Crystal Valley Foods' Katiana Valdes Talks Asparagus
- by Maggie Mead
MIAMI, FL - All abooooard the asparagus train! That’s right, the nutrient-rich stalks have seen an uptick in popularity in recent years, and Crystal Valley Foods is eager to answer the call. Despite weather interference in growing regions, the company is seeing a fantastic asparagus season. While asparagus is still being harvested, the company finds time to look ahead, through 2019 and beyond.
“Although it is the end of the Peruvian season, the quality has been good,” said Katiana Valdes, Marketing Director. “The first arrivals from Caborca, Mexico have been exceptionally good so far as well.”
Although in the past Peru was front and center for asparagus growing, sourcing is now transitioning to Mexican-grown, specifically out of the Caborca region in Northern Senora, which is typical for this time of year. This region will generally see an increase in volume at the end of January, with the peak hitting around the end of February and beginning of March, Katiana said.
2018 was not without its bumps in the road, however, as weather in Caborca was colder than normal. The chill delayed the beginning of the season, though the company does not expect any further weather disruptions. In fact, the company anticipates a growth of approximately 25 percent for 2019 over 2018—provided, of course, the weather cooperates.
Anticipating an increase in supply, the company has identified February and March as an excellent time for promotion at retail and is happy to help with a more hands-on approach.
“Crystal Valley’s marketing team is happy to work with retailers to develop custom POS for their stores and social media posts and help them share recipes and tips in order to promote their asparagus programs,” commented Katiana.
Marketing the luscious green stalks can be tricky, as more and more shoppers veer toward bagged asparagus. As a result, the company is investing more resources in bagging and value-added capabilities. The turn towards bagged asparagus brings up new marketing opportunities, and Crystal Valley Foods has responded with a snazzy new design.
“The new design is bold, modern, calls out the incredible health benefits of asparagus, gives preparation tips, and most importantly, shows the product nicely,” said Katiana.
The entire product line is included in the redesign, featuring all new packaging for its tags, 1 lb, and 8 oz tips bags. The company also offers 11 lb bulk product, naked tips, and several other value-added sizes that can be customized and private labeled. Clearly, now is a great time for retailers to increase their asparagus stock.
“Although consumption has increased over the last several years, there is still great potential for growth and opportunities to reach those consumers who might not know much about this delicious vegetable,” commented Katiana.
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