FRESH-CUT FUELS PRODUCE BOOM: IFPA
ted that fresh-cut produce continues to lead sales in the supermarket produce department. The remarks, made during the International Fresh-cut Produce Association convention here, included a call for processors to continue developing new mixes and to boost availability of fresh-cut fruit. Speaking during IFPA's marketing workshop, Steve Junqueiro, director of produce and floral for Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, Calif., said convenience is a key driver responsible for the huge growth in value-added or fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, as well as sustained growth in packaged salads. Fruit is especially starting to show explosive growth, he said. "We expanded our fresh-cut fruit offerings from the year 2001 to early last year and our growth was over 100%." Other produce categories showing tremendous sales potential are tomatoes, berries and stone fruit, he added. Of tomatoes, Junqueiro said that improved taste and variety have resulted in double-digit growth each quarter over the past three years.