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    Village Farms Builds Partnerships Through Category Management

    New value-added pack sizes have helped boost sales.

    Village Farms has found retail grocery consumer scanner data to be a strong asset in building partnerships with its retail customers using category management. Most recently, the Eatontown, N.J.-based hydroponic greenhouse grower added a number of new value added pack sizes to its product offerings as a direct result of analysis from this market data.

    The company has for the past several years worked with The Perishables Group to develop customized reports based on quarterly retail scanner data aggregated by Nielsen for key commodities across 60 percent of the actual grocery channel base in the United States. illage Farms, an industry leader in the hydroponic greenhouse tomato, cucumber and sweet bell pepper categories, has noted these data category segments have shown sustained growth. Further analyzed by the grower, for market trends, the data is employed as a key planning tool both internally and with its customers.

    “Village Farms fosters retail partnerships that add mutual value and build growth driven by actual results derived from this hard trend data,” affirmed Doug Kling, the company’s SVP/CMO, noting significant growth with core retail partners based on the company’s category management dynamics with key accounts throughout 2010.

    Added Helen Aquino, the company’s marketing manager: “Our partners find value in comparing overall market data with their own as competitive benchmarks on such measures as sales and volume.”

    Village Farms’ category management has helped drive decision-making for its retail partners in areas such as; best pack size for growth, targeting price points, and building retail advantages that reduce shrink and provide a fresher product to its customers.
    The company looks forward to bolstering partnerships through its category management efforts into 2011 and increasing its ability to customize this process with retailers for the future.

    “It is our goal to build strong partnerships with our customer base that will continue to evolve in a challenging global economy through information sharing that can mitigate risk by targeting future trends,” said Kling.
     

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