Retailers Frequently Ask These Questions
What are the latest sales trends in the Fresh Fig category?
Fresh Figs from California have become the darlings of fresh fruit departments.
Sales have grown 30% each year for the past five years.
Fresh Figs appeal to traditional ethnic groups and now, to the young adventurous customer, too.
With multiple varieties available throughout the season, retailers can showcase fresh figs more often and are finding added value by placing figs in their ads.
How does the current economy affect sales?
The largest markets for Fresh Figs are on the East and West Coasts and, as expected, this affects transportation costs.
Last year, a $4,500 truck would get the fruit to market; this year the same truck could cost as much as $8,000.
To say nothing about the cost of fuel on the farm as well as on the road.
What is done to ensure that Fresh Figs are safe and to assure consumer confidence?
Fresh Figs are packed and shipped under rigorous USDA inspections to insure, not only the quality of the product, but its cleanliness and safety.
Do consumers know enough about Fresh Figs and what they can be used for?
There is much to be done before most consumers will know enough about Fresh Figs and how they can be used. However, California Fresh Fig Growers are dedicated to letting consumers know about this tasty fruit.
What should consumers (and handlers, too) know about Fresh Figs?
It is important to handle fresh figs carefully. They are fragile and bruise easily.
Select plump, fragrant figs that have a little give when touched.
Figs can be ripened on the counter at room temperature. Use ripe figs as soon as possible or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To prevent bruising, arrange figs in a single layer on paper towels or on paper liners.
Fresh Figs can be frozen. Just clean and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then, pack into self-closing plastic bags for up to 6 months.
The very best way to eat fresh figs is out of hand, skin and all.
Serve wrapped in prosciutto or stuffed with mascarpone as a first course or combined with other fruits in compotes and salads or poached or stewed.
How does the California Fresh Fig Growers Association (CFFGA) help to inform consumers about Fresh Figs?
With ads in newspapers and other magazines, television appearances and promotions, recipe development, networking, tradeshow participation and promotional materials.
Web sites at www.californiafreshfigs.com and www.californiafigs.com.
By taking advantage of every opportunity to let retailers and consumers know about the unique versatility and nutrition in Fresh Figs from California.
How does CFFGA help retailers build sales?
- Provides POS materials and information about practices to extended the shelf life of Fresh Figs, in-store positioning and ad placement.
- Communicates with shippers, wholesalers and marketers about the uniqueness of Fresh Figs.
- Works constantly to improve cultural, packaging and shipping practices to meet retailer and consumer needs.
- Builds relationships with retailers to ensure a quality product and provide programs that work well for them.
What are some ways retailers can make Fresh Figs work in their stores?
- Work with CFFGA and buyers to make their needs known.
- Let CFFGA know when and how we can help them with marketing, shipping, POS materials, etc.
- Work with CFFGA to provide the best positioning, advertising, promotion, packaging and any other areas needed to insure consumer and buyer confidence in Fresh Figs.
- Work with CFFGA to identify shipping packs that are available and look for ways to customize packs for particular needs.
- Hold in-store tastings with quick easy recipes to expose consumers to Fresh Figs.
Other Facts about Fresh Figs from California
We expect 2009 to be an excellent year for Fresh Figs from California with high quality product, good yields and continued demand across all business segments.
California produces 100% of the nation’s dried figs and 98% of the fresh ones.
The season for Fresh Figs from California now runs from mid-May through mid-January thanks to new plantings in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys of California.
Several different varieties of the fruit are available throughout the whole season but there are four main Fresh Fig varieties, Black Missions, Calimyrna, Kadotas and Brown Turkeys. Black Missions, Calimyrna and Kadotas are also dried and those are available throughout the whole year.