Charlie Eagle of Southern Specialties Talks Asparagus, Value Added Products, and Differentiation

Thu. February 19th, 2015 - by Jordan Okumura

With the asparagus season well underway, competition between growers is ramping up and differentiation is becoming even more important. 

I spoke with Charlie Eagle, Vice President Business of Development at Southern Specialties, about growth in the asparagus market and how the company's value added arenas set them apart from the rest.

As the company and its client base continue to grow, including investments in Peru and Mexico, asparagus has become Southern Specialties’ #1 product. Offering asparagus, a product most of its customers use, has allowed the company to increase sales for its specialty products as well. Creating a logistical mass allows customers to buy pallets of asparagus and then be able to add those specialty products to their order as a “spend-along”.

Charlie Eagle, Vice President of Business Development, Southern Specialties

When asked about the company’s growth within the asparagus market, Eagle tells me, “Offering value added asparagus under our Southern Selects label has enabled us to fine tune our approach to fulfilling customers needs. We have a pack style for every consumer. We offer approximately a dozen SKU’s that range from Southern Select’s trimmed, microwave ready, asparagus tips to club store presentations.”

Southern Specialties utilizes several strategies to create ways for its customers to grow their businesses. Category management, innovative packaging, and having category expertise have been ways to add value to customers, Eagle says.

“We try to work together with retailers and foodservice distributors to create reliable programs. By that I mean our knowledge of the category, starting at ground level, is an asset that customers can take advantage of. Logistics expertise, in-house packaging solutions, private label capabilities, several levels of quality assurance and food safety certifications and year round supplies all bring value to our customers,” Eagle continues. “Loading asparagus with additional selections from our extensive menu of specialty products helps create low-cost solutions, as well. Our account managers are experts in the asparagus category and are here to serve.”

Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest updates on Southern Specialties and developments in asparagus market.

Southern Specialties