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Continental Fresh planning inaugural booth at Viva Fresh

By
Keith Loria

Continental Fresh specializes in tropical imports from Latin America, providing them to retail, foodservice and wholesale customers in the United States. Over the past five years, the company has been connecting dependable growers with reputable buyers.

Albert Perez, CEO of Continental Fresh, headquartered in Oakland Park, FL, compares the first part of 2022 to a rollercoaster, noting there’s been a lot of ups and downs this year.

“We see one week of really good demand, followed by a couple of weeks of really poor demand,” he said.

For instance, the company just finished a vegetable program that it had out of Honduras, and it was something of a “wild ride.”

“We saw very poor prices in January, then very hot prices in February,” Perez said. “Overall, I think we will have fared fine.”

During that time, Continental Fresh brought in over 400 containers of cucumbers and 100 containers of butternut squash. That’s a little under what it’s done in past years on cucumbers, but equal to the average number on squash.

The company recently finished its off-shore mango program and are switching quickly into its Mexico mango program, which is the largest program Continental Fresh has, with just under 3 million boxes.

“This is also similar to what we saw at the beginning of 2022 — there’s a week of good demand, then a couple of weeks of poor demand, and at the moment, there has been a significant amount of off-shore product coming in from various countries, including Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala,” Perez said. “There appears to be too much fruit for the demand that is out there so prices have been quite low.”

Later this month, Continental Fresh will be exhibiting for the first time ever at Viva Fresh.

“We have a booth and look forward to participating for the first time because of our involvement with the Mexican mangos,” Perez said. “This is only the third year that we’ve been involved in this category. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to meet the customers that go to Viva Fresh.”

At the booth, members of the Continental Fresh team will be serving frozen mango margaritas and providing information about its Mexican mango program.

“They will be able to see our 5-down mango box, a larger format box that is utilized by certain retailers,” Perez said.

The company’s label for Mexico mangos is Water for All, and that’s a name that inspires a lot of trust among produce buyers.

“Viva Fresh is unique in that it not only hosts retail and foodservice buyers, but it also brings a lot of growers from Mexico to the show,” Perez said. “That’s a good opportunity for us to make new contacts, and see new items that we want to get involved in.”

This May, the company will be launching its new updated website, and there are several other marketing initiatives the company is excited about in the year ahead.

Perez is optimistic about June, July and August, and believes things are going to be strong all summer long.

“Those are months we should have good, promotable supplies of Mexican mangos,” he said. “That’s great weather for selling mangos, with great prices and value during those months. We would love to be able to meet 3.5 million boxes this upcoming season, and we think those are the months that we can make that happen.”

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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