Much Has Occurred in 35 Years… Covers of PRODUCE BUSINESS Tell the Story

Produce Business, Blast From the Past

Originally printed in the October 2020 issue of Produce Business.

In October, 1985, PRODUCE BUSINESS unveiled its premiere issue at the PMA Convention in San Francisco. Founded by 4th generation produce industry descendent, Jim Prevor, the magazine still follows its “Initiate Industry Improvement” mission established 35 years ago and is now the largest circulation publication in the produce industry. The selection of various covers over the past 35 years gives you a glimpse of the important challenges and opportunities the industry experienced and how PRODUCE BUSINESS uniquely positioned itself as a significant thought-leader.  

August 1986

Having originated out of a multi-generational family produce operation, PRODUCE BUSINESS polled various other family-run produce companies to provide an inside look on their unique trials and tribulations.

May 1987

PRODUCE BUSINESS goes into supermarkets every month to identifies key ways to increase sales to consumers. In this issue, we enlisted the expertise of Cornell Marketing Professor Max Brunk to dive deeply into merchandising and signage techniques that “Serve the Consumer.”

October 1988

“Pesticides – Hype or Hazard” … Unabashedly, PRODUCE BUSINESS brought the debate to the floor in an open forum that received many letters to the editor.

February 1992

In keeping with its goal to “Initiate Industry Improvement”, PRODUCE BUSINESS queried retailers to give us their true feelings about their relationships with suppliers

October 1996

The major trend of the period, with deep ramifications affecting the future of the industry, was Home Meal Replacement. PRODUCE BUSINESS led retailers and suppliers in the discussion.

November 1998

Merchandising organic produce, at the time, was something that needed to be addressed, as traditional supermarket chains wrestled with the question of integration versus segregation of organic produce.

October 2000

The “Dot-Com” era of boom-or-bust platforms to buy and sell produce online was at its zenith, but we asked the question: “Can the Produce Industry Ride the Virtual Highway?”

October 2001

The entire world was shaken on September 11, 2001, and PRODUCE BUSINESS reflected on the industry’s legacy of human involvement in times of conflict.

May 2002

Long before Deep Discounters entered the North American retail scene, Walmart had most major supermarkets clamoring to find ways to compete, but Walmart’s produce pricing seemed to be the one area that was hard to beat.

April 2004

It wasn’t the first time a big diet fad came along, but Low-Carb was a direct attack on the industry. PRODUCE BUSINESS put a retail action plan together.

December 2004

Many supermarkets were well on the way to seeing more packaged produce SKU’s outpace the growth of bulk items. We looked at all the driving forces.

January 2006

Direct outreach to consumers was an expensive proposition before the benefit of social media. Dole and other brands were able to bridge the gap by not only having product “placement” within movies, but they licensed and partnered their brands with big name Hollywood entertainment companies.

February 2006

The nature of Private Label produce can be somewhat mysterious, as consumers are not privy to who is the actual shipper of product. This article did a deep-dive into the retail decision-making process of the selection process for choosing providers of private-label produce.

May 2007

The launch of Tesco’s Fresh & Easy concept created much discussion amongst the industry, at both the retail and supplier level. Editor-in-chief Jim Prevor (aka the Perishable Pundit) led the industry in the complete analysis of Tesco’s eventual rise and fall.

February 2008

Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) showed many sides of the industry’s strengths and weaknesses along the supply chain, but retailers had to comply with the new law, enacted that year to include fruits and vegetables.

January 2009

Three years after the Great Spinach Crisis, produce traceability was still a subject of great discussion.

January 2013

Though some supermarkets embraced the employment of dieticians, many were unaware of the tremendous impact retail dieticians could make within the produce department itself and how they could assist in sharing our unique health messaging.

May 2013

Wegmans provided a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of its sustainability program in our annual PRODUCE BUSINESS Retail Sustainability Award.

July 2013

The perennial quest for taste, appearance and lower cost has driven our discussion with the foodservice buying segment since the inception of PRODUCE BUSINESS. Each July cover story is always dedicated to the foodservice industry.

February 2016

Adli, Lidl, Dollar General and a host of other small format stores have peppered the landscape of retail. PRODUCE BUSINESS readers wanted to know how produce fit in to their marketing, merchandising, management and procurement schemes.

October 2016

Marketing to Millennials (and Generation Z) was the ‘conversation of the year’ around the network of buying executives who reached out to PRODUCE BUSINESS to encourage our cover.

January 2017

Merchandising and Marketing are two pillars of the PRODUCE BUSINESS editorial mission (Management and Procurement are the other two). The “Selling by Design” article looked at the way merchandising and marketing intersect within the supermarket produce department

September 2018

Still reeling from a Los Angeles Times expose on the treatment of Mexican farm workers, the industry’s Ethical Sourcing programs are still improving.

January 2019

There is little doubt that consumer buying patterns are changing, but how produce fits in to the Omni-Channel Future is still being explored.

October 2019

Produce is making its mark in the Plant-forward Movement, but we still have a long way to go in getting beyond the concept of meatless burgers.