Page 40 - December2018
P. 40

Mike Melendrez, produce manager with Food King in Little eld, TX, with 18 stores, reports seeing volume sales in tomatoes, avocados and squash. “Hot peppers, especially jalapeños, also continue to be popular,” he says. “A lot of customers have been asking for specialty peppers, such as scorpion and ghost peppers.”
Fresh Farms in Nogales, AZ, counts table grapes as its biggest item, but the company also handles large volumes in zucchini, cucum- bers, English cucumbers, watermelon and hard squash. “We also see growth in green bells and colored bells,” says Jerry Havel, director of sales and marketing.
Divine Flavor in Nogales, AZ, one of the largest importers of Mexican grapes into the U.S., looks to continue advancing in unique products. “In 2018, we had a vast extension of proprietary organic table grape varieties; we expanded our Nogales warehouse; we created Vivaorganica (a technically sophisticated, socially responsible organic vegetable opera- tion); and made other important investments,” says Pedro Batiz, vice president of sales.
Suppliers both large and small continue to increase volume and diversify in commodities. Newly formed Orbis Innovation in Produce of Pompano Beach, FL, handles a variety of products, including 85 hectares of greenhouse. “We are also involved in broccoli, cucumber, carrots and berries,” says Elvis Obregon, chief executive.
Smaller Mexican growers experience opportunity as markets expand, providing greater access to buyers. Sabbsol y Mangos in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, exports the Ataulfo variety of fresh mango. “ e mango market in the U.S. is growing, and we see more niches for increased sales,” says Jeral Bautista,

   38   39   40   41   42