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McDaniel Fruit continues to expand volume

As the industry grows so does McDaniel Fruit Co, adding volume incrementally from the various source of production, including Mexico.

Rankin McDaniel Sr., president of the firm, said the company is always looking to add growers and it has also experienced natural growth as the growers it works with expand their own operations.

In fact, the company is closely mirroring the top trend lines in the industry as it continues to see production gains in both organic fruit and in the selling of bagged fruit. Those appear to be two SKUs garnering more than their fair share of growth at retail.

McDaniel said the firm has long been a devotee of the multi-unit bags. “We have been a supplier of bagged fruit for many years,” he said. “In fact, all of our customers take one bag or another as part of their mix.”

He echoed the sentiments of others, noting that bagged fruit offers both an advantageous price point and gives retailers an extra option to give to their shoppers.

As the Mexican avocado season kicks into high gear, the longtime observer of the industry said he expects “a nice flow of product over the next few months. We should be well supplied.”

He said the quality has been excellent, though there were some rain interruptions in the late summer/early fall period because of several tropical storms that moved through the avocado-growing regions. However, none of those storms did any serious damage and McDaniel said supplies are on track.

Speaking briefly about the upcoming California season, McDaniel said there is no doubt that the record high temperatures that hit several California growing regions this past summer took a toll on the fruit. However, he said in late October that it was too early to put a number on how much fruit was damaged or on how big the California crop will be.

But he said come spring, there will be California fruit in the marketplace and he anticipates that there will be promotable volume for an unspecified time.

McDaniel also tipped his cap to California growers who have had to navigate a very trying year with rain, fire, wind and extreme heat all exacting a toll at one time or another.