Salix offers innovative app to customers
Salix Fruit is a global import-export company of fresh fruit, with offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, South Africa and Argentina.
Founded in 2013 by Juan González Pita and Luis Elortondo, the company has a combined experience of more than 100 years in the fresh fruit industry.
“We have sources from more than 80 loyal producers in 18 countries,” González Pita said. “Our portfolio includes 25 fruit items, although in the U.S. it focuses on the consistent supply of imported citrus.”
Salix imports and distributes lemons from Argentina, Mexico and Turkey; limes from Mexico and Colombia; mandarins from Peru and Morocco; and oranges from Mexico.
“Our large network of growers has all the necessary food safety and social responsibility certifications,” González Pita said. “We offer these products in bulk as well as bagged.”
As a milestone for the company and a great contribution to the industry in times of social distancing, in 2020 Salix launched an app that buyers and growers can download directly to their phones to track offers, see product pictures and make inquiries, among other things.
“Customers and producers can download the platform directly to their phones and keep track of all the offers that the company has with images of the fruits, its origin and price, among other functionalities,” González Pita said. “With the boom of e-commerce, we looked forward to creating a digital fruit marketplace not only with a great UX, but also planning to have available the documentation of the operation all together and to be able to track the status of the order online.”
Salix’s app has three large user groups. On one hand, fruit producers can upload the characteristics, photos and prices of their products in just a few clicks, and automatically have access to a database of more than 12,000 customers. On the other hand, buyers just entering the app can see the main timeline with current and past marketplace offers.
Salix has a broad network of foodservice and wholesale customers on the East Coast and also sells directly to some regional retailers and supply programs that other retail vendors have with national accounts.
“With sales offices in key locations such as Chicago and Philadelphia, where we also have storage and repacking, our company is well-organized to serve retail customers at a competitive price advantage, particularly those on the East Coast,” González Pita said. “Quality controls at origin and repacking prior to deliveries are vital in making Salix the right partner.”
The company expects 2023 to be as challenging as the past year. “We think logistics are still an issue, according to industry players, things will get back to normal only in 2024 — maybe by the end of this year,” González Pita said. “Another threat is worldwide inflation, especially in Europe and the U.S., where people are not used to it and are not willing to pay more for fresh produce.”
At the beginning of 2022, Salix surprised the market when it announced that GrubMarket had completed the acquisition of the company, which has hundreds of growers in more than 20 countries and serves over 450 customers across 50 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, India and the U.S.
“We strive to offer superior service, reliability and quality as an importer and exporter of fresh fruit for our global customers. We also seek to further tap into a best-in-class grower network,” González Pita said. “We are thrilled to learn that GrubMarket shares this same goal and has built out such a well-integrated and much-needed eCommerce and technology-enabled platform to bring fresh food to so many important customers across the country.”
Last year, Salix launched its new brand, Mundos: bags of mandarins of Peruvian and Moroccan origin, as well as lemons from Argentina, Mexico, Turkey and Spain.
“In Salix, we’ve had the same philosophy and mission since we created the company — always in season,” González Pita said. “We are looking to serve our customers all year round, being their first choice when it comes to imported fruits.”
Photo: Juan Gonzalez Pita flanked by Hisham and Hani Ayloush from Fruit Line Co. of Dubai.