Story No. 3 shows economy is growing again

For those of us with children or grandchildren in our lives, we should thank them as we reflect on the past year.

I’m convinced without them we would have a hard time noticing year to year changes.

As I look at The Packer’s 2013 Year in Produce top 10 stories, I can’t really tell if it’s from this year or last year. Or five years ago?

If only the stories grew a couple inches or lost some teeth or went off to college ...

The Packer staff determined that the ongoing Jensen cantaloupe case remained the top story, after topping the list last year.

Food safety, a topic that has been in the top 10 for nearly a decade, followed at No. 2. With the Food Safety Modernization Act expected to be finalized next year and implemented by 2015, this looks to be a Year in Produce mainstay.

In 2009, the recession was the top story of the year, as produce companies cut back marketing, research, hiring and acquisitions. The next few years were about recovery and adjusting to the “new normal.”

But in 2013, amid all the food safety, outbreaks, trade dispute and lack of legislation repeat top 10 stories, we see a new one.


Well, it’s been in the top 10 list before, but not for a decade or so.

This is a very good sign for the produce industry and the economy in general.

Marketing expert and The Packer columnist Don Goodwin of Golden Sun Marketing, hit on many of these reasons in a December column.

He said mergers are heating up in the retail and food industry because companies are becoming more bold as their balance sheets are strengthening, and private equity groups are showing a lot more interest in food retailing.

Goodwin said he sees “more growth in unique products, stronger branding and marketing programs and more emphasis on effective supply chain efficiencies.”

Companies are hitting their growth spurt, like you may have chronicled on your wall for a kid.