2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Jay Zimmerman

Age: 31
Western and Mid-Western Regional Sales Manager
Love Beets USA LLC
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Zimmerman is recognized in the industry as a talented salesperson whose skills are only matched by his reliability and perseverance. After being graduated from the University of Idaho, and a short stint in the finance industry, he knew he wanted to move back to the Wenatchee Valley and work in the produce industry. He began his career at Crunch Pak Sliced Apples as a marketing analyst. During his seven years there he worked in marketing, operations, logistics, and sales. He developed a cost-saving 3PL program for the company’s East Coast business, managed all co-packing operations, and was the account manager for a number of national accounts.

In August of 2019, he joined the Love Beets team in a regional sales manager role. In this position, he works with customers on building out promotional plans and introducing new items to help increase sales. He is also responsible for building out annual raw material and sales budgets by customer to help ensure consistent supply chain for each individual retailer. During the past months, he has worked closely with managing major retail and independent accounts across the United States, as well as helping develop a 3PL solution for freight cost-saving measures. Zimmerman currently serves on the Membership Committee for the Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC).

Hobbies: Golf, Tennis, Hiking, Hanging out with friends

Motto in life: Laugh and be happy.

Q: What do you know now you wish you knew when you first started your career?
I wish I had a better understanding of the entire supply chain model. I found it very interesting learning about all the integral parts of supply chain and how important each step is to have fresh produce available for consumers.

Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
Comprehending how all parts of the supply chain have to work together in order for your produce item to make it to the retailer/end user. If one link in the chain is broken or not working properly, it can disrupt everything.

Q: What industry improvements would you like to see?
Educating consumers. There are so many produce options available to consumers that it can become overwhelming on what to choose, what fruits and vegetables go nicely with their everyday meal plans.

Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry?
Get involved. There are so many opportunities to get involved within the industry through various committees, organizations, etc.

Q: What do you think the industry can do to promote more produce consumption?
I think consumer awareness is extremely important. Working in the produce industry I have learned about new fruits and vegetables that I have never heard of or tried before. I think teaching the consumer how to pair certain vegetables or fruits with their everyday meals will help produce become a bigger part of their everyday routine.

Q: What was the “aha” moment when you knew the produce industry was the best choice for you?
When I realized how fast things move and can change in the industry. Everyday is different and presents a fun new challenge.

Q: How have you changed during your tenure?
I feel the industry has changed my appreciation for fresh produce. Learning and understanding how much goes into providing fresh produce to retailers on a daily basis, makes me truly appreciate how fortunate we are to have fresh produce readily available.