Increased asparagus consumption leaves room for more promotion
The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association has released its 2020-21 Fresh Asparagus Statistics, Category Trends and Demographics Report. “This year’s report is ready and available for distribution and we are very happy to report an increase of per capita consumption of fresh asparagus,” said Priscilla Lleras-Bush, PAIA executive director. “According to USDA/ERS numbers, U.S. per capita consumption of asparagus went from 1.76 pounds per person in 2018 and 2019 to 1.83 pounds per person in 2020.”
PAIA encourages retailers to take advantage of growing consumer interest in fresh asparagus and really promote this healthy, nutritious and convenient product, especially as supply available offers such year round consistency. “It’s not the same game as before,” said Lleras-Bush. “Increases in volume from major source areas mean there are ample promotional opportunities for retailers to push this from being a gourmet item to being a vegetable staple.”
To continue exploring ways to support customers and the asparagus market, PAIA members met at an association meeting held in May 2021. “We discussed industry statistics, information and opportunities for new strategies that will guide the industry into the future,” said Jay Rodriguez of Crystal Valley Foods and co-chairman of PAIA.
PAIA celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year in September. “This association has been instrumental to assisting and supporting industry top importers work through the challenges of importing and marketing fresh asparagus,” said Walter Yager of Alpine Fresh and co-chairman of PAIA. “As an industry, we still have so much potential to sell more asparagus to consumers. We’re thrilled with the per capita increase, especially given the past year’s pandemic challenges. However, asparagus should be at a much higher per capita consumption than even 1.83 pounds per person. PAIA is examining opportunities to work together as an industry in the effort of promoting fresh asparagus. This will result in a rising tide that lifts all boats from the growers to the retailers.”
The association will focus even greater efforts in 2021 on spreading the positive word to industry trade press, retailers and consumers concerning the benefits of fresh asparagus — through articles, advertisements, direct-communication, and trade show participation. “We anticipate increasing consumption and demand for fresh asparagus in 2021,” said Lleras-Bush. “Retailers and other industry members can stay informed about what we’re doing by checking in on our website.”
The 2020-21 Fresh Asparagus Statistics, Category Trends and Demographics Report is available from any PAIA member or by contacting Lleras-Bush.