HY-VEE HOSTS ANNUAL CITRUS CONTEST
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee here last week began its annual produce department citrus sale contest with a new twist — the Zeal-brand Navel and Cara Cara oranges that shoppers will find in competitively designed displays throughout the chain were certified sustainably grown by Protected Harvest.
“Our annual citrus competition has always been a creative, post-holiday event for our store managers. For the first time, we are using the contest as an opportunity to showcase our commitment to sustainable agriculture, by offering our customers a quality product grown under strict environmental and social standards,” Ron Coles, Hy-Vee's assistant vice president of produce purchasing, said in a release.
Protected Harvest is a non-profit, third-party certification agency that requires participating farms to limit pesticide use and to demonstrably limit their impact on the soil and the surrounding environment by following the best-known agricultural practices specific to region and crop, employing techniques such as integrated crop management.
“Today's consumer is looking for responsibly grown produce with authenticity verified by certification to high standards,” said Dan Sonke, program manager of Protected Harvest. “Companies that do this can make a deeper connection to customers who care about sustainability.”
CATERING SALES ROSE 9% IN 2010
NEW YORK — After a challenging year in 2009, catering revenue generated by U.S. caterers, restaurants, hotels and other foodservice contractors rose 9%, to more than $14 billion in 2010, according to a report published by Packaged Facts here.
The market research company also projects a bright future for catering operations in the near term, with sales forecast to rise 9% in 2011, and 7% in 2012. As the economy improves, businesses may indirectly fuel catering businesses with increased sales meetings and convention attendance. And, consumers will be more apt to host catered parties for special events such as weddings, graduations, births and other milestones. While independent catering operations still dominate the business, other formats are starting to see a larger slice of the pie.
“Self-standing catering operations dominate sales, but full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants and snack and beverage concepts also contribute significantly,” Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, said of the report, “Catering Trends in U.S. Foodservice.” “Driven by aggressive catering launches and expansions, our experts view restaurant-based catering as a growth area into 2012.”
UNITED FRESH RELEASES FDA ANALYSIS
WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association here has released a new white paper detailing the likely effects that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act will have on the produce industry.
The white paper examines new requirements and regulations for produce grower-shippers, wholesalers and distributors, fruit and vegetable importers, retailers and foodservice operators, and food transporters.
“The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will mean significant changes for the fruit and vegetable industry,” Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for United Fresh, said in a release. “This white paper gives a quick but exhaustive rundown of the major changes that produce industry members can expect under the new law; all in plain English.”
The white paper also includes a quick-reference-style chart showing what new developments can be expected by each sector, as well as a timeline for the implementation of all new regulations under the law. United Fresh members can download the paper for free at unitedfresh.org.