Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S50


Supplier

MUZZI FAMILY FARMS

Fresh or Frozen

Muzzi Family Farms provides fresh and frozen produce from California's Central Coast to
foodservice, club stores and retail companies in the United States and Canada. BY RUSS GAGER

Muzzi Family Farms attributes
its success to honesty, hard
work and quality employees.

W
Dominic Muzzi,
managing partner
www.muzzifamily
farms.com
Salinas, Calif.

50

ith consumers' tastes shifting to
healthier foods and more produce,
California's Central Coast has had its
share of changes in keeping up with
dietary trends. Who a few years ago would have
predicted Americans' growing interest in kale and
brussels sprouts? But the dozen growers who supply Muzzi Family Farms with its raw product for
its fresh and frozen processing operations have been
adjusting their product mixes to keep up with shifting demand.
Muzzi Family Farms is one of the few compa-

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

November/December 2015

nies in the Central Coast that processes both fresh
and frozen vegetables, mainly for the foodservice
industry. It is the sales entity for the fresh produce
that is processed by its sister company, Watsonville
Produce, and the frozen produce of another sister
company, Blue Ribbon Frozen Foods.
Managing Partner Dominic Muzzi says that 10
percent of the company's product goes to retail.
Approximately two-thirds of the volume is sold as
fresh produce and one-third is frozen. Most of the
frozen produce is used by companies as ingredients
in finished foods. Spinach the company processes
may end up in lasagna, quiche or spinach dip, and its
brussels sprouts in a pot pie.
Some of the growers for Muzzi Family Farms
specialize in produce for fresh use and others for
frozen, although some grow produce for both. Vegetables usually are designated for fresh or frozen use
when they are seeded, although their use may shift
based on market conditions at harvest time. "There
is some flexibility as you get to harvest depending
on the weather, markets, availability and demand,"
Muzzi declares. "A number of variables may dictate
if a product is going to go fresh or frozen."
Among those variables are the frequency of rain
- the Central Coast is experiencing unprecedented
drought this year - and the prevalence of insects and
mildew. Those same variables around the world can
affect Muzzi's market. "Not only does the weather
matter in our growing areas, but in other areas as
well, because they may have other growing issues in
those areas," he points out.
"If other areas are in good production, sometimes
that market may be depressed, and if other areas are
having weather issues of their own, sometimes the
market can be favorable [for us]," Muzzi continues.
"Competing with other areas nationally or internationally, you never wish bad on somebody else. But
when that does happen, oftentimes it really changes
things. If you're in the right spot at the right time,
it can be favorable financially, or the opposite - if
you're in the wrong area, it can be unfavorable."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015

Contents
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S2
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