March 21, 2024

Citrus America Founder Brian Framson and Other Industry Leaders Empower Country’s Independent Grocers on National Grocers Association Panel, “Getting Fresh with your Customers”

Brian Framson, Founder and President of Citrus America, was invited to participate on a panel earlier this week at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show held in Las Vegas, which set a new attendance record making this year’s show the largest such event in the association’s 42-year history. The panel, titled “Getting Fresh With Your Customers,” showcased innovative approaches from industry leaders, such as Framson, to support the tens of thousands of independent grocery stores, which make up the backbone of NGA’s membership, in thriving within the current highly competitive and consolidated market.

Joining Framson were esteemed industry experts:

  • Presenter and Moderator Jonna Parker, Principal of the Fresh Center of Excellence at Circana, which provides essential insights derived from consumer behaviors and trends across industries, offering clarity from complexity to empower retailers with actionable data-driven strategies.
  • Dave Holloway, Director of Produce/Floral at Busch’s Fresh Food Market, a Michigan-based supermarket specializing in fresh produce and bakery goods, which serves as a model for independent grocers nationwide due to its long-held commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Dorn Wenninger is the Senior Vice President of Produce at UNFI(United Natural Foods, Inc.), a leading natural and organic food wholesale distribution company that supports independent grocers with a diverse range of high-quality products, driving sustainability and health-conscious choices in the marketplace.
  • Matt Williams is the Chief Sales Officer at Bowery, which pioneers vertical farming methods that represent a sustainable solution to meet the growing demand for fresh, locally-grown produce. These methods offer independent grocers a competitive edge in delivering premium-quality products to their customers.

The NGA Show, which is run by the National Grocers Association with President and CEO Greg Ferrara at the helm and renowned for its inclusivity and industry insights, provided a platform for these leaders to discuss strategies and innovations tailored to the unique needs of independent grocery stores. The panel highlighted collaborative efforts to foster innovation and resilience within the sector, ensuring independent grocers remain competitive and adaptable in an ever-evolving market landscape.

During the panel discussion, Framson shared his extensive experience implementing successful juicing programs in many of the country’s leading grocery retailers using Citrus America’s high quality commercial juicing equipment.

Framson emphasized the importance of safety, efficiency and innovation in juicing technology and highlighted the positive impact of fresh juice programs on boosting produce department sales and driving customer engagement through an enhanced in-store shopping experience.

In fact, one particular Citrus America client based in the Northeast recently credited the company with enabling them to double their juice sales since partnering with them on the implementation of a juicing program.

Framson also addressed evolving consumer patterns, including the rise of discounters and the growing demand for transparency and sustainability. He underscored the significance of differentiation, especially on the perimeter and being remarkable for independent stores, advocating for strategies such as cross-merchandising and creating unique product offerings to attract and retain customers.

Reflecting on the panel discussion, Framson remarked, “It’s not just about differentiating for the sake of differentiating; it’s about standing out in order to capture shoppers from other grocery stores. That’s what drives success in this competitive landscape.”

With Citrus America’s expertise and dedication to empowering grocery stores with fresh produce solutions, independent grocers can navigate challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers.

Framson emphasized, “Our collective efforts underscore a shared commitment to innovation and customer-centric strategies that empower independent grocers to thrive amidst industry challenges.”

For more information on Citrus America, click here.

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