Peru accounts for majority of U.S. asparagus imports
The U.S.-based Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association (PAIA) has given a series of recommendations to retailers to improve sales including stand alone displays, showcasing different colors of asparagus and highlighting health benefits.
The association has launched its category management plan for 2011-12, providing industry statistics to keep retailers and importers informed, along with a pledge to focus greater efforts on promotion this year.
PAIA highlights statistics showing the U.S. imported more than 377 million pounds (171,300 metric tons) in 2010 of which 192.796 million pounds (87,630 metric tons) were from Peru.
"Peruvian asparagus has a proven record year-over-year of yielding a steady crop of production which is benefiting the United States retailers and food service with month over month of imports," PAIA said in the plan.
"In the last several years, Peruvian growers have spent more than US$2 million in product safety and quality improvement programs that include investments to achieve quality goals. Peru places a real focus on long-term business relationships.
"Peru has been a market leader in all new bio-terrorism regulations, food safety and maintenance of the cold chain regarding all aspects of production."
Mexico was hot on the heels of Peru in 2010, exporting 180.7 million pounds (82,100 metric tons) of asparagus to the North American country.
Other sales recommendations included increased cross merchandising such as complementary dressings and recipes, incentive programs, in-demo store programs and refrigeration education.