Congratulations and reorganizations
Good Morning, it’s another grab bag Wednesday. First, we have to congratulate Stefanie Katzman of the Katzman group of companies for her recognition in the Packer of Women in Produce. Stefanie learned every aspect of the wholesale produce business from the ground up. She worked her way through every department until she had a broad understanding of how things worked, how to fix problems and ultimately how to make them work better. I told her Dad, Stephen Katzman many years ago, thank God for Stefanie because we needed new blood in our business who was as passionate about this business as we were, and Stefanie epitomizes passion for produce. I would like to think we all had a hand in Stefanie’s education in the produce business, but I think going forward she may teach all of us old dogs some new tricks. Congrats Stefanie, you are a star and are well deserving of this recognition.
I know I have been beating this packaging of fresh produce for years, but I think retailers are finally catching on. Produce 101, customers buy with their eyes and plastic packaging takes away the beauty of fresh produce. It always amazed me that people want to buy organic produce for health and the environment, but they buy in wrapped in plastic. Add to the list
Cut up produce like bananas, watermelons, apples, oranges etc. that come in their own natural packaging, but people pay 3 or 4 times the price to buy it in a plastic container. Also realize that most of the recalls we have had over the last several years have been in establishments that do fresh cut produce and the biggest oxymoron of them all, value added products. You know what value-added means? It’s a euphemism for we take a product cut it or package it charge you 3 or 4 times the original amount of the product. The value added is for them, you get nothing added except price.
This is a statement from Ron Bedway commenting on Marriot going against Airbnb
The traditional blue chips are beginning to learn from past failures of maintaining the status quo (Kodak, Blockbuster, Toy"R"Us) and embracing self-disruption to reinvent their businesses (Best Buy, Disney, Walmart). Flexibility and breadth of offering creates loyalty. Companies choosing to ignore the market do so at their own risk (Hilton). It's early in the game, but the consumer already appears to be the victor.
This statement definitely applies to the retail food industry. While they are all fighting to compete with one another in grocery and online, spending billions of dollars at the end of the day they will all be very close to one another in price and services. This applies to the giants like Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, add all the other large chains. There is only one area where they all can improve and actually knock out the competition and that is in FRESH, and fresh produce is on top of that list. As I have said many times the battles will be fought in grocery, but the war will be won in fresh. #educate, #renovate, #stimulate, #agitate, #DOMINATE has been my mantra. Stack it high and watch it fly. Value pricing that helps the farmer and the consumer and is truly the only sustainable way forward. Less plastic packaging, all packaging for that matter to make your displays pop and show off the beauty of produce. Get the PMA to start promoting produce to consumers instead of themselves. If they don’t do it one of the giants will have to because we have a great story to tell when it comes to produce, it’s time to tell it!
If you are interested, please read some of my articles that are posted on LinkedIn. Whether you agree or disagree is not important, having the conversation is what matters the most.
Have a great week.