| THE MOST TRUSTED NEWS IN PRODUCE | CXXIV, NO. 33 | AUG. 14, 2017 | THEPACKER.COM U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico are limited to a 26-kilometer zone along the border. What’s inside ... For organic shoppers, produce rules the cart Retail, A2 File photo SAGARPA expected to appeal spud ruling By Ashley Nickle and Tom Karst SAGARPA , the department of ag-riculture for Mexico, will likely chal-lenge a court ruling in Mexico that orders it to continue to ban fresh U.S. potatoes from most of the country. The judge listed concerns about pests among reasons for the Aug. 4 decision, but the Washington, D.C.-based National Potato Council thinks the order will face resistance. “The ruling is expected to be appealed by parties with a direct interest in the case, including SAG-ARPA,” according to a council news release from Aug. 8. U.S. fresh potatoes are limited to a 26-kilometer zone along the border. Council executive vice president and CEO John Keel-ing doesn’t expect the ruling to change that. Even so, the council expressed concern about the judgment be-cause of the precedent it would set. “The ruling, while of direct relevance to potato trade, could “Mexico’s a big trading partner in terms of the amount of frozen prod-uct that we ship down there, but fresh has a tremendous potential to Farmers markets? Oh, SNAP. Opinion, A6 ‘There’s no disagreement that potatoes can be shipped down there safely.’ John Keeling, National Potato Council also have a significant impact on trade in a variety of plant and ani-mal products by undermining the regulatory authority of govern-ment plant health authorities in Mexico,” the council stated in the release. U.S. potato growers have been shipping to the 26-kilometer zone since 2003, and access was sup-posed to expand in 2013 to include all of Mexico, but opposition from potato growers in Mexico has de-layed that opening. grow if we were allowed to get into the market,” Keeling said Aug. 7. “And the science ... there’s no disagreement that potatoes can be shipped down there safely.” NAFTA The potato council submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Rep-resentative in June about how to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has al-lowed potato exports to Mexico and Canada to grow substantially in the past couple of decades. “We think that the NAFTA re-negotiation has great potential to look at expanding trade with Mexico, whether directly through NAFTA or a sidebar conversation to look at some of the trade prob-lems we have had with Mexico over the years and find a resolu-tion,” Keeling said Aug. 3. A quicker resolution of phy-tosanitary disputes would be a wel-come change, he said. Restricting U.S. fresh potatoes to the 26-kilometer zone is based on unscientific, inconsistent ap-plications of food safety stan-dards, he said. “With full, unrestricted access for all U.S. fresh and processed potatoes, exports to Canada and Mexico could generate an addi-tional $200 million annually,” Keel-ing said in the June letter. P Bret Erickson joins J&D Produce People, A7 Washington expects 131 million-box crop Crops & Markets, A9 Understanding millennials’ mindset By Greg Johnson THE PACKER’S Midwest Produce Expo is back in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 14-16 for its sixth edition, and this year focuses on a huge generation of consumers who are changing food re-tailing: millennials. “Millennial Mindset is our theme this year to get the produce industry better in-formation about SHUMAN reaching this important group of con-sumers,” said The Packer’s Publisher Shannon Shuman. “We have a keynote speak-er who’s an expert on millen-nials, an industry member who will speak on them, and our editors will present Fresh Trends data specifically on that group,” he said. The Packer’s Editor Greg Johnson and Produce Retail-er Editor Pamela Riemen-schneider will present a mil-lennial version of their Fresh Trends Quiz Show, which uses Fresh Trends 2017 data to show attendees how to better market to millennials, with real-time audience an-swers in the presentation. “Pamela and I have some surprises for our attendees,” Johnson said. “For instance, younger consumers tend to buy fruits and vegetables less often than other age groups ac-cording to our Fresh Trends survey, but they’re even with or above the other groups on tropical fruits. We’ll explain why and what retailers can do with that information.” The Packer’s Ports set records Produce Tech, A14 Pamela Riemenschneider Sprouts isn’t afraid of Lidl, Aldi By Pamela Riemenschneider DURING ITS SECOND QUARTER earn-ings call on Aug. 3, Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market reported positive same-store sales, a reaffirmed relationship with Amazon Prime Now delivery — despite the looming Amazon/Whole Foods deal — and shored up defenses against discounters. The company reported net sales of $1.2 billion for the quarter, a 15% increase from the second quarter of 2016. Same-store sales were up 1.4% year-over year. The company opened 13 stores in the second quarter, and five to-date in the third quarter, to bring its total store count to 279, with 56 approved sites and 42 signed leases for future development, CEO Amin Maredia said MAREDIA during the call. Several new store openings this year compete with Lidl on the East Coast. Executives said during the call they aren’t too concerned about competition from the discounter, and its counterpart Aldi, which has been opening stores on the West Coast. “We’ve all certainly seen the head-lines of Lidl and Wal-Mart in certain pockets of the country, and that doesn’t really impact Sprouts,” CFO Brad Lu-kow said during the call. “That’s a discounter model that historical-ly has not been our shopper.” Maredia further addressed Aldi’s expan-sion in California and a new distribution center in Arizona. “We’ve not seen them expand materially in the Arizona market,” he said. “With all that said, I think the Aldi shopping experience — the products that they carry, the product, the service, the go-to-market approach of what they sell — is quite different from Sprouts.” But that doesn’t mean Sprouts isn’t watching. “Jim (Nielsen, president and COO) and I had a chance to visit Lidl stores last week and our overarching theme of discounter business and its impact on Sprouts has been minimal in the past, and we would expect it to be similar based on what we see today and how we see those stores, what they’re selling, how they’re selling and what cus-tomers they’re drawing,” Maredia said. “But, obviously, anyone who sells grocery is a competitor and we keep a close tab on how any new openings from even discount-ers could be impacting our business.” Sprouts also said it expanded Amazon Prime Now delivery service to Atlanta. “We will be delivering Sprouts products through the Prime Now service to over 20 locations across many of our major markets by year end,” Maredia said. P Keynote speaker Matt Beaudreau has given pre-sentations to many corpo-rate groups, and he uses proprietary data on millen-nials to show how to better market to and employ them. The Millennial Mindset education program starts with a presentation on e-commerce and grocery delivery by Erick Taylor, president and CEO of Pyr-amid Foods, a Rogersville, Mo., retail chain, which op-erates 52 stores in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. Then, Garland Perkins, U.S. retail solutions with The Oppenheimer Group, Van-couver, British Columbia, will analyze millennials using her personal and profession-al experiences. Quebec gears up Convention Preview, A15 More in store for fall Fall Avocados, B1 Mushrooms A Farm Journal publication Media er.com www.thepack EXPO The 5-hour expo is Aug. 15 at the headquarters ho-tel, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. Buyers from Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kroger, Supervalu, Woods Super-markets, B&R Stores, Lucky’s Market, 99 Cents Only Stores, Reasor’s Food, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, McKeever Price Chopper, Queen’s Price Chopper and Balls Food Stores, and more, are registered to attend. P August 14, 2017 Mushroom tabloid insert What’s online n line ... . SunGold slides into first at PMA Foodservice. Read more at http://bit. ly/2wyhEjP.