By Dave Harrison
Aug. 13, 2015, Vancouver — Village Farms is seeing rising interest in its growing product range of specialty greenhouse vegetable products.
“Recent launches and demand for our new products, including three new exclusive varieties, are gaining momentum,” notes CEO Michael DeGiglio.
“In the last quarter, one of our customers, a national U.S. retailer, has commenced a nationwide program on one of these new products. The increase in our specialties coupled with an improved customer mix in our core commodities led to an increase in our average tomato pricing over 2014.”
However, as Village Farms continue to replace core commodity products with each new planting cycle, the challenge of retailer conversion from the traditional core commodities to specialties takes time.
“While specialty tomato product demand has seen over a 23 per cent lift over last year’s demand, as consumer taste continues to shift, our specialty penetration was slower than expected causing our second quarter expectations to be below plan.”
“Looking ahead to the remainder of the year we see increasing interest in our new products by our key retail accounts and believe our strategy is aligned with the outlook in consumer preferences.
“We remain steadfast in improving our existing facilities, increasing our market share in both the U.S. and Canada, and introducing new products and varieties while we reduce our debt and explore strategic opportunities.”