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Ruiz Sales on a mission to build consumer loyalty for fresh produce

Ruiz Sales continues its mission to serve its community, state, the produce industry and, most importantly, its consumers by providing the highest-quality produce at the most affordable price, according to Richard Ruiz, president of the Edinburg, TX-based distributor of Mexican tropical items, with an emphasis on Persian limes.

“We’ve always believed that the key to being successful in this industry is connecting with the customer and providing them what they want,” said Ruiz. “We want to continue our tradition of excellence and help ensure that we will do whatever we can to continue to service our customers.”

IMG 6994The Ruiz Sales team includes (front row, l-r) Richard Ruiz, president and chief executive officer; Humberto Herrera, truck dispatcher; Marycela Torres, office clerk; Antonio Gomez, packing manager; Enrique Almazan, shipping manager; and (back row, l-r) Carlos Cavazos, warehouse manager; Albert Saenz, systems technician; and Saul Salinas, quality control.Today’s consumer is not the same as yesterday’s consumer, according to Ruiz, who pointed to the millennial generation as a prime example. He noted that this is the largest demographic in the United States and will soon be the largest consumer group in the country. Millennials are generally more educated about their food choices and more conscientious about what they put in their bodies than the older generations of Americans, noted Ruiz, and many of them want and demand quality produce and are willing to pay more for what they consider to be a good, quality product. This is evidenced by the explosive growth of organic produce, he said.

“We strive to continue to provide good experiences to these customers by providing them quality and service,” said Ruiz. “As an industry, we believe that our greatest advertisements are our products and the word of mouth and satisfaction they generate. Our Ruiz Sales premium quality Persian limes from Mexico that we market under our Fresh Health label continue their strong sales as a result of our dedication to connect with the needs of the new consumer, and we encourage everyone in the Industry to take a similar viewpoint. By providing high-quality produce, we can create repeat customers that buy produce in large volumes.”

Ruiz believes that low-quality, cheap products are actually detrimental for the long-term health of the produce industry. “Although they may seem cheap, low-quality produce will give our customers bad experiences with our products, which will make them hesitant to buy more of our products in the future,” he said. “Instead of happily buying more and more, they’ll cautiously buy less and less. These customers will go to other sectors and other foods if we don’t give them with what they want.”

By offering quality produce at affordable prices, Ruiz believes the industry can provide a great service to the American people by helping improve their health.

“If we give the customers the quality and product they want at an affordable price, they will buy and consume more produce, which will make them healthier,” he said. “Health care is our nation’s largest expenditure, and by helping to make America healthier, we not only serve the American people, we also reduce our biggest expenditure and lower taxes as a result.”

Ruiz also said that technology is changing the complexion of the produce industry, and as it becomes more automated, more integrated and more connected with the rest of the world, prices will continue to become more competitive and the cost of doing business will decrease.

“Raising the volume of sales by providing high-quality produce combined with the reduction of overhead costs will create a booming market for our produce industry, but we need to do everything we can do on our part with God’s blessed product and give the customer what they need and are asking for to make a healthier America,” he said.

Ruiz Sales continues working with its employees to provide the education and guidance for them to be the best they can be.

“We offer our employees training that helps them better pack and service our product, as well as maintaining a high level of communication between our sales, warehouse and management staff to ensure smooth and efficient operation,” said Ruiz.

A long-time and vocal supporter of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Ruiz credits the organization for its efforts in promoting produce consumption.

“We want to take this time and thank the Produce for Better Health Foundation for all the hard work and service they provide to the produce industry,” he said. “They do the hard work of connecting with consumers to provide our produce industry with information and trainings to better service those consumers. We believe that the Produce for Better Health Foundation is a wonderful partner and we encourage everyone to join or donate to this amazing foundation. The services it provides are indispensible to the produce industry, and it does a great job connecting, educating and facilitating consumers, retailers, growers and shippers in our industry. We are honored to have received the Role Model award for the fifth straight year, and we continue to work hard to live up to this honor every day.”

Ruiz said he is also honored for having received The Blue Book’s Trading Member designation for 20 consecutive years in recognition of exceptional trading performance.