National Love Your Produce Manager Day
National Love Your Produce Manager Day was established in 2012 to recognize all the hard work Produce managers put into bringing the best of the world’s produce to your grocery storefront. Produce managers make up a small group in a grocery store’s administrative staff. They decide what produce the store will carry and where it will be purchased. Take a moment to appreciate the variety of produce in your grocery store’s produce section. Also, remember that you need to order the right products, keep the shelves stocked and bring new items to the counter every day.
Produce managers are responsible for obtaining such varieties as the ‘Chinese Gooseberries,’ also known as ‘Kiwifruit’. A massive marketing campaign by New Zealanders has made Kiwifruit a household name. These new fruit varieties are usually only introduced to new markets at the request of customers or specialty produce managers who take a chance with a new product.
Frieda Caplan, a key industry representative (who was an owner of a produce distribution business back in 1962 when she received an inquiry from a Salt Lake City produce manager about the “Chinese Gooseberries”), responds to customers’ feedback and works with other produce managers to introduce new fruits to the market.
They also need to place orders and set up the display so that customers can see what it looks like. You will be amazed at the variety of colors, sizes and flavors that are available to you each time you visit the store. Your produce manager is the person who took time to plan where everything would go and ensured it got there. The handwriting in grease-pen on signs is that of a produce manager. It is almost certain that this is the hard work of a produce manager who prepares her store in order to deliver fresh and delicious produce.
You can also celebrate “Love your Produce Manager Day” by visiting your produce manager and asking them what’s new. You’ll find out what the freshest fruits are, where they source them, and how to make it available to your customers. They are open to answering questions about the latest selections and will even help you find a new supplier if necessary.
Bring something to your local produce manager. It could be a card, or a simple thank you note. You’d be amazed at how often they order new items! Let them know if you have a specific item in mind. Although National Love Your Produce Manager Day is only once a year they are available all year!