London Fruit Gears Up For PMA Fresh Summit with Product Showcases
- by Robert Schaulis
PHARR, TX - This year’s PMA Fresh Summit Expo and Conference in Orlando, Florida, is right around the corner, and our industry is abuzz with new products, programs, packaging, and other innovations. London Fruit is one of the companies constantly pushing forward for the next season. With categories from the tremendously popular avocado to fast-growing specialty items, London Fruit is set to showcase its products at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit.
Earlier this year, the company debuted its jackfruit program—encouraging retailers to promote, sample, slice, and tray pack the on-trend offering to build customer education and excitement.
Supplies of jackfruit are currently limited, but London Fruit expects the fast-growing category to gain steam as next season approaches, rounding out the company’s lineup of avocados, limes, and mangos.
“I think jackfruit is still hot. I think it’s very promising for the future. We have a lot of requests for it, and as more and more people learn about jackfruit and its wonderful benefits, it will continue to grow,” Cindy Swanberg Schwing, Sr. Marketing/Business Development, tells me. “And at the retail level, they’re recognizing that the more they can help with promotions and education, the more it helps grow the category.”
The jackfruit category, though still in early stages of what could be a meteoric rise for the south Asian fruit, is experiencing palpable growth each month Sales Manager Mario Cardenas adds.
“We see growth every month with our jackfruit program. There’s still a lot of education that consumers need—still a lot of consumers that don’t know what jackfruit is,” adds Mario. “But there are a lot of interested customers that want to try it. We’re getting a good response to it, and its continuing to grow in popularity."
Although London Fruit is just wrapping up its mango and jackfruit season, the company is in full swing with limes and avocados.
“Our lime production’s picking up quite a bit, and we expect promotional opportunities to pick up in the next few months as well,” notes Jerry Garcia, Sr., Vice President. “In terms of jackfruit, we’re adding more and more loads every week during the season. And avocados are growing every year, we’re expanding on that. The Pharr International Bridge is the number one point of entry for avocados and tomatoes, so we’re going to take advantage of that, too. We’re located a mile north of the Bridge.”
And Mario tells me the company is looking at some ideas to move more product and better showcase the company’s fruit—packaging innovations that the company may be debuting in the coming months.
“We’re looking at a way to both sell more and protect the fruit more, to decrease shrink that results from handling,” says Mario.
Cindy adds: “We’re following trends in the marketplace and paying attention to what we think consumers—as well as retailers—are looking for.”
Attendees at PMA Fresh Summit are encouraged to stop by booth #1826 to learn more about London Fruit’s line-up!