Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Launches Go Seedless Campaign with Specific Tips for Retail
- by Jordan Okumura
LEAMINGTON, ON - Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) is launching a new media campaign utilizing print and online channels to educate retailers, produce merchandisers and produce managers on proper merchandising and storage techniques for seedless cucumber.
Through a new website, goseedless.com, OGVG is providing tips and strategies to aid retailers in reducing shrink, increasing sales, and free up valuable cooler space. Tips are also available online for retailers and merchandisers for Ontario greenhouse grown tomatoes and peppers.
“In a number of retailers in the United States, seedless cucumbers are often kept in the refrigerated sections of the produce department, often times under misters and in temperatures of 32 to 36°F,” Jacquie Trombley, Marketer Liaison Officer, for OGVG, tells me. “In Ontario, seedless cucumbers are kept at ambient temperature, typically next to or near tomatoes and peppers. If a store moves enough inventory, refrigeration on the floor is not necessary.”
Jacquie informs me that seedless cucumbers that are displayed within refrigerated sections should be kept between 50 and 60°F, without exposure to mist.
“Lower temperatures and exposure to moisture can create chill damage, early decay, and pitting, increasing overall shrink and decreasing overall sales potential,” she adds.
According to OGVG, the greenhouse vegetable sector is a power economic force contributing $1.4 billion to the Ontario economy. Over 70% of Ontario greenhouse produce is exported to the United States annually. In fact, OGVG growers and marketers are less than a one day drive to the majority of markets they serve in Canada and the United States. Ontario retailers report that across all banners seedless cucumbers are one of the top items in the produce department. Retailers also report huge incremental growth in mini and cocktail seedless cucumbers as a healthy snack alternative.
When it comes to trends, Jacquie has seen a strong push toward snacking and packaged products. Specialty produce like cocktail cucumbers, baby tomatoes, mini peppers have all been showing up on grocery store shelves.
“With consumers trending toward healthy snack alternatives, the smaller, ready-to-eat varieties are seeing a definite increase in the marketplace,” she notes.
The OGVG represents over 200 growers of greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, on over 2500 acres spanning from Windsor to Niagara and as far north as Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The majority of Ontario greenhouses are family-owned and have been in existence for several generations.
“OGVG growers are real farm families – they are committed to, and passionate about, the quality of their produce,” Jacquie adds.
In 2015, OGVG licensed 35 marketers who are responsible for the selling and distribution of Ontario greenhouse products throughout North America. All OGVG marketers are FDA registered and bonded, ensuring on-time delivery of fresh produce to the U.S. with no unnecessary border delays and inspection problems.
The greenhouse vegetable sector is a powerful economic force in Ontario. The latest StatsCan numbers revealed farm gate sales for Ontario tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers were $783 million in 2013, a 15% increase from 2012.