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April 2 will mark the sixth national Love Your Produce Manager Day, which Frieda’s Specialty Produce created to show appreciation for supermarket produce managers.
The Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s invites industry participation to join in saluting the hardworking men and women in supermarket produce departments, both in stores and over social media, with hashtag #LYPM. For each industry organization that shares the hashtag or mentions Love Your Produce Manager Day in its communications, Frieda’s will make a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, a member of the Feeding America national network.
“The produce department is the heart of the supermarket, and produce managers keep it ticking,” said Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s, pointing to United Fresh Produce Association research that finds 33 percent of all fresh grocery sales generated by fresh produce. “These men and women contribute to that success with their beautiful displays and excellent customer service,” added Caplan, noting: “Their passionate work helps put more fruits and vegetables in the shopping basket, boosts produce consumption, and inspires new food experiences for shoppers.”
Industry companies and organizations that would like to participate can find shareable graphics here. Love Your Produce Manager Day messages must be posted by 11:59 p.m. PST on April 3 to be counted for the donation. Additionally, Frieda’s is hosting a public social media giveaway to encourage shoppers to share selfies with their local supermarket produce managers and hashtag #LYPM from March 28 through April 4.
As featured in Chase’s Calendar of Events since 2012, Love Your Produce Manager Day aims to honor exemplary customer service in U.S. supermarket produce departments. Frieda’s created the holiday on the occasion of the company’s 50th anniversary to acknowledge the produce manager’s key role.
“Conversations that produce managers have with shoppers pave the way for us to bring to market unique and exciting products, like Stokes Purple sweet potatoes, jackfruit, and fresh turmeric root,” Caplan said. “Without the help of a Salt Lake City produce manager listening to a single consumer’s request in 1962, kiwifruit may not have become the well known and loved fruit it is today.”
The importance of produce managers is also highlighted in “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary chronicling the life of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, as a contributing factor in her success as the first woman entrepreneur on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in the 1960s. “Fear No Fruit” is available on DVD and digital streaming platforms (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video). The film is also available for group and educational screenings by contacting Kino Lorber EDU.