(Aug. 1) INDIANAPOLIS — These days, some say it’s not enough to just keep an eye on industry trends.

To get ahead, a company must set the trends, said Shane Towne, marketing and new business development coordinator for Indianapolis Fruit Co. Inc.

That is why the company launched its organic Garden Cut line in June, Towne said, which features six vegetable and six fruit stock keeping units.

“In this business, if you don’t differentiate yourself, and in turn allow customers to differentiate, you’ll never make it,” Towne said. “And one of our clear-cut messages for differentiation is our organic line.”

Indianapolis Fruit Co. distributes organic fresh-cut trays to stores in 14 Midwestern states, Towne said.

Piazza Produce Inc. can distribute fresh-cut organic to its foodservice customers through Indianapolis Fruit. Piazza Produce merged with Indianapolis Fruit in 1997.

Piazza focuses on foodservice, and Indianapolis Fruit concentrates on retail.

By July of 2007, Towne said he expects to see double-digit growth as a result of the organic Garden Cut line. Indianapolis Fruit’s organic line has produced double-digit sales growth each year, Towne said.

Because some retailers may be leery about implementing a fresh-cut organic program, Towne said Indianapolis Fruit picked products that would be high quality and readily available year-round.

As of late July, Towne said Indianapolis Fruit had seen positive reactions from on-the-go consumers.