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Peru and U.S. have symbiotic asparagus relationship

Peru is one of the larger producers of asparagus in the world and the United States is the largest consumer. The two countries need each other.

The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association revealed that in 2013, Peruvian growers sent 403 million pounds of asparagus to the United States. That represented almost 50 percent of U.S. asparagus and about two-thirds of Peru’s exports.

While Peru does have growing markets for its product in Europe,Priscilla-LlerasPriscilla Lleras Asia and other countries, none can move product like it can be moved in the United States.

“We are the main market for Peruvian asparagus,” said Paul Auerbach, president of Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., based in Secaucus, NJ, speaking of the U.S. market in general. “Europe can move a few pallets but no one can take 10,000 cases and move it like we can.”

Priscilla Lleras, coordinator for PAIA, said that recent “survey results conclude that U.S. shoppers are adding asparagus to their carts more than in the past making asparagus the number three ‘most popular’ item that consumers say they are now buying.

As such, the PAIA’s 2014/2015 Category Management Plan Outline for Fresh Peruvian Asparagus specifically includes statistics relating to market summaries, trends, nutritional facts and consumer positioning. The plan provides fresh-market asparagus consumption key demographics and suggestions regarding displays, as well as promotional/advertising ideas that offer retailers with creative fresh strategies to increase sales of Peruvian asparagus.

“The Category Management Plan Outline for Fresh Peruvian Asparagus is a resource tool that industry and retailers will use to sell more asparagus,” said Lleras. “The plan contains statistics, trends and strategies that will equip retailers and the industry at large with the most updated information in the category. The plan also contains the necessary summary information of the health benefits, value and convenience of fresh Peruvian asparagus that should make Peruvian asparagus a staple for every U.S. household.”

The plan is available to retailers and others from any member of the Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association or by contacting Lleras at prestige@1scom.net.

For the current season, Walter Yager, CEO Alpine Fresh is PAIA’s East Coast co-chair, while Brian Miller, president of Gourmet Trading Co. is West Coast co-chair.