Del Monte Fresh's Dionysios Christou Discusses Newly-Launched Bon Bon® Grape Tomatoes and Future Growth in Offerings
- by Jordan Okumura
CORAL GABLES, FL – Tomatoes go with everything, and consumers know it. As their versatility and preparation possibilities continue to grow, so is the market. Answering the call is Del Monte Fresh who is continuing to evolve its tomato program.
Dionysios Christou, Vice President of Marketing, joined me to discuss Del Monte Fresh’s tomato program and what’s new to the line. The company offers a wide variety of greenhouse and field grown tomatoes to retailers and foodservice providers.
“Our greenhouse grown tomatoes include TOVs, beef, cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes,” Dionysios tells me. “Recently we launched our new Bon Bon® greenhouse-grown grape tomatoes, which come in two different containers. The first is a grab-n-go 5.5 ounce cup for the on-the-go consumer, and the second is a patented re-sealable snacking bowl.”
Del Monte’s field grown tomatoes include roma, rounds, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and vine-ripe tomatoes. Del Monte offers high-quality tomatoes year-round.
“Del Monte is a brand that consumers and customers have trusted for over 130 years. We own over 11,000 acres of fertile farmland in Florida and Virginia, and 20 hectares of greenhouse operations in Guatemala and Costa Rica, ensuring a year-round supply of quality fresh tomatoes,” Dionysios adds.
All of Del Monte’s operations utilize state-of-the-art technologies, which provide enhanced food safety, consistent quality, and environmental sustainability. In addition, the company also provides award winning merchandising, category management, and marketing programs to support customers in their efforts to grow sales.
Del Monte is also a logistics solution provider with six tomato repack facilities, 22 distribution centers nationally, and 180 owned trailers with 170 drivers that travel over 15 million miles a year. The company owns its own shipping fleet as well.
Dionysios also tells me that Del Monte is growing its business organically in all segments and channels. “Currently we are testing new packaging alternatives and new technology to extend product shelf life,” he says. “Del Monte continues to expand its volume and offerings to satisfy both retail and foodservice current partners and new business.”
Del Monte has, and continues, to invest significant resources in understanding trends, needs, and shopping behaviors of tomato consumers. The company works closely with retail partners to develop promotional and merchandising activities that will educate consumers and essentially maximize sales.
“This includes, among others, development of eye-catching POS for shelves, in-store demos, and labeling information about the product on-pack,” Dionysios says. “Del Monte category managers and merchandisers are constantly communicating with our retailers and their produce personnel to share best strategies for driving tomato sales.”
Dionysios also adds that tomatoes offer many cross-merchandising opportunities because they can be combined with many different items, especially in the produce department.
“By cross-merchandising, retailers have the opportunity to increase tomato sales and sales of related products. We recommend cross merchandising Del Monte® tomatoes with other Del Monte® products such as avocados, onions, and peppers and with packaged salads, fresh basil, garlic, and dressings. It can also be effective to cross-merchandise tomatoes outside the produce department with non-produce items like sandwich items, pastas, deli meats, and cheeses, such as mozzarella,” he says.
With the debut of new and exciting tomato varieties on the rise, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for continued updates.