A Leamington vegetable grower is increasing its presence in the cucumber category.

With the most recent 17-acre expansion completed early this year at the cucumber operation, NatureFresh Farms sales now markets a total of 34 acres of long English and mini cucumbers to meet growing demand within the category.

Since 2015, NatureFresh Farms Sales has been selling long English cucumbers and mini cucumbers exclusively grown and packed at Vine Fresh Acres in Leamington.

Matt Quiring, executive retail sales account manager at NatureFresh Farms, says the company has experienced dramatic growth in the past five years, consistently supplying more retailers with high quality, fresh produce.

He says NatureFresh sees massive growth potential for the cucumber market in the US.

“While some of our retailers are reporting year-over-year growth of 25-45 per cent in this category, others have still not fully tapped into this growing market,” says Quiring.

“When merchandized properly, retailers can see massive sales potential with Long English Cucumbers – it is a matter of getting the product out of the back corners of the wet racks and merchandizing them in large bulk displays on the floor.”

Quiring adds product education is key to tapping into this growth.

“When we take our Greenhouse Education Center to certain regions in the USA, we can educate consumers about the product, sharing storage tips, as well as usage and recipe ideas,” says Quiring.

“Those who are doing it right are selling up to 30-40 per cent more volume than those who have not taken these steps.”

We constantly work with our retail partners to help drive this home and have experienced very positive results with those who execute the strategy.”

Adding another 17 acres to the greenhouse means that, going forward, NatureFresh can better meet increased market demand and create year-round availability for Ontario-grown Cucumbers.

NatureFresh Farms is encouraging the use of innovative technology within greenhouse operation.

Looking specifically at the pack line, the company says a variety of state-of-the-art automations were added to increase efficiency, including automatic cucumber dumpers and robot case stackers.