Become a Market Insider     
  • The California Drought and Implications for Fresh Produce

    May 30, 2014
    California DroughtYou may have heard about the water crisis in California. According to the US drought monitor, 100% of California is covered in the top three worst classifications of drought. When most people imagine drought, they attribute it to a lack of rain. While that may be one contributor, it certainly isn't all of it.

    Parts of California, such as the San Joaquin Valley, depend largely on run off water from the snow melt in the mountains to fill the lakes and reservoirs that in turn are used for crops. From there, farmers get allocations to use the water. This year, the lakes high water mark is at 50% of its normal amount, and farmers are getting anywhere from 5-30% of the normal allocations for their fields. There is a huge lack of water for both the permanent and seasonal crops. 

    As a result of the limited supply, farmers are dropping fruit from their trees to help preserve water the tree uses, without actually harvesting. Yields are expected to be down 30-40% this year. And, furthermore, if the trees aren't taken care of this year, there won’t be a crop for next year. The implications here are huge for tree fruit in both the short and long term.

    The Salinas deal, on the other hand, hasn't been affected quite as much. They depend on well water rather than run off or rain, and are a bit more secure. Although, if there is another bad winter, next year will be rough. So while the growers in Salinas may be groaning about the drought, but it’s due more to the higher cost of water as opposed to the shortage. At this point, no one is rationing, and the situation doesn't feel as critical. 
     
  • Snoboy Produce: The Recipe for Success

    May 16, 2014

    For those who aren’t aware, Amerifresh is the proud owner of the nearly 90 year old Snoboy brand of fresh produce. Snoboy is one of the oldest continually packed produce brands in existence. Since it’s conception in 1925, it has been notorious for consistency, availability, and premium quality.

    You may wonder how a produce brand can offer all of those advantages- often times quality will diminish when availability is poor, or any other combination. Today, we’re letting you in on our recipe for the brands' success.

    We still maintain strict standards for each of the 85 foodservice items we pack (alongside our growing retail category) in Snoboy. We have developed and continue to maintain quality specifications for each item. These standards are written to ensure that only the best product makes it into the Snoboy box.

    Our grower partners keep these specifications on file and know them quite well. They know that at Amerifresh we expect the quality in the field to meet or exceed our standard before it can go in a Snoboy box. We employ a team of quality assurance Associates to check the fields prior to the harvest crew’s arrival. It is their daily duty to independently qualify and select the acreage that we’ll be packing in Snoboy. If it does not meet the standard, we move on to acreage that does.

    We do all of this for a number of reasons:

    1. We are striving to protect the reputation of the Snoboy brand.
    2. We have made an obligation and commitment to our customers to provide this level of quality.
    3. We believe the only way to verify quality is to have our people, resources, and talent at the field level.

    As a result, we truly become our customer’s representative in the field.

    So, next time you see or receive Snoboy product, rest assured that it has undergone this rigorous inspection and selection process. And, if you’ve never experienced the Snoboy difference, we highly recommend you give it a try to see what a distinction our representation in the field can make!

  • Snoboy TV: Iceberg Lettuce Harvest

    May 09, 2014
    Our next installment of Snoboy TV is here! If you've ever wondered what the process for iceberg lettuce harvest looks like, then this is the episode for you.

  • Presenting Snoboy TV

    Apr 18, 2014
    This week we're proud to present the first installation of a new resource we're providing to our customers - Snoboy TV!

    Our goal is to offer a visual education experience which allows you to better understand produce. We will be uploading new videos every two weeks. You can watch them by subscribing to our Snoboy YouTube channel.

    In this first video, we look at the harvest and Quality Assurance process for our brand new Snoboy 12x3 retail romaine heart. Enjoy!

  • Snoboy Romaine Hearts Available Now

    Apr 11, 2014

    Last week we were in Vancouver for the annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention. We were up there promoting Snoboy's return to the retail marketplace. Our first item in the line is the Snoboy 12x3 romaine heart.

    CPMA Show

    Snoboy was once a nationally recognized retail brand, and we are so excited to announce that we are now returning to the retail marketplace. Every resealable bag is packed to order to guarantee maximum shelf life and freshness. Our Quality Assurance is out in the field inspecting the orders to ensure that they meet our strict specifications.

    As of this week, this new product is ready to order! Contact Amerifresh today at info@amerifresh.com for more information.

  • Green Gold: What's Up With The Lime Market?

    Apr 03, 2014
    Lime MarketThe city of McAllen has become renowned as the produce capital for Mexican produce crossing into Texas. Last year, Amerifresh strategically opened an office in the city to partner with Mexican growers that want to deliver into the Midwest and Eastern United States. Our McAllen branch is celebrating their 1 year anniversary since the creation of the branch last April!

    Robert Velasquez, sales/trader in the growing McAllen office, has been in the produce industry since 1998 and active in the lime market his entire career. Robert explains that over the last 2 years the lime market had reached lows of $6.00 per carton across all sizes. This year, Robert says, “I doubt we will see prices even under $10.00 dollars a box.” Last month the lime market saw record highs of over $100.00 per box! This is the first time in Robert’s career he seen such highs in the lime deal. 

    There are two reasons why there are such high spikes in the lime market movement; weather and bacterium on the lime trees. The primary cause is weather. The lime growing regions of Mexico saw heavy rains and cold temperatures lasting longer than normal last winter. The Mexican growers in Veracruz can attest to the consequential low volume this weather has caused. The decrease in volume has created an influx of demand causing him and other growers alike to harvest whatever fruit is available on the trees, which is already smaller than normal. Picking this fruit now means that this fruit is not able to stay on the trees longer to grow/mature into a larger piece of fruit. The result means that moving into April fruit is expected to stay small. Robert also says that we should start to see more volume by the end of this week and into next week.
  • Amerifresh Associate Spotlight

    Mar 06, 2014
    Annette CalandraWhen you do business with Amerifresh, you get something that can’t be bought or automated- real people with years upon years of hands on experience in the produce, logistics, foodservice and food retail industries. Each month, we put a spotlight on the Associates who keep the engine purring by providing you with the best customer service and expertise out there. So without further ado, we are proud to present to you the people who so hard to help you succeed.

    Meet Annette

    Annette Calandra has been with Amerifresh for 21 years and comes from a long lineage of farmers. When she was young, her family moved to California, where her father bought 40 acres and began farming table and wine grapes.  From there the family business expanded into a successful packing operation out of Sanger, California. At 18, her brother took over the business after they tragically lost both parents. Due to her extensive family history, she is an expert in table grapes. Today you can find Annette working as a Sales Associate out of Fresno, California.

    What are some of your hobbies?
    Snow skiing, entertaining friends and family, cooking Italian food, travelling, taking care of my seven grandchildren, watching them play sports, going to plays and musicals, and I love to talk talk talk  with friends, family, and co-workers! 

    What words best describe you?
    Very outgoing, very bubbly

    What is your favorite movie?
    Pretty Woman, Godfather, and Sound of Music

    What was your first CD/album?
    The Beatles

    What would you do with a million dollars?
    I’d rent a cruise ship and take my entire family and friends on a beautiful trip to Europe for a month, and share my wealth with them all!  I’d also donate money to many charities and my church.  

  • Special Report: Cabbage

    Feb 20, 2014
    CabbageSt. Patrick's Day is coming up, and restaurateurs are preparing for the festivities. As is to be expected, interest in cabbage is picking up considerably. At the same time, prices are shooting up. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average prices are almost double what they were last year, and considerably higher than they have been for the past several years. 

    Along with astronomical prices, supplies are tightening up as shippers receive more and more calls leading up to the holiday. It is in situations like these when it pays to be working with a produce marketer with buying power as strong as Amerifresh, with powerful existing relationships spread throughout a network of reliable growers!

    So, hang on, and make sure to pre-book your cabbage in the upcoming week. We'll get a better idea of this market as we approach St. Patrick's Day!
  • National Grocers Association 2014 Recap

    Feb 13, 2014
    This past week we made our first appearance at the National Grocers Association annual trade show. It was a valuable experience and we were so grateful for the opportunity to exhibit in the Produce Marketing Association pavilion!



    Our primary reason for attending the show is that we are excited to announce the reintroduction of Snoboy fresh produce into the retail market place. 

    Established in 1925, Snoboy was once a nationally recognized retail brand- as you can tell from this recovered 1955 TV commercial. After a hiatus from grocery shelves, we are now offering a new line of Snoboy retail products to independent retailers! We spent our time at the show connecting with grocers from across the country about our new line of products.

    Our mission is to empower independent retailers with an established high quality brand to better compete in the marketplace. Snoboy brand fresh produce offers:
    • Maximum shelf life. Each piece is packed to order, no sitting around on cooler floors waiting to be bought!
    • Consistent levels of freshness, color, size, and flavor. Our field inspectors only accept products that meet our strict specifications.
    • Reliability. Snoboy is sourced from a wide network of grower-partners, so availability is not tied to a single grower, region, or weather patterns.
    Our first item in this line is a three count romaine heart. This will be followed by sleeved celery, bagged red and green leaf, and cello wrapped iceberg lettuce. 

    Overall, The NGA Show was a great experience, and we are excited about our re-entry into this market!
  • Special Report: California Tree Fruit

    Jan 23, 2014
    Tree fruit season is upon us, but not without trepidation from most shippers.

    California legislation finally declared a drought State of Emergency for the valley this past week. The central valley has not seen any measurable amount of moisture since last winter, making this the most severe drought since water measures started being recorded in the state in 1849! Snow pack for summer irrigation allocations has been non-existent.

    Growers are currently pumping water to maintain the trees, and they are beginning to bloom (pictured). This is a cause for anxiety, as it's abnormally early and tree fruit growers are still under threat of frost.

    Based on the above, it could be a very rocky season for peach, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries and other tree fruits. We're unable to predict crop size or volume at this time, but without water, we can be certain that neither will be bountiful.
  • Amerifresh Associate Spotlight

    Jan 02, 2014
    When you do business with Amerifresh, you get something that can’t be bought or automated- real people with years upon years of hands on experience in the produce, logistics, foodservice and food retail industries. On the first Friday of each month, we put a spotlight on the associates who keep the engine purring by providing you with the best customer service and expertise out there. So without further ado, we are proud to present to you the people who work so hard to help you succeed.

    Meet Arline

    Arline inspecting lettuce in YumaArline Castellanos is a Sales Associate in the Arizona branch of Amerifresh. She has been with the company for two and half years. She got her start in the industry six years ago at Performance Produce in Nogales, AZ where her Aunt-In-Law offered her a position! She specializes in helping our food service accounts, and considers herself the most knowledgable about tomatoes.

    What are some of your hobbies? I'm a movie buff, and love spending time with my kids!
    What words best describe you? Enthusiastic, funny, and outgoing.
    What is your favorite movie? Forrest Gump!
    What was your first CD/album? Hmmmmmm... sorry, don't remember.
    What would you do with a million dollars? The very first thing I would do is take a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong vacation in Greece!

  • Frost Damaged Explained

    Dec 12, 2013
    Over the past week, many growing regions have experienced several days’ worth of freezing temperatures.  As you can guess, this isn’t great for crops. But, do you know why?

    Today we are covering just a few of the key items that may be affected by the recent freeze, and how it affects the plants.

    Leaf Items

    Leaf items are about 90% water. It is due to this fact that when temperatures dip below 32 F it causes the cells in the plant to freeze, expand, and then burst. These exploded cells initially show up on the outer layer of the plant as “epidermal peel”. As the freeze continues, more cells burst; the peel worsens, and eventually turns dark and discolored.

    When shippers pack this product, they make sure to remove the ugly “damaged” layers to leave an aesthetically appealing item. This means they remove more leaves and therefore generally leads to lighter shipper weights.

    Celery

    Celery is more resilient than delicate leaf items, but if a frost is intense enough can cause some damage. Like lettuce, celery will start sloughing off its dead bursted cells, in the form of blister. The stalk also experiences stress under cold conditions which can weaken the structure of the plant, so that when it is cut it will start cracking or splitting. This is most noticeable on celery sticks.

    Broccoli and Cauliflower

    These items typically deal with cold by slowing down growth, going dormant until conditions are favorable again. This can mess up harvest schedules and cause a bit of gapping in supply.
     
  • Amerifresh Associate Spotlight

    Dec 05, 2013
    When you do business with Amerifresh, you get something that can’t be bought or automated- real people with years upon years of hands on experience in the produce, logistics, foodservice and food retail industries. On the first Friday of each month, we put a spotlight on the associates who keep the engine purring by providing you with the best customer service and expertise out there. So without further ado, we are proud to present to you the people who work so hard to help you succeed.

    Meet Erik

    Erik Winge has been in the produce industry for 16 years. He started as an inspector for Fresh Buyers, came to Amerifresh 13 years ago, and has been here ever since. He currently works as a sales associate specializing in wet veg in Salinas. 

    Read on to see Erik’s answers to our survey:

    What are some of your hobbies:  Golf, music, and watching ESPN.
    What words best describe you? Opinionated, stubborn, efficient
    What is your favorite movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    What was your first CD/album: Van Halen
    What would you do with a million dollars?: Rebuild the Salinas Animal Shelter.. then move out of Salinas!

  • Thanksgiving: 5 Consumer Grocery Tips for a Flavorful Feast

    Nov 21, 2013
    Thanksgiving produce tipsThanksgiving is right around the corner, and many grocers are scrambling to stock their aisles with holiday goods in preparation for the busiest grocery shopping day of the year- the fourth Wednesday of November! The good news is Amerifresh is here to help you not only prepare your store, but your customers, for their holiday shopping.

    Here are some shopping tips to pass on to your customers:

    1. Don’t put off grocery shopping until the last minute. When you wait until the last hour before your Thanksgiving meal, you are compromising the quality and freshness of your produce. By heading to the store on Monday or Tuesday, you have a better selection of fresh produce for your family meal.
    2. To leave a lasting impression, use authentic Garnet yams rather than the cream colored Jewel varieties or sweet potatoes. Garnet yams have a purple-ish exterior and a deep orange velvety color inside. The visual appeal of this variety will have dinner guests drooling
    3. When searching for the right potato, look for ones that have a glossy luster on the skin and less dimples. This indicates that they are more hydrated.
    4. Cranberries are a staple. A good cranberry should look like an extra shiny red marble. Plump, round, and with a deep color.
    5. To make a stuffing with a ton of flavor, make sure to use deep brown skinned Spanish onions rather than a white variety.

    If you’d like any more hints and tips, make sure to contact our Yakima Amerifresh branch!

  • Citrus 101

    Nov 14, 2013
    Well, it's cold and flu season, so folks around the office are more than likely tipping back DayQuil like it's water. And those who aren't already infected are probably wolfing down vitamin C like it's their job.

    Today we want to explore one of the most popular sources of vitamin C there is- citrus!

    It's Nutritious!

    Beyond just being extremely high in vitamin C, citrus also contains potassium, calcium, folate, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. Prior to flu season, it's always good to help prepare your immune system by getting your daily recommended amount of vitamin C. 

    It Can Help Aid in Weight Management!

    A medium size navel orange only averages about 80 calories, while half of a grapefruit contains only 70. Generally, citrus packs a nutritious punch and is extremely nutrient dense with no fat, sodium, or cholesterol!

    It's Good For You, Now What Else Should I Know?

    When shopping for citrus for fresh consumption, make sure to tell your customers that the outside color of the orange does not always indicate the eating qualities such as sweet, sour, new, or old.

    Instead, different weather patterns determine the color and sugar of citrus fruits. Many consumers mistakenly associate the exterior color of the citrus with the ripeness of the fruit. This is not the case! Instead, warm temperatures cause the exterior of the citrus to become (or even stay) green. This is called chlorophyll (the substance that causes plants to stay green) which affects the peel of the citrus fruit. Chlorophyll does NOT affect the interior of citrus. Depending on the variety and growing region, some citrus is actually fully ripened when the exterior is green!

    Have any more questions about citrus fruit? Make sure to contact our Fresno Amerifresh sales office.
  • Amerifresh Associate Spotlight

    Nov 01, 2013

    When you do business with Amerifresh, you get something that can’t be bought or automated- real people with years upon years of hands on experience in the produce, logistics, foodservice and food retail industries. On the first Friday of each month, we put a spotlight on the associates who keep the engine purring by providing you with the best customer service and expertise out there. So without further ado, we are proud to present to you the people who work so hard to help you succeed.  

    Amerifresh Southwest Regional Manager

    Meet Mike

    If you do produce business out of California, Texas, Georgia or Nogales,, chances are that Michael Kennedy has helped to overlook it.  He has been with the company since March of 2004, though he has been in the produce industry since 1981 when he started as a produce salesman for CH Robinson.  Today, he is the Southwest Regional Manager for the Amerifresh Texas and Arizona locations. He has been blessed with the gift of gab and expertise in sales and management.

    What are some of your hobbies: I enjoy playing golf and gardening in my backyard.
    What words best describe you? Committed
    What is your favorite movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
    What was your first CD/album: Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James and the Shondells
    What would you do with a million dollars?: I’d give some to my church and put the rest in my 401K!

  • Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Recap

    Oct 24, 2013

    So much has happened in the past few weeks!

    After launching our website, we went to New Orleans last week for the Produce Marketing Association's annual Fresh Summit. It was a great show, and our booth was a big hit! You can see the photos below.

    Produce Marketing Association Booth DisplayProduce Marketing Association Booth Display

    This year, we had a huge focus on the history of our quality oriented Snoboy brand. Snoboy has been a trusted symbol of quality and freshness recognized by grocers, restaurant owners, and consumer since 1925. Every carton and every bag promises to have the best quality and selection available all the time. Every item is packed to order to maximize shelf life, and our field inspectors only accept products that meet our strict specifications. Basically, if it doesn't meet our expectations, it doesn't go in our bag! If you want more information on that, make sure to go to www.snoboy.com

    Overall at the show we had lots of great conversations, met plenty of new faces, and caught up with many of our valued customers. It was an eventful weekend, and we got to experience the best that "The Big Easy" had to offer us.

    With bellies full of great food, and jazz ringing in our ears, we're back in Scottsdale, ready to work on our next big surprise. Make sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks for even more exciting announcements!



    WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?

     You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

     Amerifresh is a produce marketer that provides fresh fruits and vegetables nationwide. They have a renowned Quality Assurance program and on the ground experts at every major growing region in the United States. They are famous for their Snoboy brand of produce, packed to order and picked for freshness!

     For more information subscribe to their free weekly Market Report or visit www.amerifresh.com

  • Salinas Valley Transition Forecast

    Oct 08, 2013
    Salinas Iceberg lettuce october 2013We are entering the last few weeks of the lettuce deal in the Salinas valley, and supplies are extremely light. It appears as though this will be the case through the remainder of the season. The next district we will be moving to is Huron, and many shippers have opted to plant short, due to the lack of water in the San Joaquin valley. Due to this, try and hang on in Salinas a little longer, or start Yuma early. We don't like to cry wolf, but all of these factors add up to supply and quality issues with extremely high FOB's potentially lasting into mid to late November. This situation could escalate easily with a few early storms. 

    Leaf lettuce, spinach, spring mix, broccoli and cauliflower may also be affected to a degree, with some potential supply issues.

    As you know, when FOB's reach a certain point there are consequential price increases on processed items, with some prorating or substituting of other items when possible. We may expect this to happen.

    Keep these issues in mind as you move forward into October and November. A few commodities are already extremely limited- broccoli and lettuce- and we foresee more coming. So, plan ahead, update your customers, and keep your fingers crossed that we're wrong!!

    WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?

    You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

    Amerifresh is a produce marketer that provides fresh fruits and vegetables nationwide. They have a renowned Quality Assurance program and on the ground experts at every major growing region in the United States. They are famous for their Snoboy brand of produce, packed to order and picked for freshness!

    For more information subscribe to their free weekly Market Report or visit www.amerifresh.com

  • Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

    Sep 12, 2013
    Banana BunchThe banana is the perfect fruit. It is conveniently wrapped in its own to-go, biodegradable packaging. It is neat, colorful, and ready to eat when you are. In addition to its convenience, it’s notoriously healthy. It’s packed with potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and fiber.

    They come from the world’s tropical regions. We import them from Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Columbia. Commonly thought to grow on “trees” their source is actually a plant.

    Bananas are harvested when the fruit is green, hard, and has a starchy internal pulp. Don’t eat it this way unless you cook it, because it’s more like a potato at this point! As they ripen the starches convert to sugar and develops the sweet, soft consistency we are all used to when eating it fresh.

    But you probably already knew that… so what DON’T you know about the banana?

    1. It is the number one selling fruit item in retail (according to The Packer 2013 Fresh Trends report here)
    2. The banana plant originated in Southeast Asia.
    3. Some believe it was a banana, and not an apple, that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.
    4. Bananas are ripened in temperature, humidity and airflow controlled ripening rooms to achieve the perfect yellow color.
    5. The banana plant is self-propagating. The existing plants sprout a “daughter” plant and that plant becomes the next generation.
    6. It takes approximately 1 year for a banana plant to produce fruit. Once fruit appears, it is removed to let the daughter plant continue in it’s place.
    7. The banana plant produces a “raceme” this is the stem at the center of a banana bunch.
    8. The raceme weighs between 70-100 pounds and emerges one at a time.
    9. Each plant only produces one raceme.
    10. Given it’s tropical nature, banana peels will get “chill damage” if exposed to low temperatures (under 55 F)

     

Submitting your question!
Our team of fresh produce experts have produce buying down to a science, which is why we call them Buy-ologists. They are at the source, acting as your eyes and ears in the field at every major agricultural growing region, comparing price and quality to get you the best deal.
Whether you need reliable market information or a mixed load, we are here to help!
Fill out the form below and an Amerifresh Buy-ologist will get back to you within 24 hours.
select
Select a valid category
Enter a valid email
Enter a valid phone number