by Christina DiMartino | November 01, 2016
It’s understandable how colorful, eye-appealing, uniquely shaped, unusually sized but all the same exciting specialty vegetables can cause a dilemma for produce retailers who aren’t accustomed to the how-to of displaying them so they’ll have the best advantage at drawing consumers’ eyes and whetting their appetites.
This year at the PMA Fresh Summit, Babé Farms Inc., which is known for its high-quality line of the most special of the specialties, took this issue to heart.Matt Hiltner, social media and marketing; Rocio Munoz, sales and procurement; Ande Manos, marketing and business development; and Carol Jensen, a representative of Charlie’s Produce Portland.
"Our goal at the Fresh Summit was to educate retailers on how to merchandise our specialty vegetables," said Matt Hiltner, social media and marketing assistant for the Santa Maria, CA-based company. "We offer a kaleidoscope of colorful items that can be displayed to inspire edible décor. When you market bright, a produce aisle can be transformed into a decadent visual feast."
The education initiative was a great success for the company. Hiltner said Babé Farms established some new relationships and met with many long-time customers and friends.
"In addition, walking the floor at the show gives us an excellent opportunity to research industry trends and get up to date with new products on the market," he pointed out.
Judy Lundberg-Wafer, one of the original founding members of Babé Farms, and her son, Jeff Lundberg, now own and operate Babé Farms. Jeff Lundberg serves as president and chief operating officer of the company, overseeing all aspects of the farming operation and business. Lundberg-Wafer is the chairman of the board and remains actively involved in the day-to-day operations.
This family-like business is proud of the fact that many of its employees from the field, administrative and sales staff have been with the company for well over 20 years.
At PMA Fresh Summit, Babé Farms promoted its full line of baby and specialty vegetables.
"Included in our lineup at the event were baby carrots and cauliflower, beets, radishes, Tokyo turnips, cabbage, baby Brussels sprouts and more," noted Hiltner.
The company has extensive lines of specialty roots and vegetables, salad and specialty greens and seasonal specialties.
Hiltner said this year’s Fresh Summit had the highest attendance to date for an East Coast venue.
"And it felt like it," he stressed. "Although there was more traffic through our booth on Saturday than Sunday, we had a good number of quality interactions with attendees throughout the weekend. It was a great opportunity for us to educate and be educated. We're already looking forward to the 2017 event."