Consumers Driving the Produce Industry

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By Breanna Kendrick

Consumers are driving what produce reaches the market. It’s critical that farmers are able to recognize these demands and are able to accommodate them. Jeff Stepanovich, with Florida Specialties LLC in Immokalee, Florida, recently visited the New York Produce Show in New York City to promote his business. There, he shared with AgNet Media what consumer trends he has seen.

“A lot of it is packaging. People want grab and go. They don’t want to just have bulk available,” explains Stepanovich. “They want to have packaging. It makes it easier for them. They don’t want to have to pick things out in the vegetable side anymore. They want to grab a bag of something and go home.”

Stepanovich says more and more farmers are now realizing the importance of being involved in the marketing realm and understanding what consumer want, much more so than back in the day.

“Back then, everybody just took stuff to the market and dropped it off, and those guys got it to New York, Boston or Chicago,” says Stepanovich. “Today, you have to have presences, and that’s why I think you see this shift to a lot of growers having their own salespeople. They’re in contact with them every day, understanding what the markets want, understanding what they need to do on their side to provide the quality that we need to be able to sell and get the money back to the farm.”

Hear Stepanovich’s full interview with Gary Cooper:

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