If you’re a fan of grapes, then September is a great time of year for you in Sam’s Club. Grapes are at their peak of flavor and sweetness right now.
However, a grape is not just a grape. There are over 22 different varieties of green grapes alone and we only carry the largest and sweetest varieties. It is like a treasure hunt because of the different varieties that we carry throughout the year all with subtle taste differences.
When we put together a program to bring grapes to the club, we’re making a commitment with growers for five to seven years. It takes this long to produce the high-quality grapes our members love and look for. With a lot of these vineyards, it can take three to five years to get the type of quality product our members deserve.
Allowing members to sample these products is another way we get to tell our story. When you walk up and see a display of grapes, you aren’t really going to understand what we’re working on until you try them. This is why we will be having a lot of sampling events for grapes during the month of September.
Our team is constantly pushing the envelope on flavor. Our strategy, our philosophy, is a relentless pursuit for flavor. There are times Mother Nature will throw us a curve ball and the product doesn’t meet our standards. We would rather be out of a certain product than provide members an inferior one.
We don’t want to lose the integrity of the quality products we provide our members.
We will go to where flavor is, that’s our No. 1 focus. If we can find the most flavorful green beans in a place where the soil is perfect for growing them, we’re going to choose the product that tastes best. That’s how we put value back in for our members.
Produce is probably the most global department in the entire Sam’s Club operation, sourcing produce from over 25 countries around the world. Sourcing these products globally allows us to provide produce to our members 52 weeks a year. At farms across the world, our team is constantly testing, and tasting, these fresh products you bring home. All our products are created with traditional growing practices and are non-GMO. Members can trust that if any produce is deemed substandard, it won’t appear in Sam’s Club.
Russell Mounce is the senior director of Produce and Floral at Sam’s Club. He has over 18-years experience in the produce industry, beginning his produce career in Walmart SuperCenters as a produce stocker. He joined Sam’s Club as an assistant buyer in January of 2000. Russ currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Produce Marketing Association and will serve as chairman in 2016.