News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Gill McShane

BY GILL McSHANE

Friday 9th April 2010, 06:19 Central Time

PAIA outlines 2010 asparagus plan

Arrivals of Peruvian asparagus into the US are growing year-on-year backed by the efforts of the importers association

PAIA outlines 2010 asparagus plan

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The Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association (PAIA) in the US anticipates a further increase in fresh asparagus consumption and demand this year.

Revealing its 2010/11 Category Management Plan Outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus, the association said it plans to focus even greater efforts on spreading a positive message to industry trade press, supermarkets and consumers concerning the benefits of fresh asparagus – through articles, advertisements, direct-communication, and trade show participation.

“We have shaped our Category Management Plan Outline as a tool that will be essential for all involved in the trade of fresh asparagus,” said PAIA Coordinator Priscilla Lleras in a press release.

“The Plan comprises statistics which identify market growth, trends, industry facts and key demographics for 2010, as well as, suggested methods to optimise sales within the category.”

Asparagus remains a growing trade in the US, with imports reaching more than 344m lbs last year, according to the Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau and Foreign Trade Statistics.

Peru is the leading supplier to the US, representing 190,974,332 lbs last year (or 55 per cent of the total supply), an increase of 10 per cent against 2008.

The 2010/11 Plan will equip retailers and industry with the information necessary to sell more fresh Peruvian asparagus, according to John-Campbell Barmmer, East Coast co-chairman of PAIA and marketing director at Chestnut Hill Farms in Miami.

“This is our goal – to inform and to promote the trade, as well as offer retailers proposed marketing strategies,” Mr Barmmer said. “Moreover, as an industry, we are continuing in our efforts of developing value added programs that provide the consumer with options that promote convenience, savings and easy to prepare alternatives for fresh Peruvian asparagus.”

US retailers recognise the advantages of stocking Peruvian asparagus on their shelves, resulting in maintaining steady per capita consumption levels, according to PAIA’s West Coast co-chairman, Chris Martin, who is also president of Gourmet Trading in Los Angeles.

“PAIA importers will continue to work with their customers in an effort to strategically promote this exceptional vegetable – ensuring asparagus maintains its leadership role among top vegetables,” Mr Martin added.

PAIA said it is “most optimistic” that the outline will supply retailers and industry at large with information that communicates the health benefits, key demographics and proposed strategies to increase consumption of fresh Peruvian asparagus.

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