Recently OnionBusiness.com was fortunate to visit Loffredo Fresh Produce Headquarters in Des Moines, IA, for a special tour of the operation’s produce distribution center and new processing facility located in the Des Moines suburb of Norwalk.
Founded in 1892, family-owned Loffredo Fresh Produce is a mainstay in fresh fruits and vegetables, with 80 percent of its volume going to the foodservice market in the Midwest and 20 percent to retail. With an ever-increasing demand for processed product in both foodservice and retail, Loffredo recently expanded its processing capabilities under the name of Produce Innovations.
Eight months ago Loffredo moved its processing center from the Des Moines distribution center to a new state-of-the-art building that is both SQF certified and, more recently, “green certified.”
Produce Innovations Director of Operations Adam Babcock told OnionBusiness.com that the demand for processed fruits and vegetables is growing by leaps and bounds. He said among the factors behind the growing demand are increased labor costs and stricter requirements prohibiting younger workers from using knives and slicers. Babcock said the upshot is that operators are looking for more processed fruits and vegetables.
Included in its manifest is a wide range of processed onion products, such as sliced, diced and petals. Each item comes in a variety of sizes.
Babcock said, “Our new 50,000-sq. ft. facility is situated on a large piece of land with plenty of room to grow. We only see the market for processed fruits and vegetables getting stronger with more demand, and we are ready for it.”