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Fruit Royale remains leader in Chilean table grapes

By
Keith Loria

Fruit Royale is a dedicated year-round grower, supplier, importer, exporter and distributor of table grapes, and has been a leader in the segment since first starting operations in 2004.

The Delano, CA-based company works directly with its contracted growers on all aspects of fruit production, including growing, packing, cooling, storing, logistics and sales, with detailed emphasis on providing high quality product to customers on a consistent basis.

“We have been importing and exporting Chilean table grapes from January through April on a yearly basis for almost 20 years,” said Louie Galvan, Fruit Royale’s managing partner, who has worked in the table grape industry since 1990. “It is a crucial link to our year-round global grape offerings.”

Fruit Royale’s Chilean ranches began harvesting its Perlons, Autumn Royales, Crimsons, Thompsons and Ina-15s in mid-December, with Flames and Sugraones a bit later in the winter.

“Normally we import approximately 300,000 cases and export directly from Chile approximately 100,000 cases of fresh fruit,” Galvan said. “Our industry is in constant flux and evolution, and that’s what makes it so great. We are always growing bigger, better tasting, and more efficient fruit.”

Success for Fruit Royale comes from knowing its customer, and at the end of the day, Galvan noted you have to be in tune with your customers’ needs and wants, and put up a solid great-tasting product and the rest takes care of itself.

“It’s about integrity,” he said. “Having the right fruit at the right time and keeping your standards as high as possible.”

Galvan feels fortunate to have an experienced team in place based out of Santiago, Buin, Curico and San Felipe.

“This makes for an excellent line of communication to keep communication and quality standards on a steady keel year-round,” he said. “This year, we will have a bit of a later start than last year, but production in our peak valleys look fantastic.”

Fruit Royale’s customers are considered partners.

“We navigate the grape industry together to ensure stability,” Galvan said. “They provide the marching orders, and we commit the resources to implement. We are constantly evolving and growing our company to accommodate new customers and old.”

At the retail level, Chilean fruit has performed strong, but Galvan believes that it can be even stronger with the right marketing and merchandising.

“Educating the customer would help — an informed customer buys more fruit, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

He also believes retailers should be advertising more and informing customers why table grapes are a strong value.

“Nowadays, consumers want to know flavor profiles, what regions the fruit is coming from, and how you’re stewarding the crop,” he said. “Access to that information is a positive for everyone.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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