• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 C-Brand Firm history
 Current operations
 Organization
 Internship experience
 Guava, the plant
 Current status in USA
 Internship project
 Bibliography
 Advertising






Group Title: Marketing of a lesser-known Florida fruit : the case of guava at a Florida packer / shipper
Title: The marketing of a lesser-known Florida fruit
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053101/00001
 Material Information
Title: The marketing of a lesser-known Florida fruit the case of guava at a Florida packer shipper
Series Title: Teaching and learning paper series
Alternate Title: Case of guava at a Florida packershipper
Physical Description: vi, 20 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gibbs, William M
Wycocki, Allen F
Olexa, Michael T
University of Florida -- Food and Resource Economics Dept
Publisher: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Food and Resource Economics Dept.
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 2000
 Subjects
Subject: Fruit -- Marketing   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 20).
Statement of Responsibility: by William M. Gibbs, Allen F. Wysocki and Michael T. Olexa.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "December 2000"--Cover.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053101
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 003415862
oclc - 46633787

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
    C-Brand Firm history
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Current operations
        Page 4
    Organization
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Internship experience
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Guava, the plant
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Current status in USA
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Internship project
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Bibliography
        Page 20
    Advertising
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
Full Text











V -









The Marketing of a Lesser-Known Florida Fruit: The Case of
Guava at a Florida Packer/Shipper


by

William M. Gibbs, Allen Wysocki, and Michael T. Olexa*


Abstract: This cases focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing C-Brand
Tropicals, a tropical fruit packer/shipper located in South Florida. Management of C-
Brand Tropicals continues to look for ways to compete in the highly competitive produce
industry. The company is experimenting with new packaging and sizing for guava in an
attempt to win over large grocery store buyers.



Key Words: guava, fruit packaging, distribution, and sales, marketing, operations,
consumers










* William M. Gibbs is a Master of Agribusiness graduate student and Allen F. Wysocki,
and Michael T. Olexa are Assistant Professor and Professor, respectively, in the Food and
Resource Economics Department, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.







Opinions and perspectives expressed in this case may or may not represent the views of
others, particularly, C-Brand Tropicals.










C-BRAND TROPICALS
p1144/e Do TropiQuality Every Day!


WWW.TROPIOUALITY.COM


The Marketing of a Lesser-Known Florida Fruit: The Case of
Guava at a Florida Packer/Shipper


byWilliam M. Gibbs Alen F. Wsocki and Michael T. Olexa
William M. Gibbs, Allen F. Wysocki, and Michael T. Olexa


C`









Dedication

This work is dedicated to the late Dr. Patrick J. Byme for giving me the

opportunity to study Agribusiness at the University of Florida. In my 18 years of formal

schooling, I never had a better educator. His masterful pedagogy coupled with a superb

understanding of marketing and sales made my experience in the Food and Resource

Economics Department truly remarkable. May he rest in peace.









Acknowledgements

I am indeed grateful to the many people who have helped me in my pursuit of a

Master's of Agribusiness Degree at the University Florida. In particular, I would like to

thank my advisory committee chair Dr. Al Wysocki, a fellow Midwesterner, produce

man, and excellent teacher who has been a tremendous source of information in my

pursuit of marketing at the retail level. Also on my advisory committee was Dr. Michael

Olexa, a true entrepreneur, who has offered me sound advice on legal issues pertinent to

the agribusiness industry. Of equal importance in my education has been Bill Messina,

the unofficial third member of my advisory committee. An entrepreneur himself, Mr.

Messina has instilled in me the "never say die" mentality required of all those wishing to

start their own business. From the moment I met him, Bill has been a constant source of

business, personal, and educational wisdom.

In the private sector, I am grateful to Mr. Bill Shaefer, president of C-Brand

Tropicals, where I spent the summer of 2000 fulfilling my degree requirements of an

internship experience. Bill, a marketing guru of the produce industry, helped teach me

the ins and outs of the produce industry as well as provided me with a perfect internship

experience at C-Brand Tropicals.

Others have helped me along in my educational pursuits. In the Agribusiness

group, my classmates (Andy Wetherill, Raquel Guzman, Sean Mannhertz and others )

have helped and entertained me with lively discussions over issues concerning our love

of the agribusiness world.

I also am very grateful to Iris Chacon and Don Mee, companions of mine who

supported me throughout graduate school by keeping me well nourished and sane.










To my parents, Al and Monica Gibbs, I owe many years of support and advice to

never be satisfied be anything less than the pursuit and realization of my dreams.

Finally, to the Mayan Q'eqchi's of Guatemala I owe 2 years of happiness. Their

humble existence and selfless sharing opened my eyes to the reality of the majority of

this planet's inhabitants and gave me a new direction in life. Because of them, I was

introduced to the numerous commodities available in the tropics, which I hope to

successfully market around the world. In this way, I hope to someday return something

to them.

WMG 8/9/2000









Table of Contents



Page

C-Brand Firm History 1

Current Operations 4

Organization 5

Internship Experience 7

Guava, The Plant 10

Current Status in USA 13

Internship Project 15

Bibliography 19









The Marketing of a Lesser-Known Florida Fruit: The Case of
Guava at a Florida Packer/Shipper

by

William M. Gibbs, Allen F. Wysocki, and Michael T. Olexa

Firm History

Founded in 1926 by the Couture family in California (currently called C-Brand

Tropicals), Couture Farms originally was a grower/packer/shipper of honeydew melons,

cantaloupes, asparagus, pistachios, sweet potatoes, cotton, and several other rotational

crops. The farm grew in size and is currently producing on nearly 1,000 acres in

California, of which 600 acres are in asparagus production.

During its expansion until the 1970s, Couture maintained domestic production,

packing, and shipping. However, some Peruvian farmers on scholarship at the University

of California Davis expressed to the UC Davis staff their desire to grow crops for export

to the United States. With a growing season opposite of North America, the Peruvian

farmers could hit lucrative non-production U.S. marketing windows without competing

with American growers. Known as one of the most successful farm operations in

California, the Peruvians were quickly referred to Couture Farms by the UC Davis staff.

The Peruvians and Couture Farms quickly came up with a plan to grow asparagus

in the rich South American soil. Couture provided their growing, packing, and shipping

expertise as well as a verbal agreement to handle all of the Peruvians' output. Paul and

Chris Couture flew to Peru and spent months helping their partners set up operation.

Within three years Couture was importing from Peru upwards of 20,000 boxes per week

of asparagus into Miami. Couture Farms soon set up a Miami office and named it

Couture International.









As the sole supplier of winter asparagus in the United States, Couture was able to

easily receive $40.00/box FOB wholesale from its customers who then resold at even

higher prices. Currently, asparagus sells for $16.00/box. This cash windfall lasted only

several years in the early 1980's, as other competitors were quick to set up operations in

Peru.

Eager to diversify and replicate their success in off-season production in Latin

America, Couture Farms began searching in the early 1990s for a site in Central America

where they could produce off-season melons. Guatemala was seen as an ideal location to

grow melons because of the cheap labor, liberal export laws, and ideal climate for melon

production. Several willing producers were located and, again, several members of the

Couture Family flew to Guatemala to help set-up the operation. In addition, several of

the growers requested and received start-up money from the Coutures. However, several

growers simply stole the loans and others did not produce to expectations. To make

matters worse, several growers requested and received additional monies to expand and

improve, but again failed to provide product. In all, the Coutures lost upwards of one

million dollars in the early 1990s to bad overseas investments. These loses were very

financially damaging to the firm.

At the same time that the Coutures were expanding into melon production, some

Columbian farmers came to the University of California at Davis requesting advise as to

a labor-intensive crop that could be produced in Columbia to help discourage farmers

from growing coca. The UC Davis staff once again referred the Colombians to the

Couture Family and the two agreed in principle to begin an asparagus operation in

Columbia. The Coutures would provide the know-how and marketing of the product,









while the Colombians would provide the land, labor, and product. This time, however,

the Coutures, having learned from their Guatemalan experience, would loan no money.

The asparagus was planted in 1994 and export of the product began two years later.

Also in 1994, Chris Allen, longtime friend of the Couture Family, expressed

interest in becoming involved in the ailing Miami branch of Couture International. Allen

invested nearly a quarter-million dollars and began running the Miami branch, now

known as Couture-Allen International, from San Francisco. Allen and his poor

leadership drove the already ailing division into the ground. Sales declined and some of

their suppliers from Venezuela (mangos) and Guatemala (melons) became dissatisfied

with their returns and dropped Couture International. By May of 1995, Allen left

Couture-Allen International. With no product and less clients, Couture Farms

contemplated shutting down their Miami branch, Couture-Allen International.

Through mutual friendships, Couture Farms is put in contact with Bill Shaefer,

marketing director of Brooks Tropicals, the largest grower/packer/shipping of tropical

fruits in Florida. Shaefer helped build Brooks Tropicals into a multi-million dollar

powerhouse in the produce industry through his tireless marketing programs for

carambola and ugli fruit. However, internal problems at Brooks had Shaefer

contemplating quitting the firm. Couture Farms approached Shaefer and, after making

him a lucrative offer, persuades him leave Brooks to head Couture-Allen International.

Before leaving Brooks, Shaefer recruited Mike Vanderbeek, an up and coming salesman

with several years at Brooks.

When Vanderbeek and Shaefer take over Couture-Allen in 1995, they inherited a

company with almost no suppliers and yearly revenue of only $2.5 million. Initially, they









bought a load of coconuts and could not sell them. They bought four pallets of limes that

ended up rotting. At the end of 1995, their line of credit was removed and their biggest

customer filed bankruptcy while still owing Couture-Allen $53,000. Things looked very

bad and Mike Vanderbeek, with his wife pregnant, considered jumping ship.

Fortunately, things began to recover. Couture-Allen received a line of credit,

albeit at a very high interest rate, and they began to land some accounts. The end of 1996

brought a Costco account and Brooks Tropicals' inability to manage their Wal-Mart

account help Vanderbeek and Shaefer acquire a huge account with that chain's growing

grocery business. Local producer discontent with Brooks Tropicals brought new

suppliers to Couture-Allen's growing packing operations and helped expand the Couture-

Allen offerings. The firm then moved from its Miami location to Goulds in 1997 to be

closer to the local producers.

Since their move to Goulds, revenue has risen. Sales in 1999 reached nearly $13

million and a new salesman has recently been added. In January of 2000, Couture-Allen

changed its name to C-Brand Tropicals, since many customers thought the company was

either a law-firm or doctor's office. Also, an "internship program" has recently been

started with the addition of the author as the first intern. The company continues to grow

and explores new opportunities in terms of fruit offerings and strategic relations with

customers (Vanderbeek, M: personal communication, July 2000).


Current Operations

Currently, C-Brand Tropicals operates as a packer/shipper/broker of a variety of

tropical fruits grown both domestically and abroad. When in season, C-Brand

consolidates product from local growers and then grades, packages, and ships to chain









supermarkets, wholesalers, terminal markets, and, occasionally, end-users. When local

product is not available, C-Brand sources product from Mexico, Central America, South

America and the Caribbean and then often reworks the product to ensure a quality

product is leaving their docks. C-Brand sometimes brokers product, with the item never

entering or leaving their location.

When grading product for top-quality, much fruit is removed. The firm will sell

these items, called number two's, on the dock directly to consumers and/or local

suppliers who then resell to restaurants, markets, or out of their vehicles to consumers. In

the ultra-competitive product industry, fruit quality to a large degree and price to a lesser

one are almost dictated to sellers. Service and price are what drive most consumers.

C-Brand Tropicals has often succeeded in gaining customers where other have

failed because of company president Bill Shaefer's philosophy of not letting a pack

variation deter a sale. In other words, if a firm wants their fruit packed in a non-

traditional way or in a way that C-Brand currently does not pack an item, C-Brand will

go out of their way to pack the fruit according to the customer's desire, despite the

inconvenience. In this way, C-Brand Tropicals is truly satisfying the customers' needs,

thereby increasing sales and the firm's reputation as a customer-driven company. This,

above all, may be the main competitive advantage of C-Brand Tropicals.



Organization

Currently, C-Brand is organization according to a somewhat hierarchical structure

with each member of management ultimately receiving instruction from C-Brand

president, Bill Shaefer, and/or vice-president of sales Mike Vanderbeek (see figure 1).










However, much flexibility is given to management in terms of hours worked, duties

accomplished, and decisions made. Furthermore, despite titles, many responsibilities and

duties are shared, as is common in many small corporations. This arrangement is

necessary because of the day-to-day as well as the seasonal fluctuations of the produce

industry. During the busiest moments, employees of the shipping department as well as

Figure 1. C-Brand Management Organization


Mike Vanderbeek
Vice President of Sales


the head office may join the packinghouse workers in arranging product. Conversely,

packinghouse workers may work with the shipping and receiving during moments of

high activity on the dock. This sort of mutual assistance is necessary to optimize

efficiency and worker performance because of the tight profit margins that are

characteristic of this highly competitive industry. Instead of hiring extra workers and









incurring higher costs, workers are shared to maximize efficiency and minimize costs.

Furthermore, this interaction of responsibilities allows the head office and shipping to

maintain control and observe the quality of product that is being shipped.



Internship Experience

C-Brand Tropicals offers the perspective student a near-perfect internship

experience. Bill Shaefer, C-Brand president, believes that to effectively be an employee

of C-Brand, one must learn all aspects of their operation. From the moment the intern

arrives at C-Brand, he/she begins to work according to this belief.

The internship experience begins with the student working for several weeks

alongside hourly workers in the packinghouse. This experience gives the intern the

knowledge of the tasks and responsibilities facing the packinghouse manager as well as

the hourly workers. In this way, an understanding of this aspect of the operation on the

part of the salesman helps deter unrealistic packing jobs from the head office on short

notice. Also, by working with the product, the intern learns the shipping sizes and

product quality to be offered to customers.

After the packinghouse assignment, the intern moves on to work alongside the

receiving manager. In the receiving department, the student learns inventory and quality

control as well as how to use the integrated computer software that is used to do

everything from invoices to orders. Also, the use of the forklift and palletization of

product is taught to the student by the receiving department. Most importantly in

receiving, the student familiarizes him/herself with the product line carried by the

company.









Following several weeks in receiving, the student is then placed in the shipping

department. Time in this critical facet of the company is very well spent. Shipping is the

last-chance filter with which to catch any errors in quantity, quality, and items placed.

Once the item is placed in a trailer, it is out of the company's possession and control.

Many customers have been retained because of shipping's alertness to improperly

handled or shipped items. Also, shipping's vigilance over the items needed for the day's

orders helps the packinghouse manager manage what items need to be packed for the

day. Moreover, since shipping knows generally which trucks come when for particular

items, they help the packinghouse manager process in a logical order according to when

the item is needed. On a side note, shipping also sells considerable quantities of number

two fruit on the docks to local vendors, generating much-needed cash for the company's

general coffer.

The next segment of a C-Brand internship takes the intern to the head office,

where the student's previous five to six weeks experience comes together to help form

the larger picture of how the company works. The intern begins by making purchases of

local and foreign growers, thereby gaining an understanding of product and transportation

costs. Also, by working with the packinghouse manager, the student learns the

packinghouse costs of re-working the fruit. In this way, the student gains a thorough

understanding of how the company forms its prices. Then, by taking orders from clients,

the intern learns how to sell as well as in what priority product is allocated when scarcity

exists. Finally, the student tries to establish new customers by either cold calling or

selling to any personal contacts that he/she might have.









The final part of a C-Brand internship involves spending time with payables,

receivables, packinghouse operations, and other random necessary functions of the firm.

Also, the intern may be given special assignments, such as researching the marketability

of new items. It must be added that, throughout the internship, which can last three to

four months, the student may be asked to visit local producers to assess their fruit quality,

production levels, and/or retrieve fruit that is urgently needed to fill a pending order.

This very thorough internship designed by Bill Shaefer offers the student an excellent

opportunity to study a produce firm working in niche markets filling demand for some of

the lesser known but increasingly demanded tropical fruits. After three to four months

with C-Brand Tropicals, the student has had an extremely educational and rewarding

experience.









Guava: The Plant

Guava (Psidium guajava) is a member of the family Myrtaceae, which has more


Figure 2. From Top Left; Guava Fruit, Flower, Flesh, and Leaf.

than 80 genera and 3000 species. A native of the Americas from Peru to Mexico, guava

can be found throughout the humid tropics, in well over 50 countries. The Spaniards and

Portuguese quickly disseminated seed of this tree around the world in the early 1500's

and it is commonly known by the name guava, despite many different native languages









and dialects where it is grown. Its hardiness has made a welcome addition to many

tropical homegardens because of the copious amount of fruit it produces up to 10 months

of the year. However, its aggressive seeding ability has made it a pest in certain areas

where the tree often chokes out native vegetation (Nakasone and Paull, 1998).

Guava is a small tree, often taking on a bushy, shrubby appearance, but may reach

a height of almost 30 feet. The trunk of guava is very short, with branching occurring

shortly after the base, and is easily recognizable because of the attractive, copper-colored,

bark that often peals from the tree. Young branches are often green and square while the

leaves of guava occur in pairs and are oblong to oval shaped. The flowers of guava are

white and usually self-pollinate via bees, however, cross-pollination is known to occur.




















Figure 3. Guava Plantation.

Guava is a heavy producer, with individual trees producing up to 227 kg/tree/year.

One hectare of guava can produce up to 50 MT/ha/year (Kwee and Chong, 1990). The

skin and flesh of guava can vary in color from yellow to green and from red to white,












respectively. The fruit gives off a strong, but sweet odor when ripe and, although


seedless varieties exist, the majority of guava in commercial production is seeded.


Guava is grown around the world most tropical countries. The biggest producers


include Mexico, Columbia, India, Malaysia, United States, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya,


Cuba, and the Dominican Republic (Kwee and Chong, 1990).


Figure 4. Worldwide Guava Distribution.


"'
I
-~
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L
I


r.I..


*-; 'r-. ". '.:-
' :--. *. ,-
:' -- "
' --*^ *.









Figure 5. Major guava-producing countries.

Year Country Production (MT)
1944 Cuba 90,714

1969 India 200,000

1969 Venezuela 16,900

1969 Egypt 34,000

1983 Mexico 175,000

1988 South Africa 13,000

1988 Malaysia 20,173



Although data is scarce, most guava is produced for fresh consumption in local

markets, with very little product entering international markets. The highly perishable

nature of fresh guava makes it an unlikely candidate for long, time-consuming transport

over great distances. However, considerable quantities of guava are processed into

jellies, pastes, baby food, juices, and various desserts for local consumption and export

throughout the world (Morton, 1987). Much of the international trade in guava is aimed

at serving the citizens of ex-patriot niche markets of the exporting country.



Current Status in USA

What little demand for guava that exists in the United States is primarily

concentrated around large metropolitan areas throughout the country and other areas of

ethnic diversity such as the Latino areas of Florida, Texas, and California. These ex-

patriot niche markets exist because of the previous exposure these consumers have had

with guava in the native lands. Traditional American markets purchase very little guava;









guava suffers from the common characteristics of being unfamiliar to the majority of the

general American population. Most Americans do not know what the product is, how to

tell when it is ripe, how to prepare it, what part is edible, etc. (Crane, 1993). In addition,

the ignorance of wholesale produce buyers and grocery store managers further limits the

marketability of relatively unknown products such as guava. Therefore, the high cost of

funding for market development and promotion is the main limiting factor for increasing

demand for unfamiliar products to mainstream produce buyers and consumers.

Due to the strong presence of a Latino population in the United States, there has

for many years been a small, but steady demand for fresh guava. This demand has been

satisfied by a small number of commercial operations in Hawaii, California, and Florida.

In Florida, only 31 hectares of land were planted in guava in 1993 (Crane, 1993). This

number has increased and in 2000 there was at least one grower alone producing guava

on nearly 32 hectares. The increase in guava production in South Florida is attributed to

the burgeoning Latino population of the area.

The future prospects for guavas are very good. Americans are increasingly

traveling outside the United States and encountering new and exciting food items, which

they then demand at their local supermarkets. The rise in the popularity of Latino

cuisine, in particular Mexican dishes, is the fastest growing of all ethnic foodstuffs.

Finally, by 2020, the Hispanic population, which is the primary consumer of guava, is

expected to reach almost 20% of the U.S. total (Andrews, 1995). These trends point to a

bright future for the growers and suppliers of fresh guava to American consumers.









Internship Project

After his second month of work, the intern at C-Brand Tropicals was given the

task of improving their marketing campaign of guava. C-Brand Tropicals' current sales

of guava at existing stores were flat and the prospects of expanding to new stores were

dim given the poor performance of guava in existing stores. In the opinion of the

company president, Bill Shaefer, guava suffered from the usual problems of an unknown

product aimed at the American consumer. Most Americans do not know what guava is,

how to tell when it is ripe, how to prepare it, what part is edible, etc. Furthermore,

according to Shaefer, from the standpoint of the produce/wholesale buyer, the quality

and, most importantly, consistency of the supply of guava is poor.

When a produce/wholesale buyer decides to purchase an item, they want to

receive a standardized item in a standardized box that is filled either according to a

weight amount or count number. For example, when a buyer purchases Florida

avocados, they will buy product in a standardized box with a variable quantity of fruit

inside. The buyer will choose a 9, 10, 12, or even a 14 count box of avocados. Avocados

of similar size and of the same variety are packed in the same size box. A 9 count box of

avocados will then have larger fruit than a 14 count box because both size avocados go

into the same size box. Logically, the smaller-sized fruit will fit more per box than a

larger-sized fruit. The buyer knows this from experience and/or industry specifications

of the size of fruit that will be received.

This standardization of product helps the buyer in two main ways. First, the

buyer can determine what size their customer prefers and purchase accordingly.

Secondly, the uniformity in size helps deter complaints from the customer when a









uniform price is attached to all avocados of a lot. Customers will not complain that they

are being charged the same for a smaller fruit if all of the fruit is of a uniform size.

In the case of guava, the sole supplier of product to C-Brand Tropicals packed

according to weight, not size. Therefore, C-Brand customers would receive 10 lbs. of

guava, regardless of size. Sometimes, C-Brand would then ship 12-15 large guava

weighing a total of 10 lbs. Other times, C-Brand would ship 25-30 small guava weighing

a total of 10 lbs. This lack of predictability prevented produce buyers who practiced

"every day low price" from setting consistent prices because of the great variability of

guava size. This, in turn, deters produce buyers from actively buying and promoting

guava in their stores.

As an individual project for the intern, Shaefer suggested that the intern research

ways in which to correct the "guava problems" of low consumer awareness and non-

standard packaging. Time was of the essence in this project for several reasons. First,

the Mexican guava producers were eager to begin exporting to gringo markets with the

FDA allowance of imported guava into Texas, California, and Arizona given the product

be irradiated in order to prevent deleterious organisms from entering the U.S. Secondly,

C-Brand Tropicals was eager to be the first company to begin supplying guava to the

huge Latino populations of Texas, California, and Arizona that the Wal-Mart

Supercenters serve. Thirdly, C-Brand's sole guava grower was literally throwing out

thousands of pounds of guava in his fields because of his inability to sell all of his

production. The grower purchased a $110,000 sizing machine in the spring of 2000 that

would sort the product into three distinct sizes. This machine solved the problem of non-

uniform sized fruit, but not the problem of a lack of a standardized box and count.









Therefore, the intern was instructed to find something that would be effective in solving

the guava problems soon. Also, in order to sell to Wal-Mart in those three states, the

guava would have to be irradiated and labeled with a PLU sticker carrying an irradiation

symbol.

Shaefer added one additional twist to the equation of improving the marketing of

guava. Given that it is an unknown and unproven item, produce buyers do not want

expose themselves to a product that is expensive in case the produce sits on the shelves

and rots. An attractive per box price minimizes the financial risk of the produce buyer

purchasing hundreds of cases for a chain store. Therefore, the weight per box would

have to be minimized in order to be able to offer a relatively cheap (<$10.00) box of fruit.

In order to address the problem of a low-level of awareness of guava among

consumers, Shaefer suggested to the intern that he research the possibility of point-of-

purchasing advertising for guava. In particular, the intern should find a package in which

the retailer can offer the fruit at a low price with a label describing to the consumer what

the product is and how and when to consume it. After researching this, the intern came

up with a four-pack clamshell container that would carry an attractive label with the

possibility of including recipes on the backside of the label that would be readable

through the clear container. However, after number crunching, it was soon obvious that

the container would retail for $3.99; a price considered too high to entice consumers to

risk buying a product that they do not know. A two-pack clamshell, which would offer a

better price, does not exist and the cost of creating one is prohibitive. The point of

purchase advertising research was put aside in order to concentrate on improving the

other aspect of the guava problem.









The problem of creating a low-cost uniform count and standardized box was the

next area of investigation. After talking to numerous produce packaging suppliers and

testing their products, it was decided that a tray insert with a 9, 12, and 15 count cell

would offer the fruit a better visual presentation because of the nice contrast the red tray

would offer the green fruit. Also, given the three different fruit sizes (the grower's new

sizing machine graded the guava into three different sizes) to go into the box, the tray

with the snugly fitting cells would offer the fruit stability and prevent it from rattling

around and damaging. Finally, with the fruit firmly braced in the trays, applying the PLU

stickers with a label gun would be easier than trying to target moving fruit. Having

acquired the trays from a manufacturer, the intern then had a local box maker design a

box that would fit around a tray (creating a box that goes around a tray is easier and

cheaper than designing a tray to fit into a box).

The next job was designing a label that fulfilled the requirements of Wal-Mart,

the guava grower, and the federal government. This was no easy job considering the

diameter of the sticker would be only three-fourths of an inch. Wal-Mart requires a PLU

code be included on the sticker of every individual fruit. The guava grower was insistent

on having his name included on the sticker to spread consumer awareness of his excellent

product. The federal government required that the universal irradiation sticker, the radura

symbol, be included on the box in which the fruit was shipped. It was then each store's








Figure 6. The Radura Irradiation Symbol









producer manager's responsibility to inform the consumer of the irradiation treatment.

Wal-Mart, not wanting to depend on individual producer managers to shoulder the weight

of such a controversial issue as irradiation, decided to shift the responsibility to the

supplier. Therefore, the universal irradiation symbol would then have to be included on

the sticker. The results of the new sticker design were pending at the time of this writing.

The final aspect of this project is determining the FOB price that C-Brand

Tropicals would charge its main customer, mainly Wal-Mart Supercenters, for the new

product. After calculating the guava producer's final price given the cost of the new box,

tray, sticker, added labor and factoring in C-Brand's markup, it was determined that the

FOB price to Wal-Mart would be exactly $10.00 per 9, 12, and 15 count box. The price

was judged reasonable by Shaefer and concluded what was a very educational and

productive individual internship project. C-Brand Tropicals will soon be offering its new

guava-pack to its customers.









Bibliography

Andrews, J. 1995. Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums. University of Texas Press,
Austin, TX, USA.

Crane, J.H. 1993. Commercialization of Carambola, Atemoya, and other tropical fruits in
South Florida. p. 448-460. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New Crops. Wiley, New
York, NY, USA.

Kwee, L.T. and Chong, K.K. 1990. Guava in Malaysia. Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.

Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL, USA.

Nakasone, H.Y. and Paull, R.E. 1998. Tropical Fruits. CAB International, New York,
NY, USA.











TEACHING AND LEARNING PAPER SERIES
FOOD AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT


Author


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TLP 99-3




TLP 99-4




TLP 99-5


TLP 99-6


TLP 99-7


TLP 00-1




TLP00-2




TLP 00-3



TLP 00-4


TLP00-5


An Introduction to the Teaching and Learning Paper
Series

Engaging Learners In Economic and Management
Education: A Challenge To Our Profession

Perspectives On Precision Agriculture: A Case
Study of the mPower' Company



Perspectives In Human Resource Management: A
Case Study of An Incentive Program At Tyson
Foods, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida


Opportunities and Challenges in Satellite Campus
Agribusiness Management Education

Florida's Natural Growers: A Decision Case


Russell Provisions, Distributor of Boar's Head
Deli Meat and Cheese: A Decision Case

TRACER: A New Market Challenge: A Case
Study of a Marketing Plan for Dow Agro Sciences



Management and Advancement In A Theme-Based
Restaurant: A Case Study of the Ale House



Procedures For Peer Evaluation of Teaching In the
Food and Resource Economics Department


A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Mutual
Funds

Perspective On Internet Marketing: A Case Study of
Therapeutic Botanicals, Inc.


Title


Date


Gary F. Fairchild


Gary F. Fairchild


Aaron Troyer
Gary Fairchild
Richard Weldon
P.J. van Blokland

Pavan Her
Allen Wysocki
Gary Fairchild
Patrick J. Byme

Ferdinand F. Wirth
Suzanne D. Thomsbury

Benjamin Brown
Allen Wysocki

Meagan Langford
Allen Wysocki

Cam Martin
Patrick Byme
Richard Weldon
Ken Buhr

Norman S. Baer
P.J. van Blokland
Gary F. Fairchild
John E. Reynolds

Gary F. Fairchild
John E. Reynolds
Tracy S. Hoover

Eric Gameff
P.J. van Blokland

Ronald Pearl
Gary F. Fairchild
Timothy G. Taylor


December
1999

December
1999

December
1999


December
1999



December
1999

December
1999

December
1999

January
2000


January
2000



April
2000


April
2000

August
2000












No. Title


TLP 00-6


TLP 00-7


Strategic Analysis ofa Small Firm Competing in the
European Mango Market


A Strategic Business Analysis of Pike Family
Nurseries



Using Business Simulations and Issue Debates to
Facilitate Synthesis in Agribusiness Capstone
Courses

Life Long Learning For the 21st Century Food
System-Will Colleges of Agriculture Respond?

A Beginner's Guide To Speculating and Hedging
The Dow Contract

Designing Agribusiness Capstone Courses:
Objectives and Strategies




A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Risk and
Portfolio Diversification



Incorporation of Peer Learning In An Agricultural
Curriculum

Observations of the Sentricon Termite Colony
Elimination System and Florida Pest Control and
Chemical Co.

Country Catfish Company: A Decision Case



Overview and Swot Analysis of Ocean Spray
Cranberries, Inc. -Citrus Division



The Grocery Industry Faces Change


Raquel Guzman
Gary F. Fairchild
Allen F. Wysocki

Gerado Sol
Gary F. Fairchild
Allen Wysocki
Karl Kepner

Gary F. Fairchild
Timothy G. Taylor


Lois Schertz Willet


Blake Glass
P. J. van Blokland

Charles R. Hall
Gary F. Fairchild
Timothy G. Taylor
Kerry Litzenberg
Gregory A. Baker

Blake Glass
P.J. van Blokland
Gary Fairchild
Tim Taylor

Sandra B. Wilson
Suzanne D. Thomsbury

Melissa A. Diaz
Allen F. Wysocki
Gary F. Fairchild

Megan Langford
Allen Wyscoki
Gary Fairchild

Jacob W. Searcy
Gary F. Fairchild
Timothy G. Taylor
Ronald H. Schmidt

Russell Gravlee
Allen Wysocki
Gary Fairchild


TLP 00-8


TLP 00-9


TLP 00-10


TLP 00-11





TLP 00-12




TLP 00-13


TLP 00-14



TLP 00-15



TLP 00-16




TLP 00-17


August
2000


August
2000



August
2000


September
2000

September
2000

October
2000




December
2000



December
2000

December
2000


December
2000


December
2000



December
2000


Author


Date












No. Title


TLP 00-18



TLP 00-19



TLP 00-20



TLP 00-21


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TLP 00-23



TLP 00-24



TLP-00-25




TLP-00-26


TLP-00-27


TLP-00-28



TLP-00-29


A Case Study of American Cyanamid
Company and Exotic-Invasive Weed Control


Catfish Farming and Processing: The Lifeblood of
Western Alabama's Agricultural Economy


Perspective On Crop Estimation: A Case Study of
Tropicana Products, Inc.


U.S.-China Trade Issues and Agreements Affecting
Agriculture

Observations On A Scrap Recycling Firm and
Comparisons Between Short-Run and Long-Run
Financial Performance Measures

Cost/Benefit Analysis of Temik in Citrus In The
Indian River Area of Southeastern Florida


Strategic Analysis of A U.S. Chicken Company
Competing In Global Markets


Perspectives In Land Valuation: A Case Study On
Citrus Land Valuation For Prudential Agricultural
Investments


640-Acre Agricultural Property Appraisal In Central
Florida

200-Acre Agricultura Property Appraisal In
Western Alabama

Mechanical Harvesting Cost of a North Florida
Blueberry Producer


Heading Toward the Frictionless Marketplace?


Eric Bonnett
Timothy Taylor
Gary Fairchild

Megan Langford
Allen Wysocki
Gary Fairchild

Xavier A. Abufele
Gary F. Fairchild
Timothy G. Taylor

Emesto Baron
Gary F. Fairchild

Matt Janes
Gary F. Fairchild


Lindsey A Blakeley
Richard N. Weldon
Gary F. Fairchild

Emesto Baron
Timothy G. Taylor
Gary F. Fairchild

Lauren Justesen
John E. Reynolds
Timothy Taylor
Robert Degner

Lauren Justesen
John E. Reynolds

Megan Langford
John E. Reynolds

Barry Stames
Allen Wysocki
P.J. van Blokland

Michelle Walter
Allen Wysocki
Richard Weldon
Dori Comer


December
2000


December
2000


December
2000


December
2000

December
2000


December
2000


December
2000


December
2000



December
2000

December
2000

December
2000


December
2000


Author


Date












No. Title


The Plum Pox Virus In Pennsylvania



We're Chicken: Tyson Summer Internship
Experience


Rock Springs 4-H Center: Asummer FRED
Internship


TLP-00-30



TLP-00-31



TLP-00-32


TLP-00-33


Jennifer Welshans
Alien Wysocki
Karl W. Kepner

Kevin Walker
Allen Wysocki
Karl Kepner

Tori Hersey
Allen Wysocki

Steven Southwell
Richard Weldon
Allen Wysocki


Author


Launching ASN


Date


December
2000


December
2000


December
2000

December
2000




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