Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager Giorgio Fresh, headquartered in Temple, PA, told The Produce News that the company now offers a line of stuffed Portabella mushrooms.
“The line includes Portabella Mushrooms stuffed with Cheese and Imitation Bacon Bits, Portabella Mushrooms stuffed with Imitation Flavored Crab and, Portabella Mushrooms stuffed with Parmesan Cheese, Artichokes and Spinach,” said Litvin. “Giorgio brings out the best in the Portabella mushroom by offering three tempting stuffed portabella mushroom products. Our Portabella’s are stuffed with flavorful fillings that make for a satisfying-yet-light lunch or dinner. Great health benefits and great taste come together in these three new delicious products from Giorgio. You can’t pick a better stuffed portabella mushroom.”
Each package of Giorgio Fresh’s new stuffed Portabella mushrooms features four large stuffed Portabella caps per tray. The package is four, eight-ounce over-wrapped trays and are available to retailers.
Litvin pointed out that according to a consumer trends’ report unveiled in July from The Produce Marketing Association, generational differences is one of the many factors influencing shopping behavior in the produce industry.
Litvin said the report stated that for the first time, there are four separate generations shopping: Millennials, Gen X-ers, Baby Boomers and Silents.
“The wide variety of ages, lifestyles by age and unique generational viewpoints in the marketplace is unprecedented,” said Litvin. “With more generations in the mix, the mushroom category has been tasked with striking a marketing balance of engaging one generation without alienating the others. Thankfully, due to the nutritional value and swapability of mushrooms, we continue to see purchases among all generations in the aisles.”
Another trend in the mushroom category, according to The Mushroom Council, is to blend mushrooms into meals. By blending finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms in place of ground meat in recipes, consumers are seamlessly adding an extra serving of vegetables to their plates. This allows recipes to be healthier without losing their taste or texture.
“Our opinion on specific trends such as organics and sustainability remain the same,” said Litvin. “These trends have helped contributed to sustained growth in the category. Because of them, consumers are doing their homework to constantly search for healthy products. They are also increasingly cognizant in purchasing products from retailers or companies like Giorgio who make sustainability practices a priority.
“We grow our mushrooms in a fully organic substrate without artificial fertilizers or sewage sludge,” he continued. “We are leading the way in Integrated Pest Management, including non-chemical and natural biological pest control techniques to limit the use of synthetic pesticides. We do not bio-engineer our mushrooms or use ionizing radiation. Our operations must pass stringent inspections to ensure that we continue to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards.”
Litvin also noted that throughout the economic downturn of recent years, the mushroom category has continued to see healthy sales growth.
“Throughout the economic downturn, the mushroom category experienced high demand and sustained growth, which we expect to remain as the economic recovery in the United States continues,” he said. “According to a recent shipment report from the Mushroom Council, through the end of April this year, there was a 5.2 percent increase in mushroom shipments in the United States in comparison to the same time period in 2012. Because of this, The Mushroom Council has predicted that if this progress continues, the mushroom category will have a record-breaking year for the greatest annual shipment increment in history. Giorgio continues to see double-digit increases in sales this year.”
Giorgio Fresh is pleased to support the Mushroom Council’s ‘Swap It or Top It’ campaign.
“We offered a wide variety of materials, such as shelf danglers, channel strips and posters to help promote the campaign and move more products,” said Litvin.
He extended an invitation to all visitors to the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, at booth number 129.
“We will be launching our new website and showcasing a new company video,” said Litvin. “As usual, we will be offering coffee and cappuccinos to all visitors who stop by.”