Progressive Produce Division Keystone Fruit Marketing's Mike Blume Discusses Sweet Onion Season

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Fri. October 29th, 2021 - by Jenna Plasterer

GREENCASTLE, PA - It’s November 1, and that means that the countdown to Thanksgiving is officially on. With just 24 more days until the holiday feast begins, consumers have cooking on their mind, and that means ample opportunity for produce aisle merchandising. To share some tips, tricks, and insights about the staple category, sweet onions, and the company, Keystone Fruit Marketing’s Vice President of Sales, Mike Blume sat down with M. Andrea Scoggs.

Michael Blume, Vice President of Sales, Keystone Fruit Marketing“We have an excellent crop of our Mayan Sweets Sweet Onions from Peru, and the upcoming holidays are a perfect time to promote!” said Blume. “Mayan Sweets are a must-have, especially during the holidays. We are encouraging our retailer partners to expand displays, set up secondary displays, price aggressively, and sell some incredible sweet onions this fall and winter.”

As Blume went on to explain, sweet onions are the perfect addition to salads, burgers, sandwiches, casseroles, soups, and so much more. You name the dish, and sweet onions will elevate it. That is what makes the category so essential during the holiday season. Not to mention, as the pandemic has made consumers more aware of the health and wellness benefits of the produce they are eating, sweet onions provide immunity support and contain antioxidants.

As the holidays approach, Keystone Fruit Marketing is encouraging its retail partners to expand displays, set up secondary displays, price aggressively, and add its Mayan Sweets onions to shelves

To ensure that Keystone’s customers are getting the best deal on its sweet onions, which can then be passed on to shoppers, the company has been working to overcome the ongoing challenges around transportation. As Blume goes on to detail in the Q&A, the supplier is also overcoming the hurdles that have presented themselves due to COVID-19.

“We have all been challenged to adapt to a different world. Video calls are replacing face-to-face meetings, labor issues are affecting everything, and limited travel is disrupting our normal business flow,” he commented. “The biggest challenge we are currently facing is the rising costs of everything—ocean freight, truck rates, packaging, pallets, labor—and there is no relief in sight. We are working hard to keep costs reasonable, yet profitable for our growers, while continuing to make on time deliveries to our valued customers!”

Although facing supply chain challenges like much of the fresh produce industry, Keystone Marketing is working to provide the best product, pricing, and availability to its customers

With one holiday in the bank and others drawing near, Blume said that Keystone Marketing will use its expertise, which it has been honing since 1977, to provide customers with what they want and need. And much of that is supported by the company’s strong group of associates.

“They’re knowledgeable, passionate, and personable,” Blume said of the team. "The Keystone Sales Team knows our products, understands the business, and cares about our customers and growers. Providing excellent quality products at fair pricing while assuring on-time deliveries is what we all strive for every day!”

Well, there you have it folks! With just a few short weeks left to take advantage of Thanksgiving demand, sweet onions could be the golden ticket to boosting sales, and Keystone Fruit Marketing has you covered.

Keystone Fruit Marketing