FreshSource, LLC Sales & Merchandising is proud to announce the recent hire of Mike Casazza, as the President of FreshSource, LLC- Southwest Region.

February 7, 2017

FreshSource, LLC Sales & Merchandising is proud to announce the recent hire of Mike Casazza, as the President of FreshSource, LLC- Southwest Region.

“FreshSource is proud to have such a tremendous talent join our family. We are confident that Mike will add a great deal of value to the services we provide our principles and retailers, as well as helping us execute on our expansion in the years to come.,” says Founder Robert Thompson.

Mike has more than 25 years of executive experience in sales and marketing of Tropical Fruit, Commodity Vegetables, and all lines of Value Added produce through retail, foodservice, club and wholesale formats throughout North America.

Prior to joining Freshsource, Mike served for more than a decade-and-a-half as Executive Vice President for North American Sales and Marketing with Apio Inc., where he managed its commodity fruit and vegetable business and growth of value added vegetables.

Earlier in his career, throughout the ’90s, Mike was with Del Monte Fresh Produce, starting as a Western Region Foodservice Manager and was promoted to Vice President North America Sales. In addition to expanding the Western Region division Mike managed 5 divisional offices in North America, developed new markets, and planned and implemented sales strategy for Del Monte Gold pineapple.

Mike is a long time member of the Fresh Produce and Floral Council, currently serving on its Board of Directors. While Chairman of the FPFC Board in 2013, he became the first-ever current chairman to receive the Norman H. “Buz” Bolstad Produce Award, recognizing his distinguished leadership at the Council and in the produce industry. He is also on the Advisory Committee of the Southeast Produce Council.

Mike has been married for 45 years and has two daughters, one son, four grandsons, and two granddaughters. His hobbies are his grandchildren and golf.

FreshSource currently manages territories for their principal partners in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southwest territories. FreshSource continues to understand the pressure to capture the attention and imagination of niche audiences in today’s ever-changing consumer market. They are committed to building sales, delivering key services and ensuring your goals are met! If you are seeking to net sustainable, consistent results please contact FreshSource, LLC to discuss your company’s future sales & merchandising needs.

FreshSource, LLC Sales & Merchandising promotes Natalie Junqueiro Machado to National Director of Marketing

January 19, 2017

FreshSource, LLC Sales & Merchandising is thrilled to announce the promotion of Natalie Junqueiro Machado to National Director of Marketing at FreshSource, LLC.

“Natalie has been a solid Marketing Manager for the Southern California division and this promotion will elevate Natalie’s responsibilities to manage the entire company’s marketing direction and social media objectives for all divisions as we continue to grow” says Founder Robert Thompson

Natalie is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo who joined the company four years ago and has held positions in both the Business Development and Sales departments for FreshSource. Since joining the FreshSource team she has performed at a high level in managing the many aspects of daily operations and tackling special projects for the company. She has proven to be an exceptional addition to the FreshSource Team.

FreshSource currently manages territories for their principal partners in Southern California, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. FreshSource continues to understand the pressure to capture the attention and imagination of niche audiences in today’s ever-changing consumer market. They are committed to building sales, delivering key services and ensuring your goals are met! If you are seeking to net sustainable, consistent results please contact FreshSource, LLC to discuss your company’s future sales & merchandising needs.

Learn more at www.freshsource.info

Nugget in Corte Madera

June 3, 2016

This is the second Paradise Foods store that in undergoing the change over to Nugget. We worked with TJ from Organic Girl and Charles from Edge to complete the Space Grid install. We pulled all product/shelving, cleaned the entire set by removing the well to wash all shelving and get to the fans to clean the entire case. While spraying down to case the drain clogged up which cause about a 30 minute delay, but we were able to get all of the water out and drain working again. We set a 8ft five shelf Space Grid section and a 4ft set for Dressings/Cut Veg. We were able to get an extra row of Taylor Farms in for a 12 facing block of TF Chopped Kits and incorporate TF Shredded Carrots and Cabbage to complete the section. As we were setting Dressings/Cut Veg we were also able to expand TF Organic Veg to 6 horizontally blocked facings and set the TF Organic Veg Tray at 2 facings in the well.

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NatureSweet product being merchandised at store level at Luckys SF


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Before and After of Green Giant at Albertsons in Calabasas


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FPFC Highlights: FreshSource @ the 2015 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FRESH PRODUCE & FLORAL EXPO

July 24, 2015
Southern California Fresh Produce & Floral Expo is a BIG HIT!
The highly anticipated, Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s annual Southern California Produce & Floral Expo attracted a record number of exhibitors and participants, selling out the event for yet another year.
  Chef Doris Kwon, Clarissa Thompson, Robert Thompson

Chef Doris Kwon, Clarissa Thompson, Robert Thompson

Over 200 companies representing produce/floral suppliers, and related industries — gathered on the expo floor of the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. This year’s event drew approximately 2,000 exhibitors from supermarkets across Southern California. Team Fresh Source conceptualized and produced its largest exhibit (footprint) at the Expo to date, featuring many of our principal vendors showcasing their latest products.

To help buyers and decision makers fully grasp the products our principals brought to display, we hired Chef, Doris Kwon, to create fresh, tasty, appetizers for all participants to enjoy and better connect with the products flavor and potential. The aromas, creative presentation, and immense flavors created a buzz on the expo floor that generated a swarm of interest, discussions and in some cases — actual sales/negotiations.

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Fresh Source Central

Our exhibitors were the center of attention, and our exhibit was awarded “Best in Show” thanks to the hard work of Natalie Machado, who worked tirelessly to organize and orchestrate everyone involved. In fact, we want to recognize and thank everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Expo, as we know many of you dedicated your time, energy and resources to this event — so hats off to all who participated!

For those of you who did not get a chance to experience the Expo first hand, we’ve assembled a gallery of images below that reflect the fun, energy and excitement we experienced at this years event. Enjoy!

Source: The Packer, Fresh Produce & Floral Council

What you missed at the 2015 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FRESH PRODUCE & FLORAL EXPO

How to Successfully Cross-Merchandise in any Aisle

May 22, 2015

The Art of Cross Product Promotion

Cross merchandising is an art form that involves far more than a grocery store manager deciding where to pair bananas with cereal displays. “Cross merchandising is important because people buy solutions not products and retailers tend to sell products and not solutions. So they need to combine things that tend to cross departments,” says Neil Stern, senior partner with McMillan Doolittle, a retail consulting firm in Chicago (source: about.com).

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“In general, placement can lift the sales of different items,” Venky Shankar, professor of marketing at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, told United Press International (source: Retail Now case study). “It’s true across the board, but the amount depends on categories.”

Why It Works

A case in point is the pairing of chips and soda pop. When displayed adjacent to one another, soft drink sales increased up to 9% while chips remained the same. “If you are shopping for chips, you may remember you get thirsty when you eat them, so you buy soda,” Prof. Shankar told UPI. “But if you stop at a gas station because you’re thirsty, you probably aren’t going to buy chips.” (source: UPI)

At West Point Market in Akron, Ohio, produce shoppers can sample new-crop autumn apples with cubes of cheddar, an experience that boosts sales of both. At Central Markets in Texas, the cheddar is pre-cut into approximately $6 portions and displayed atop of an uncut block of cheddar alongside apples to prompt an impulse purchase (source: Specialty Food Association).

Pre-cut Gruyère with Anjou pears also tempts Central Market shoppers. “We see huge jumps in sales when we put cheese in produce,” says Debbie Harris, cheese merchandiser for the 10 New Seasons Markets, all in the Portland, Ore., area. Aged Gouda in pre-cut $4 portions sells well when merchandised with apples and pears and can remain un-refrigerated longer than cheddar’s, Harris says. (source: Specialty Food Association).

Keys to Success

To achieve success with cross-merchandising there are four ingredients that are critical to making your display work:

Correlation: Group together products that are related in some way. For instance, an electronics retailer might display some popcorn or beverages near their DVDs and Blu-Ray movies.

Relevance: Create your product display around a central theme. Cluttering it with unrelated products and no central theme will only reduce its effectiveness as a marketing tool.

Performance: After setting up any cross-merchandising display, pay close attention to your sales in the weeks and months to follow. If it’s not performing well, don’t be hesitant to make some changes.

Profiling: Think like a customer. Ask yourself — does this display make me want to buy the product? If you answered no, it’s probably time to re-think your product display.

The Takeaway

In the end, cross merchandising is much more than the rearranging of product from one department to another. It’s all about creating a theme – ultimately finding and promoting the thread that ties the featured products together.

When done right, cross-merchandising can drive more sales and higher profits. It’s a simple marketing technique that nearly all of the nation’s top retailers use and a strategy that Fresh Source leverages for many of its product vendors.

How to control product shrinkage by customers

May 16, 2015

Damage Control in the Produce Aisle 

For the uninitiated, fresh produce shrink is common to every produce department and is mainly caused by the handling of the product, which in turn induces enough damage to make the product unsellable at its full potential price. Unfortunately, the people involved in what’s technically referred to as ‘mechanical damage’ happens to be customers and employees. Thousands of hours and collective brainpower have been harnessed to combat this conundrum.

Produce Shrinkage - Bell Peppers

Shrink from customer interaction is typically caused by over handling or dropping of fragile items in a way that causes bruising or exterior damage. FreshSource takes a hands-on approach to helping produce managers understand how to best handle and display products we represent, with field representatives visiting stores and visually inspecting displays on a daily basis.

Below are five best practices that we advocate to reduce shrinkage from customer handling:

  1. Positioning: Do not place products on too steep of an angle — as customers shop, it increases the likelihood that the product will tumble to the floor and crack or bruise.
  2. Display: Position products in a manner that is easy for a customer to pick up and inspect. Displaying your broccoli all-stems-down may have an excellent visual appeal, but each customer will be grabbing the product from the top and breaking or crumbling portions of the florets every time they examine the display.
  3. Communication: Place a sign or sticker to indicate that a product is ripe so that customers do not feel the need to squeeze every peach or avocado in your perfectly arranged display.
  4. Packaging: Place loose items like field greens and beans in containers or bins that reduce the likelihood of the product being dropped or stepped on.
  5. Signage: For heavy items that require a helping hand, use sign displays to encourage shoppers to ask for assistance loading their cart. This will reduce waste from melons and pumpkins accidentally splattering onto the floor.

Although most produce departments come staffed with fully competent management and personnel, FreshSource ensures each store has the equipment they need to display and distribute our product vendor inventory 24/7/365.

Have questions regarding product shrinkage and how you can combat it? Reach out to us today for a complimentary product evaluation and we will provide you with tangible ideas on how to keep your displays in optimal condition.

USDA Says Aloha to Hawaii’s Sharwil Avocado

September 23, 2013

“Greetings and Welcome Back” is a traditional Hawaiian greeting, but not one usually extends it to a fruit, no matter how Hawaiian it is. But the US Department of Agriculture has essentially said it to Hawaii’s Sharwil avocado, allowing the prized green delicacy back onto the US mainland after 21 years with all its natural flavor intact.

sharwil-avacadoIt only seems right and long overdue, given that in 1992, the poor Sharwil was arguably a victim of circumstantial evidence. That was the year an oriental fruit fly larva was found in a Hawaiian packing house that processed Sharwil avocados, along with other local produce. Though never identified as the source of the crop-devastating insect, the USDA slapped stringent export requirements on the Sharwil. These requirements were so strict—exposure to cold, fumigation—that they would have destroyed the taste and reputation of the delicate Sharwil in order to save it. Stripped of its succulent, nutty flavor by cold and chemicals, mainland guacamole lovers would quickly have abandoned what was before a prized delicacy, leaving it to rot on supermarket shelves. Fearing the fruit’s reputation would be forever marred, Hawaiian farmers stopped exporting the Sharwil to the mainland and began the long process of clearing its name—and clearing it for export again in its natural state.

Led by growers and Hawaii’s congressional delegation, advocates of the fruit uncovered new research showing the Sharwil is at the bottom of the oriental fruit fly’s list of preferred hosts. The USDA has now approved export of the Sharwil to 32 states. Though Maui and the Big Island farmers grow close to a million pounds of the large, round Sharwils a year, the USDA projects the Hawaiian import will garner only 1% of next year’s US avocado market. But Hawaiian avocado growers are optimistic, with Hawaii Avocado Association President Tom Benton believing the Sharwil over the next ten years will find and establish an expanding niche market throughout the states.

Aloha and Ee komo ma, Sharwil, from your friends on the mainland.

Planting Seeds for Future Harvest

July 31, 2013

Fresh Source helps clients tell their story through product presentation …

On the heels of the 2013 FPFC Expo, we want to thank our participants – you made the  event a phenomenal success!

All3Our goal was to showcase our clients’ products so that prospective buyers could easily learn about the brands, the latest offerings and the items to purchase for the stores, marketplaces and restaurants they represent.

We want to thank Amport Foods, Taylor Farms, Simply Fresh Fruit, My Fruity Faces, Tasti-Lee, Bing Beverage, Foxy Grain and Oscar’s Homemade Salsa  for letting us make your FPFC Expo a productive and impactful event. We hope you found the Expo   as beneficial as we did.

FreshSource is committed to helping brands it represents build dynamic relationships with prospective clients while reinforcing their sourcing, delivering and merchandising needs.  To that end, we’d  like to share some highlights from the 2013 FPFC Expo that we think capture the spirit of the event.

This year’s theme was “Open Air Farmers Market,” a name that pays homage to today’s fresh–from-the-farm phenomenon that has captured the hearts and minds of buyers throughout the nation.

Surrounded by fresh fruit and vegetables from local markets, we created a colorful presentation that incorporated installations from Amport Foods, Taylor Farms, Simply Fresh Fruit, My Fruity Faces, Tasti-Lee, Bing Beverage, Foxy Grain and Oscar’s Homemade Salsa. 

Our attractive, strategic displays helped generate  productive dialogue with expo attendees and buyers.

Amport Stacks the Racks

Amport1000Demonstrating how a product will be displayed at the market helps buyers identify the  space needed to sell it in the real-world retail environment. We displayed Amport items using three 4-foot Metro-racks currently installed at all Ralphs Supermarket locations.  Amport also featured their Value Snack Pallet Program offering 10/$10 Fresh Dollar Snacks.  Our team greeted participants with samples of Party Trail Mix and Tropical Trail Mix during show hours – all  of which received positive feedback.

Taylor Shows Off the Farm 

Taylor1000Today’s consumers have  busy lives and hectic schedules – and although being on the go is a priority, trading health for a quick bite is a fading trend.

Taylor Farms understands that trend, and responded with a display featuring  timely, accessible, sought-after products that were noticed buyers at the expo. Participants examined Conventional Bagged Salads, Organic Party Trays, Chopped Salads and Green Giant Bagged Veggies.

Taylor Farms wisely sampled their NEW Italian Chopped Salad, a zesty combination of salami and Italian cheese blend paired with an inviting  mix of romaine lettuce, broccoli, red cabbage, celery, green onions and parsley.

Our Brand Ambassador, Athena Thompson, helped familiarize prospective buyers  with each of Taylor’s products. Having previously attended an educational training workshop, Athena  could answer any question from the expo floor attendees.

We believe our training ensures a fluency of product knowledge among our Brand Ambassadors, enhancing their ability to tell  your story in a convincing, compelling way  Equally important is the peace-of-mind from knowing that you will be able to focus on networking with other decision makers as opposed to having to manage your product displays.

Bing Beverage & Foxy Play Neighbors @ the Expo

bing-foxyLooking great on display were Bing Beverage and Foxy, with prominent displays that demanded attention. Foxy Grain showcased 6 best-selling hot-topic Items: Quinoa, Flax Seed, Chia, Wild Rice, and Granolas.  These instant conversation starters naturally gravitated buyers to their display.

With a fresh produce backdrop, Bing Beverage appeared as a natural in the produce department. Sampling both Bing Cherry and Bing Blackberry at the Expo, Lida Borooshan, an FreshSource Brand Ambassador, educated potential clients while ensuring samples were readily and steadily available.

Simply Fresh Is Irresistible
SimplyFresh1000What do you do when you provide a product that is simply irresistible? You let everyone taste it so they can crave more. Simply Fresh Fruit,  the largest fresh-cut fruit provider in the US, featured a great display that boasts their colorful, delicious, sweet prepackaged fruit.

Coupled with a Farmers Market themed ice barrel and proximity to nearby foot traffic, their display was too hard to pass up! Proof: we received several responses and inquiries into the availability of Simply Fresh Fruit from attendees.

Oscar’s Homemade Salsa Is an Expo Hit

oscars1000The display for Oscar’s Homemade, a locally sourced Salsa, became an expo magnet. The display’s combination of 7 flavors, festive colors and lovely authentic backdrop ensured that Oscar’s Salsa drew in attendees for both samples and inquiries.

Makailia Rhodes, a Fresh Source Brand Ambassador, made sure everyone received a sample of Oscar’s Salsa while educating them on Oscar’s 100% fresh ingredients and their local Chula Vista, California, location.

It was a win for both Expo Attendees and a nod to Oscar’s newfound fame.

Tasti-Lee Grows the Perfect Tomato

tasti1000Tasti-Lee tomatoes are vine-ripened to perfection and aligned beautifully with RFT’s Farmers Market theme creation on the expo floor. Splashing crimson red, these tomatoes are delicious as they are gorgeous both inside and out. For health, this new tomato contains high Lycopene, up to 50% more than regular varieties. It has the right balance of sweet & tangy flavor for an eating experience that will put a smile on your face. And for freshness… these tomatoes have been bred to stay on the vine until fully ripened by Mother Nature, yet remain firm all the way to the store shelf and the kitchen counter! They are offered in both in Conventional and New Organic versions and every box of Tasti-Lees tomatoes are ripe for the picking.

My Fruity Faces Makes Eating Fun for Kids

Fruity Faces1000My Fruity Faces is a fun and easy way to encourage children to eat their fruits and vegetables.  With a cute and brightly colored product packaging, these edible stickers were of huge interest to Expo goers and are sure to make a positive impact when they hit the stores.

That’s a Wrap!

The 2013 FPFC Expo was a great experience and an ideal opportunity to ignite interest in our client’s brands and learn from fellow exhibitors on how to visually articulate your products.

~ Team Fresh Source

 

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