Gourmet Trading Co. in Los Angeles distributes blueberries from the 5th Region to the 10th Region of Chile into Canada, Asia and both coasts of the United States.
Luciano Fiszman, procurement manager for the company, said that its season begins in November with a perfect transition from Argentina.
“It ends in April, right when we start with our own crop in California, which is where we grow, pack and ship blueberries from our farm in the Central Valley,” said Mr. Fiszman. “This season we are offering 4.4-ounce, six-ounce, 11-ounce, pint, 18-ounce, 24-ounce and 32-ounce Chilean blueberries in our ‘Gourmet Trading Company’ label. It will be our first season packing blueberries in the ‘Green Giant Fresh’ label out of Chile.”
Mr. Fiszman said that this will be the company’s first season packing blueberries under the “Green Giant Fresh” label on product from Chile. It will offer the label in an 11-ounce pack size.
Chloe Varennes, marketing manager for Gourmet Trading, said that the company’s primary customers for the Chilean blueberries are retail chainstores, “But we also sell to independent retailers, foodservice operators and wholesale customers,” she said.
“We distribute Chilean blueberries into our three major distribution areas: Los Angeles, Miami and New Jersey,” she continued. “The blueberries are then distributed throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe.”
Ms. Varennes added that many U.S. handlers of Chilean fruit report that growers and exporters in Chile are highly experienced professionals that do an outstanding job at exporting.
Scott Hulsey, vice president of procurement for Gourmet Trading, said that Chile is highly evolved in the Agriculture sector.
“The blueberry growers that Gourmet Trading Co. works with are the leaders of the blueberry industry and are always the ones leading the industry in its progress in moving forward,” said Mr. Hulsey.
Ms. Varennes noted that the Chilean fruit industry has grown quickly over the last 10 years due to the tremendous growth in the demand of blueberries.
“The berry category has especially enjoyed increases in demand in the U.S. in recent years, and much of the growth is attributed to the health benefits of berries and the media coverage on this topic,” she said. “We expect blueberry demand in the U.S. to continue to grow in the coming years.”
Ms. Varennes said that on Oct. 25, Brian Miller was appointed president of Gourmet Trading. Mr. Miller has been a member of the Gourmet Trading Co. family for 12 years.
“Brian has served in several positions since he began with the company,” she said. “His roles have included vice president of sales, sales manager and salesperson.”