As we enter the new year, it seems as though many pundits are predicting the hot trends and topics for 2011. I’ve developed my own list based on relevancy to our industry.


Buying Local – This will continue to be hot and may get more buzz than organic. However, organic foods should also rebound from the slowdown during the recession.

More Healthy Eating While consumers in the past have tended to talk about it more than they actually do it, the healthy eating trend should gain momentum. It is being driven by baby boomers, 8,000 to 10,000 of whom will turn 65 every day this year, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years!

Restaurants Rebounding in 2011 – Restaurants had $1.6 billion in sales each day in 2010 and sales are expected to grow in 2011. We will continue our outreach and programs to capture a chunk of this business.

Smaller Stores – An uptick for restaurants could mean a slowdown for supermarkets. In 2010, consumers were eating at home and entertaining with food bought at supermarkets during the recession. Retailers are fighting to maintain their position in 2011 with more meal solutions and smaller store formats. Many new stores will be more than 50% smaller than traditional supermarkets. Even Walmart is building stores that have smaller footprints.

Canning – More people are turning to canning and preserving, not only to save money, but because they also feel a special connection to produce they’ve grown or sourced on their own. Canning allows consumers to take that connection one step further by processing their produce at home. If you have a farm market, you may want to consider offering canning supplies and recipes to your customers.

Social Media – The ever-growing popularity of social sites such as Facebook will continue to be fueled by the growing popularity of smart phones and iPads. With 77 million Gen Y Americans who have been wired since they were children, this trend will continue in 2011 and beyond. We are capitalizing on this with Facebook pages, YouTube videos, blogs, and pear recipe apps for smart phones and iPads.

More Private-Label Produce in Supermarkets – Private label produce accounted for 10.4% of all produce sales last year vs. 6.8% five years ago. While 9.8% of apples are marketed as private label, items such as bagged pears could present a growth opportunity.

Tune in again in a few days to read more from my crystal ball.

All pears all the time, Kevin