Catania Worldwide Reports Steady Supply of Fig Varieties; Paul Catania Discusses
- by Peggy Packer
ONTARIO, CANADA - Each category in the produce department is unique and treasured, and one produce item gaining significantly more recognition lately is the fig. As shoppers brainstorm inventive ways to incorporate figs into their daily meals and snacks, a new channel of demand has opened up for retailers. Prepared to help them meet it is Catania Worldwide, and President Paul Catania recently gave me some clues on how to turn demand into dollars.
“Figs are starting to become more and more popular,” he tells me. “I strongly believe that educating consumers about different produce products available to them is important. Social media has become a huge driving force, and food bloggers are a major factor in creating awareness about items such as figs, including how to eat them and how to use them in recipes. These outlets have a reach that has really brought figs into the spotlight.”
Catania Worldwide is nearing the end of its California fig season and heading into its Mexico season, as it is wrapping up harvest for its Sierra and Tiger varieties, but still currently harvesting Black and Brown Turkey varieties. As Paul tells me, the fig market is currently fairly steady. Though volume has been down across the industry due to challenges with water supply, Catania is currently reporting a good supply of great quality figs, with some varieties up by nearly 35 percent. With this steady volume, Catania has the resources to help its retail partners collect more shopper dollars in the category.
“Education through the various marketing channels at our fingertips is very important to increasing sales in all categories,” Paul says, diving into some useful sales-driving tactics. “Whenever there is a new item, its placement in the store is also very important. If a product is hidden, the only consumer that will purchase it is the one that came in looking for it. Staple grocery list items are always very visible in stores, but the categories that aren’t on everyone’s grocery list need more visibility to grow a fanbase.”
In addition to prominent displays, packaging also draws the consumer in, and Catania aligns with its retail partners to develop packaging that will stop shoppers in their tracks.
“Packaging has become more and more important to Catania,” Paul adds. “If the retailer is willing to provide the real estate, we as a grower need to ensure it’s going to catch the consumer’s attention. Seeing how packaging has driven sales in a lot of different categories has really motivated us to work with our retailers to develop packaging that will do exactly that.”
Steady supply, innovative packaging, and this powerful partner. What more could you need to boost register rings in the fig category?