retail but we are seeing more and more foodservice distributors dipping their toes into organics,” he explained.
Classen said that’s a good sign and should lead to continued growth of the category. He added that the goal for Nunes is to have a full complement of both organic and conventional items every day of the year. “And we are doing a good job of fulfilling that goal,” he added.
The Nunes executive said the marketing dynamic of organic produce is an item by item scenario with many different factors influencing supply and demand. He said some organic vegetable items flow through their own supply and demand curve while others are impacted to a greater extent by the market on conventional produce.
He added that it is also impossible to describe the buy side community with a blanket statement. The Nunes Co. sells organic produce to many of its conventional customers at both the retail and the wholesale level who handle both categories. There are other buyers of organic produce — again at both the wholesale and retail level — that specialize in that category.
Accordingly, the buyers themselves are also varied. Some buyers are organic specialists and others are category specialists, buying both organic and conventional offerings of a particular product sector.
But Nunes does have a sales team dedicated to the organic sector, which consists of Kevin Crossgrove, Brendan Bartley and Kristin Shafer.
Classen said organic sales continue to increase and offer strong sales for the company but it is difficult to put a percentage increase on sales gains as the company has expanded its product line rapidly over the past year. He said further expansion of the line will depend on their customers, noting that the firm works closely with its growers to fulfill the needs of the people they are doing business with.