MONTREAL — Like most North Americans, Montreal shoppers are looking for convenience at the supermarket.
Aging baby boomers in particular are health-conscious and want good products with no additives and smaller portions, said Dino Farrese, executive vice president of Boucherville, Quebec-based broker Bellemont Powell.
Farrese is working with Richmond, British Columbia-based Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. to launch a fresh-cut program at a lower price point in Metro-owned Maxi stores.
In the past, a 12-ounce clamshell of fresh-cut fruit might retail between $4.99 and $5.99, said Farrese. Sun Rich’s new 10-ounce clamshell will retail for a more aggressive $3, he said.
"It’s good for the consumer who doesn’t want to spend time cutting fresh produce, and it becomes a good value for them," Farrese said.
Del Monte Canada, another Bellemont Powell client, planned samplings of its fresh Fruit Cups in Montreal supermarkets at the end of November.
Farrese said Del Monte’s glass jars of cut fruit are gaining customers.
Ready-to-eat boston and bibb lettuce from client Dole Food Co., Westlake, Village, Calif., also are expected to do well, since Quebecers love salads, Farrese said.
He said Dole products have been rated highly on blogs, part of a social network that’s becoming increasingly popular in Quebec, along with quick-response codes.
"If a group finds something that’s very good, the product will become popular very quickly," he said.
Sherrington, Quebec-based Veg Pro International Inc. has created a website and Facebook page to promote its Fresh Attitude salad kits, launched in 2010.
Dufresne said the Fresh Attitude kits are so easy to use that kids who have never eaten salad are preparing their own.
Instead of simply telling children to eat their vegetables because it’s good for them, why not make eating them fun and show kids how to grow their own, said executive vice president of marketing Daniel Dufresne.
Veg Pro signed an agreement in October with the provincial organization Jeune Pousses (which translates to "Young Shoots"), which shows teachers how to help kids grow vegetables in classrooms and school yards.
"The next generation doesn’t know anything about produce and how it’s grown," Dufresne said. "We want them to learn about it, have fun with it and be healthy."
Community groups interested in similar projects will be invited to contact Veg Pro through the new website and Facebook page, which has its own manager.