Chris Gonzalez Dishes on WP Produce Desbry Brand Tropical Avocado Strategies
- by Jordan Okumura
MIAMI, FL - Those that get ahead, tend to stay ahead. The same sentiment carries through fresh produce planning, especially in today’s dynamic and unpredictable market. One company always looking to elevate its game and that of its retail partners as we move through this new norm is WP Produce. This spring, the company is helping customers keep their eye on the ball and their avocado destinations primed for robust sales.
“When it comes to planning for avocado programs at retail, the best time is now. This early window gives category managers and buyers time to learn about Desbry® Tropical Avocados and prepare to educate their shoppers about this big and unique avocado—which may be new to many of them,” Chris Gonzalez, Vice President of Sales, shares with me. “While WP is one of the leading tropical avocado grower-shippers, with the capability to distribute high-quality fruit all the way to the West Coast, not all retailers have brought tropical avocados into their program yet. Some may need time to set up WP Produce in their systems to begin issuing purchase orders.”
It is easy to see what is blowing in the wind: urgency. As a key player in tropical avocados, WP Produce brings a host of category know-how to its partners to alleviate much of the stress that goes along with seasonal and ad planning. And, with a distribution footprint firmly established throughout the U.S., the buy-side can now leverage the benefits—and increased profits—of this category-growing fruit.
“For some retailers, tropical avocados will be a new product, and produce managers may need time to learn how to store them, merchandise them, and promote them in-store for optimal success,” Chris expresses. “The WP Produce team supports our retail partners with training materials for the produce department on storing and merchandising, as well as in-store merchandising and shopper education, plus recipes, tips, and other online and social media resources through our partnership with The Produce Moms.”
To make the most out of creating destinations around WP Produce avocados, the company suggests planning around diversity and location. Retailers can grow their existing avocado offering with Desbry Tropical Avocados by merchandising them near or around Hass avocados, to start. And, with WP Produce’s advice, this can happen without cannibalizing sales on other items.
“Desbry can provide branded bins with usage tips and eye-catching recipe photos; attractive, stackable DRCs to create satellite displays; and destinations with complementary products as well as convenient and attention-getting 2-count bags that answer consumers’ desire for convenience and concerns about food safety,” Chris offers up. “On top of that, loose fruit with an easy-to-see PLU sticker makes an accurate register-ring easy for checkout clerks. The end goal is to give avocado-lovers another version of their favorite toast-topper to satisfy their families’ cravings, grow the category, and increase profitability and margins while the avocado craze remains high.”
Building best-in-class relationships that are tailored to the individual retailer is another area of investment that truly marks a milestone of accomplishment for the WP Produce team.
As Chris shares, WP Produce has the foundation of experience and education to propel its customers into market leaders within the category. The second-generation family-owned and operated grower-shipper has the supply chain control, logistics expertise, quality control processes, and nimbleness to create profitable custom programs that set up customers for optimal success.
“From our partnership with Hazel Technologies on extending avocado shelf-life to the ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude and flexibility that drives our team, our robust resources and passionate attitude drive change for our partners throughout the U.S.,” Chris concludes.
This back and forth leaves me filled to the brim with the essentials that make the company a category trailblazer. Retailers, take note!