Ross Kirkorian with Western Veg-Produce Talks Grape Market and What Sets the Company's Goods Apart from Competitors
- by Lillie Apostolos
BAKERSFIELD, CA - As a kid, my grandmother would try to trick me into eating her favorite “popsicle,” better known as frozen grapes. It was her way of sneaking produce into my sugar-demanding diet, and that love she planted has since become a full-on requirement of grapes in my shopping cart.
Western Veg-Produce’s Ross Kirkorian, 3rd generation Bakersfield grape maven, shares on the current market, promotional opportunities, and what sets the company’s program apart from others’.
“The quality, top-to-bottom, is excellent throughout the whole valley,” Ross communicates. “The varieties that are being harvested at this time are the kind that yield large volumes, so there’s a lot of fruit around. It’s certainly a good time to promote.”
Coming from a family with over 65 years in the industry and bringing more than 15 years with Western Veg-Produce to the table, Ross has seen a thing or two in the produce ring. Right now, he sees promotional opportunities as ripe and ready for running.
To offer retailers exactly what they are looking for, Ross tells me that he caters to their merchandising needs with bags that sit up and show off the goods inside—and how can you resist the charm of a bag full of beautiful grapes? Inconceivable.
“This is a great opportunity to keep product moving through the stores. To do that, retailers should put grapes in the front of the stores to keep them in the center of the action. Consumers need quality face-time with our grapes and they like to see promotions,” he shares.
With grapes taking center stage in the produce aisle, I have to know what sets Western Veg-Produce’s apart from others. To this question, Ross tells me the company has exactly what consumers are vying for.
“We have some really great varieties coming up and there will be more promotable volumes in those, as well,” Ross tells me. “The red grapes seem to be what the public wants. They like full color and big size, and we offer that to them with our great quality grapes.”
With so many varieties available and ready to shine brightly at retail, the question is not a matter whether consumers will dive right into grapes, but, instead, how many innovative and exciting ways there are to merchandise and push grapes through at retail. We all know that nobody puts grapes in the corner.