Anthony Vineyards’ Rob Spinelli Discusses Demand Opportunities in Lead-Up to Southern Exposure

From And Now u Know | 9 February 2023

Overview of grapes from in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on February 8, 2023. 

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Timing is everything in our industry, a factor which makes the upcoming Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure a key event as we close out the winter months and prepare for spring. With table grapes and dates ready for retail eyes, Rob Spinelli took the time to tell me why Anthony Vineyards and Sun Date are a crucial stop for attendees to make.

“Southern Exposure kicks off our season and is a great opportunity to start talking about the upcoming Coachella harvest face to face,” Rob Spinelli, Sales, shares. “This event offers us a chance to connect with a lot of our customers in the area and focus on our organic and conventional programs, especially in such a continuously changing marketplace. At Anthony Vineyards, where no year is quite the same, this is essential.”

grape volumes by origin 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

With inflation and other market concerns top of mind for all in the industry, nothing is better than in-person conversations. And Rob tells me that this is an even stronger case for table grapes as they continue to hold their own in terms of retail demand.

“Even amid inflation and challenging times for all, consumers are proving they still want to eat healthy. It is, however, still a challenge as everyone’s costs have gone up and we still don’t know what that entails down the road. We continue to adjust as we go and continue to be optimistic as we move forward day to day,” he explains.

Continuously testing new waters as the supplier grows, it continues to trial imported organic Peruvian grapes to extend the season and maintain consistency.

“This is an available program for West Coast distribution to keep organic on the shelves through February, extending that access for retailers and their shoppers,” Rob tells me, adding that this is among a few ways the grower is continuously exploring supply versatility.

Meanwhile, Southern Exposure also aligns well with date-fueled holiday Ramadan, which this year runs from the evening of March 22 to the evening of April 21.

“Our sister company, Sun Date, is excited to be exhibiting organic and conventional dates, which we supply year-round. This is an especially great acquaintance for retailers to make as Ramadan—a huge Muslim holiday—kicks off shortly after the show. Because this goes for about 30 days, even if you have not promoted dates beforehand, there are opportunities to utilize this holiday and reach a very strong date demographic,” Rob informs.

Anthony Vineyards and Sun Date can both be found at booth #206 during the small-format show, which takes place in Orlando, Florida, March 2–4, so be sure to mark them on your floor map!

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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