Everything’s Bigger – and Crunchier in Texas

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Now things are getting crunchier, too.

Prime Planet’s new and improved crunchy Tostones have made their debut in the snack aisle of one of the Lone Star State’s most favored specialty supermarkets, Central Market.

“This is really big news for us,” says Business Development Manager Marie Gonzalez of Prime Fresh Products, as the new and improved snack chip continues its journey into mainstream American stores outside the South Florida market.

“Our Tostones are part of a category that has been growing over the past two years as the U.S. market is adopting an appetite for better-for-you snack options,” says Gonzalez. “The current trend is for low sodium, low sugar, and high-quality ingredients – exactly what Prime Planet delivers.”

Tostones are made from hand-picked plantains manually processed and cooked in Ecuador under the highest standards, and then packaged there under the Prime Planet name, a division of Prime Fresh Products (PFP). “Along with being simply irresistible, it’s also important to consumers that these chips are non-GMO, gluten free, and kosher,” she added.

Gonzalez says this move is rooted in a new strategy for Doral-based PFP to expand its existing partnership with KeHE Distributors in order to introduce Prime Planet elsewhere across the U.S. Illinois-based KeHE distributes natural, fresh, specialty, and organic food products to more 30,000 vendor partners and retail grocers across the country.

“We have been working with KeHE since they helped us introduce our product into about 1,000 Publix stores across the Southeast over the past year,” she said, “and so now we’re on mission to grow our distribution – which includes this exciting expansion into Texas.”

With about 25 total stores, Central Market is well recognized in Texas as a specialty market, like Trader Joe’s. Product placement here will allow PFP to focus on delivering a much better product for Central Market customers, while establishing key brand awareness in the Texas community. Central Market is part of H-E-B, a growing family of stores with more than 3,000 points of sale in 150 communities around Texas.

According to Gonzales, “In the snack world, Central Market is known to be very exclusive and not easy to break into. They have high standards for product selection. That’s why everyone wants to distribute their products there – because mainstream American people go there to look for unique new quality products.”

Since PFP launched its a new-and-improved Tostones in April 2019, these delicious green plantain chips not only taste better and come in a better package, they’re easier to find on the grocer’s shelf.

Tostones have long been a staple on Caribbean and South American tables. “But that’s all changing now,” she says.

The stand out quality of Prime Planet Tostones is that they are prepared with palm oil that is certified RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The difference between regular banana chips or plantain chips is the taste, texture, and health benefits. The company focuses on ensuring its all-natural plantains have no added sugars or preservatives, since 47 percent of U.S. consumers indicate natural and non-added sugar is what they want when purchasing a snack.

Gonzales noted that Prime Planet has also recently made its way into the New York metropolitan market, with a chain called Christmas Tree Shops, a bargain department store like Burlington Stores that now sells food and beverage items in the front-end cashier area. Here shoppers are treated to such fine foods items as gourmet cookies from Switzerland, coconut water from Thailand – and now crunchy delicious Prime Planet chips from Ecuador.

About the Company
Founded in 2016, PFP finds the finest food products from around the world and then import, distributes, and transports them to the shelf in the U.S. Prime Planet is a brand of PFP that that focuses on the production of ready-to-eat tropical snacks for the retail and wholesale industry.

PFP is a division of Prime Group Holdings, located at 1301 NW 84th Ave. Suite 127, Miami, FL 33126. For information, visit www.primefreshproducts.com or contact Marie Gonzalez at 305-592-2044 or via email at opscoordinator@primefreshproducts.com.

Trade Shows are Excellent Forums for Learning, Networking, and Promoting

Being part of the never-ending trade show circuit comes with flying around the globe multiple times a year, racking up millions of miles, jet lag.

Moscow, Berlin, Singapore … It might sound glamorous, but it’s a lot of hard work. Yet important work, because we understand the value of networking at these shows and conferences. They are a powerful and necessary part of doing business in international logistics.

Face-to-face exposure is essential to ensuring that the key decision makers in our industry continue to have a firm grasp of our products, services, and expertise in “carrying the weight of the world,” if you will.

And sometimes we mean that quite literally, as in our recent success in shipping bodybuilding weights all the way to a Pakistani gym. Now there’s an interesting story to share.

But it goes well beyond just show-and-tell. There’s relationship building, brand exposure, and great leads to be had at these events. So allow me to share with you the nine boxes we like to check in claiming success at an industry trade show or conference:

First and foremost, trade shows provide you with an organized stage to advertise your brand to thousands of vendors, prospective customers, and industry leaders.

Keep an eye on your competitors. Prospering in this increasingly competitive environment requires you to know your competitors’ business practices and sales tactics so that you can stay one step ahead of them.

Display your latest products and services. By showcasing your best selling items, such as our new and improved Tostones, you can grow your base of purchasers and give prospective customers the chance to touch and feel your best sellers.

Meet new and existing clients face to face. Trade shows and conferences provide a welcome forum for you to put faces with the names of the customers who you normally only deal with over the phone or via email.

Generate high quality leads. Because many attendees participate in trade shows for the sole purpose of purchasing products or services, you can enjoy a robust collection of high-quality leads.

Evaluate new products. Trade shows are full of companies exhibiting their latest and most innovative products. So, don’t be afraid to take it all in – and learn from what you see and experience from your competitors on the trade show floor.

Close sales. Key decision makers comprise a sizable portion of trade show attendees. With nearly half of these decision makers placing orders during a trade show, you should come prepared to close sales and process payments.

Discover the latest industry trends. Trade shows provide the perfect forum for mingling with industry leaders, pioneers, and business big and small that are experimenting with new ways to make logistics products and services better.

Learn about changes in industry regulations. Many trade shows and conferences include seminars and training opportunities that are designed to educate participants about key changes in related laws and regulations.

Clearly, trade shows, and conferences are excellent forums for learning, networking, and promoting the Prime Group companies – and perhaps yours, too. Ramping up your trade show participation is one of the most effective means of expanding your business.

I’m glad we had this opportunity to connect!

Prime Air is fit to take on the UFC

With nearly 20 years of training, expertise, and determination, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo has mastered the art of shipping around the world. So it came as no surprise that PAOC was invited to jump into the ring to do some heavy lifting for UFC Gym by shipping fitness equipment to Lahore, Pakistan – more than 8,000 miles away.

Actually, to use the correct vernacular, fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) don’t take place inside a ring – they take place within an Octagon, an eight-sided mat and cage. And it gets pretty harrowing in there.

But as UFC has become a worldwide phenomenon, they are also emerging as a big contender in the world of fitness centers. With more than 150 locations in 30 countries, UFC Gym is now bringing the same training programs and benefits that elite Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes experience to the general public. And most recently, to the people of Pakistan.

Because UFC Gyms feature a full-range of fitness classes and specialized trainings, each facility around the world must provide its signature state-of-the-art equipment – along with installation of UFC’s world-famous Octagon. So whether its a UFC Gym in North Miami, United Kingdom, or Pakistan, much of this heavy equipment comes directly from a central shipping point in Virginia, USA.

“Up to this point, working with one our newest freight-forwarders, PAOC has been moving mostly medical equipment and supplies to Pakistan,” says Operations Supervisor Bryan Rivas.

“But this was our first really big shipment we handled for them – and definitely the most interesting.” Rivas is based at Prime Group headquarters, home of four divisions of the Miami-based logistics company, including PAOC.

This major shipment to UFC Gym Pakistan, carefully loaded into a both a 40-foot and 20-foot container, consisted of new exercise machines and related training equipment – and literally tons of body building weights.

“Through one of our designated sea carriers, we expertly coordinated every aspect of this 8,000-mile journey to ensure safe delivery,” said Rivas. With a starting point of Valencia, Va., the agent picked up the containers, coordinated the appointment with the shipper, and then said “bon voyage” at the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. With a transit time of 30 to 45 days, the final destination is Lahore, Pakistan.

Located about 160 miles from Islamabad, Lahore is Pakistan’s second-most populous city, and one of its most wealthy. It is also the country’s most socially liberal cities, and is a major center of education, so residents here are eager to explore UFC’s highly popularized fitness-center alternative.

With an arrival date sometime in mid-October, Rivas is presently tracking the progress of the containers and is following up with the client to convey that everything is ok.

Rivas takes great pride in what he does for his customers. An employee with PAOC since 2012, he says on any given day he guides his clients to do what is best for them – and delivers.

“Depending how urgent their cargo is, if it’s next day or needs two-day delivery, air is the best option,” he says, “On the other had, ocean transport delivers with a longer travel time, and it all depends on the origin location, which port the shipment is coming out of, and its destination. Or if they want to save money, they can consolidate their cargo into an outbound container that we can ship for them.”

He says land transport is also an option, especially in the U.S. or to Canada. “Whether it’s a small packages or a pallet, we arrange everything,” he added.

“It’s always busy, but I like to be busy. And sometimes our work goes into off hours, especially if there’s an unexpected issue with a shipment. But when it comes to helping our global clients, there are really no ‘off-hours’ – and I really don’t mind, because it’s the challenge that keeps me going.”

It is said that UFC champions are the best-trained athletes in the world. To succeed, they must be determined to work daily to master their skills and abilities with supreme stamina. If there is one thing these champs have in common with ops team at PAOC, this is it.

Because Prime Air also works every day to earn its title as one of the best logistics firms in the world. By mastering shipping solutions and clients services with supreme skill and determination, they are emerging as world champions in the highly competitive business of logistics.

ABOUT PAOC
Prime Air & Ocean Cargo has a unique ability to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries. They work closely with air carriers and ocean carriers to secure competitive rates and ample space to destinations all around the world. For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit www.primeaircargo.com.

The Pros and Cons of Paperless Customs processing

The era of the paper form is coming to an end. While they have not disappeared entirely, there’s been a clear shift over the past few years as more and more businesses and government agencies are opting to go paperless.

And there are many reasons for this – with environmental concerns being a leading motivator, but so is all the time and effort that goes into processing and distribution of paper forms.

In the case of the import and export of cargo and the customs clearing process, however, the primary driver is efficiency. Time is money, and if you can save time, this is good news for everyone. Or is it?

“Sure, with paperless forms, all you need to do is go online, file your information at any hour of the day, and it’s all done,” says Omar Zambrano, chief operating officer of Prime Group Holdings, who also heads up the Prime Air & Ocean Cargo division.

But that’s only if you’ve done it right, he warns. “And thankfully, our customers know we only do it right.”

A leading global trade services company, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo provides complete customs, import, export, and related services for shippers worldwide. Partnering with some of the most seasoned licensed customs brokers and global trade experts in the business, PAOC prides itself on being able to provide prompt and efficient clearance of merchandise.

The pros of going paperless also include a more accurate and precise representation of data, better control of the information, and Customs personal having more time to check documentation.

But what happens if a shipper has a question or coding-entry concern that needs to be addressed onsite. Now, those questions often go unanswered and incorrect data makes its way into their tariff calculations.

The clear disadvantage of a paperless process is the lack of direct contact with Customs officers. Previously, they were widely available to lend assistance on such procedural matters. But that face-to-face advantage is a thing of the past. “Now, you basically have to talk with a machine,” Zambrano quips.

“Not everyone can provide this service and hope to do it correctly every time,” says Zambrano. “Sure, you take a test to show proficiency in entering data in the new paperless system, but one small mistake could end up costing you dearly.”

By transitioning to a paperless, the U.S. Customs is seeing the benefits of more efficient processing, but the new system seriously tests the skills and expertise of the customs brokers and shippers using it.

“We truly have to possess a deep understanding of the complex regulations around Customs Law to successfully navigate through this online process. This is why it is so important to have a seasoned customs broker working with you to ensure smooth delivery of product when it arrives in the U.S. – and to protect against costly mistakes.”

Still at the core of today’s system is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the Harmonized System (HS) of tariff nomenclature, an internationally standardized system of names and numbers used to classify traded products.

Problems arise when data entry errors go undetected for years after paperless forms are completed and submitted to the Customs Inspectors. In the process of auditing your data, and detecting any incorrect tariff codes, the agency will recalculate your taxes to see whether you underpaid – and now you owe.

By inputting just one wrong number and accepting delivery of the goods, shippers could face thousands of dollars in re-taxation years later when the form is ultimately reviewed and readjusted.

That’s because the HS is organized logically by economic activity or component material. For example, animals and animal products are found in one section of the HS, while flowers are found in another. The HS is organized into 21 sections, which are subdivided into 99 chapters. The 99 HS chapters are further subdivided into 1,244 headings and 5,224 subheadings. You could accidentally enter a number that corresponds to the delivery of live pigs when all you wanted was to denote the delivery fresh peonies.

“Customs is a very tricky business, and we have pros who have been at our side for years assisting with the export and import of fresh cut flowers – historically, our core business.” He noted that PAOC is also well versed in providing shipping support and customs clearance for many other perishables and merchandise for several other industries as well, including aerospace, chemical, consumer and retail, constructions, healthcare, and automotive.

“We can do this because we have the knowledge of our network of experts right at our fingertips,” says Omar Zambrano. In fact, in Miami, PAOC works directly with one of the most respected licensed customs-brokers in the entire U.S., with 35 years experience. “And our existing customers know they can count on us because we work with the best.”

At the end of the day, Zambrano says the lesson is, “Go with who you know is a pro.”

ABOUT PAOC
Prime Air & Ocean Cargo prides itself on its use of industry-leading technology and smart, experienced staff to deliver consistent, safe, and efficient delivery of goods for a wide range of customers. Whatever your industry, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo provides integrated and seamless service. They specialize in warehousing, transportation, crating, and packaging — and the all important documentation processing and customs clearing services.

By teaming with Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, customers avoid the need to juggle multiple service providers all over the world. Big or small – whether it’s one box, one pallet or a company-wide logistics management operation – Prime Air & Ocean Cargo does everything – in an easy, organized, and timely fashion.

For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit www.primeaircargo.com.

Employing the Rules of Weight and Balance in the Workplace

In our line of work, providing ground operations services for our air cargo partners, it is essential to understanding the principles of weight and balance. Without question, we comply with the recommended limits of a particular cargo aircraft – after all, knowing these rules is critical to its structural integrity and flight safety.

What if we had such stringent rules around managing our own “work-life balance.” Well, some of us do. Problem is, many of us don’t. As a result, people in the workplace often find themselves compromising their well-being and performance on the job – without even knowing it.

The idea behind this concept of work-life balance is to achieve an ideal balance between your working life and private life. It is a concept whereby the maximum happiness of an employee acts as the fuel for productive and fulfilling work.

And although there is no rulebook, summer time often presents a prime opportunity to do just that – by unplugging from work. In fact, now that kids are going back to school, we are just coming out of a key period during which we were able to step back and spend quality time with the family, go on a summer vacation, or engage in some form of personal development.

In summers past, because it is a little slower in our industry, I was able to take time out of my busy schedule to spend it with my family. We would alternate between taking the kids to Ecuador to reconnect with their family in Quito; and then over the next summer, we would head north to see their grandparents at a lovely cottage up on Lake Michigan.

One year we drove all the way back from Michigan to Miami, taking offshoots all along the way. We got to see and experience Memphis and New Orleans, and cities people don’t typically visit, like Springfield, Il., Baton Rouge, La., and Tallahassee, Fla. Together, we got a totally new perspective of the American scene.

And in the process, I got to re-energize. Though it wasn’t always easy pulling away from work, it was so important on so many levels.

Because the ability to turn off distractions and enjoy uninterrupted quality time is a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate. It allows us to get away from the pressures of everyday work life, and come back to the job with a new perspective – and actually be happier and more productive on the job.

That’s important stuff. Having a healthy life-work balance makes us better to work with, better able to serve our customers, and better people in general.

I hope you give some weight to this idea of finding balance in your life.

The best way to ‘balance’ yourself

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Turns out, the act of giving to others is also one of the best ways to achieve a life-work balance.

Just ask Igor Vilas Boas, Operations Manager at Prime Air & Ocean Cargo. He and his wife Diana knew they wanted to do something to help their community. What they didn’t know was that their volunteerism would end up being a two-way street.

“Giving is not only good – it feels good too,” he said, soon after joining with a group of friends to pitch in at a local foster home.

“Sure you can go online, buy a toy, and have it delivered to a needy kid,” said Vilas Boas. “But we wanted to do something that would be more lasting – something that would make a bigger impact.”

They ultimately enlisted to volunteer on weekends at His House Children’s Home of North Miami, a frontline provider of residential and foster-care services dedicated to restoring the lives of children in distress.

In the process, they quickly recognized that the mere act of disconnecting after a busy week, to reconnect through charity work, was helping them gain a healthy work-life balance.

“Sure, it feels good to bring a bright moment to a child in need,” said Vilas Boas. “But I found that engaging like this outside of office also helps to keep me balanced.”

Like Vilas Boas, many people chose to volunteer as a way of achieving a work-life balance – by unplugging from a demanding desk job volunteer to plant a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or help out at a children’s program.

 “For me, it is better to donate your self – not your stuff.” With that said, it is worth noting that in his native tongue, Vilas Boas in Portuguese means, “Good Village.”

“I’d like to think I am doing good work for the greater ‘village’ – our community,” he said.

Vilas Boas came to Miami from Sao Paulo about eight years to work with PAOC, a key division of Prime Group Holdings, an international import-export logistics conglomerate founded based in Doral. Today, in his demanding role in Operations and Customer Service, he ensures that things run smoothly for PAOC’s customers and freight forwarders, from the moment they request a quote, through shipment of their goods, to delivery.

The work-life balance definition sets out to achieve an ideal balance between a person’s working life and private life. It is a concept whereby the maximum happiness of an employee acts as the fuel for productive and fulfilling work.

Turning off distractions and enjoying uninterrupted quality time is one method by which workers relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate, as is meditation, music, and physical activity – anything that allows people to get away from the pressures of their everyday work life.

However, one of the most satisfying means for many people is to engage in volunteer work.

Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, but the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer. Studies show that the act of giving to others can help employees protect their mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, make them mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.

Best part is, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment. The act of giving, in even simple ways, helps those in need.

So when the spirit strikes, Vilas Boas and his crew head over to the His Home campus on a Saturday or Sunday, and pick out a child to work and play with. On a sunny day, they go outside to toss a ball or play hide-and-seek. On rainy days, they enjoy video games or board games – or just talk.

“If only for an hour, the kids feel good and get a sense of being integrated again into the community,” said Vilas Boas. “Even though they don’t speak about their issues, or their feelings, you can see when someone comes in to play with them they light right up.”

When it comes to volunteering, “Passion and positivity are the only requirements,” headed. Not surprisingly, these are two of the very qualities Vilas Boas brings to his work with the Prime Group.

About His House
His House Children’s Home is a non-profit organization with a 232-bed capacity situated on a beautiful campus at 20000 N.W. 47th Ave., Hector Building No. 2, Miami Gardens, FL 33055. They care for children removed from their homes during turbulent times in their lives, abuse, abandonment, and neglect.

For information call 305-430-0085 or visit www.hhch.org.

About PAOC

Prime Air Ocean Cargo has a unique ability to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries. They work closely with air carriers and ocean carriers to sec

ure competitive rates and ample space to destinations all around the world.

For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit www.primeaircargo.com.

Prime Fresh Handling Casts a Big Net Over New York

Prime Fresh Handling is casting a bigger net over New York by expanding its perishables business to include the handling of fresh fish – but also by enhancing the customer experience with the rollout of exciting new software.

Since early 2019, when PFH decided to couple its core mission of handling fresh-cut flowers with the import of fresh fish, business has been growing exponentially. And now, a soon-to-be released tracking software is promising to make the company’s service product even more desirable.

“The strategy of introducing fresh fish into our New York service line is definitely paying off,” says Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager North America.

“It’s been just four months, but we’re growing at a very fast rate because of course were not only able to take immediate advantage of PFH’s existing cold-chain infrastructure here that supports our established flower business, but our vast know-how in shipping perishables in general. So expanding into fish was the next natural step.”

Not to suggest PFH isn’t facing competition in this enormous metropolitan market. But Paredes says other companies in New York focus predominantly on the trucking service, not on the handling end of the business, as PFH does so well.

“While we do have own dedicated fleet of refrigerated trucks to ship product, our primary focus is expert handling – and of course quality control.”

PFH currently serves most major distribution centers in New York including Fulton Market, and the New Fulton Market in the Bronx, as well as upstate New York and into New Jersey.

Let’s Get Fresh
Although timing is everything in the highly-specialized perishables business, understandably, fish require a lot more care and attention than flowers, for instance.

“Freshness is everything with fish. That’s why our customers demand that their product is recovered within less than three to four hours of landing at the airport, and that we adhere to the strictest standards of quality control all along the way,” says Paredes. “And this is where reliance on real-time technology steps in.”

New Technology
According to Omar Zambrano, Prime Group’s Chief Operations Officer, the new hand-held units they are deploying utilize similar software to what’s already in use to ship of flowers, dry cargo, and perishables.3

Integrally involved in the development and rollout of the new software and scanners, Zambrano says the officially rollout is on schedule for an August release.

The new software will be deployed in Los Angeles as well, where the company is also enjoying a booming presence in the fresh-fish business.

How it works:
• As soon as the precious cargo arrives at the PFH’s JFK warehouse, expert handlers are standing by to begin preparing the fish immediately, in order to meet strict delivery deadlines throughout the New York area and to connect with flights to down-line cities.
• From that moment of arrival, the imperative is to initiate direct, real-time communications with the end-point customers – the wholesale/retail distributors and restaurants.
• Using a mobile scanner, warehouse staff clicks on the pallet, triggering a message to the customer that their fish is here, it’s been offloaded from the aircraft, and it is now in the warehouse.
• As the process of breaking down the pallets begins, temperatures are continually monitored and the customer is now advised that their delicate cargo is being segregating by fish type.
• Because orders are custom-prepared based on customer need, on their end, they sign for what they want it, their order is boxed and iced, and is quickly dispatched for delivery.

All the while, this custom-designed software is also keeping PFH staff on point in order to minimize delays and eliminate human error.

“It is easy and smart – and benefits everyone,” says Zambrano. “The software was designed to be totally user friendly so all they have to do is click, click, and click – and there is nothing more to think about.”

Except, of course, enjoying amazingly fresh and delicious fresh fish.

For details, contact Alex Paredes, PFH Sales Manager-North America, via email at salesjfk@primegroup.aero or call PFH New York at 516-837-9777. For more information, visit www.primegroup.aero.

Prime Group Boosts Presence on European Stage

Prime Group’s sales team chalked up a long list of highly productive meetings and promising leads at last month’s Air Cargo Europe 2019, the world’s leading trade fair held in Munich for the air cargo and logistics industry.

While there, says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, they made it a point to not only buttress relations with current business partners Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, but also to pursue key introductions with several additional cargo airlines. “Because at end of the day we are sharpening our focus on serving other carriers in untapped markets to and from South America.”

For years, Prime Group has had a significant presence at the major trade shows in North and South America, most notably, at Air Cargo Americas in Miami, because it is right in their back yard.

Comprised of four separate divisions, Prime Group is based in Doral, Fla., bordering Miami International Airport. The companies include Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Fresh Products, and PrimeAir.

“As we continue to put greater emphasis on global expansion, it is vitally important that we make our name known among potential customers all across the world,” said Paredes.

Air Cargo Europe is an international exhibition with an accompanying high-profile conference offering opportunities for prominent industry representatives to discuss the latest trends and topics.

Reflecting the major growth of the cargo industry overall, this year’s show, June 4 to 7, saw a 10 percent increase in exhibitors (to 2,400), as well as a jump in visitors to the show – with more than 64,000 in attendance for 2019.

Top topics included status of the trade war between the USA and China, discussion of the “New Silk Road,” and how artificial intelligence will help the industry in the long term by making logistics chains more transparent and efficient.

Most impressive for the Prime Group team was the sharp increase in the number of Chinese attending the show, as Chinese firms are increasingly looking for cooperation partners in Europe. With Prime Group’s strong and growing presence in Amsterdam and multiple service connections to and from South America, this came as very good news. After all, sparking new growth in capacity between Europe and the Asia market is one of the company’s prime objectives – especially during peak seasons for fresh flowers and other perishables.

Despite the fact that current relations between the governments of the U.S. and China are not conducive at the moment, says Paredes, “We have to be open to options and think in the long term.”

With an exhibition covering 10 halls, the top 10 exhibitor countries after Germany were: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Poland, China, Austria, Spain, U.K., and the Czech Republic. New exhibitors this year included Fercam, Neutral Air Cargo, Hong Kong COSCO Shipping Lines, China Asia Shipping, and Yuxinou Logistics.

Paredes said there are significant benefits to participation in trade shows – and this show in particular allowed his team to check many boxes. First and foremost:
• The ability to effectively advertise their brand to thousands of vendors, prospective customers, and industry leaders;
• To see familiar faces and build upon existing relationships; and
• To generate high-quality leads and close sales.

“It’s also a great way to display our latest products and services, while keeping an eye on your competitors” he added.

“We’ll definitely be back, as Air Cargo Europe is the perfect networking platform thanks to its massive global appeal.”

Celebrating 18 Years of Prime Group Success

While flipping through some old photo albums in preparation for our company’s 18th anniversary this month, a great rush of nostalgia came over me. It was just so satisfying to look back at the myriad milestones we achieved over the years and the amazing growth we’ve experienced.

There we were in dozens of pictures with bright smiling faces accepting corporate awards, rolling out new services in new markets, working major trade shows… Some things never change.

But then again, some things change a lot – and I’m not just referring to how young I looked! As I sat there looking down memory lane, it suddenly hit me that all those faces looking back at me were on glossy color-photo paper pasted into a faux leather-bound book. That’s how we use to do it! Using a “technology” that is now considered totally out of date in today’s digital world.

Who could have foreseen the avalanche of impending advancements that would not only revolutionize how we capture and share images, but in the process, deal a deathblow to major corporate giants like Kodak and Polaroid. I am sure they wish they were better prepared for what was coming.

Lessons Learned
So, lessons learned. But also lessons applied – which is why I can say with great confidence that as we celebrate 18 years in business, I firmly believe Prime Group is extremely well positioned to survive the unknown unknowns. Because we have a strategy in place that keeps our companies open to all possibilities. We are not only nimble, but entirely deliberate in the way we are diversifying our business lines.

Who would have thought 18 years ago we would be here today using cutting-edge communications technology to track and monitor the status of thousands of pounds of fresh fish arriving at LAX and JFK, real-time, for a whole new base of customers. That’s what’s happening right now at Prime Fresh Products.

Who would have thought we’d have created a line of snack-foods, Tostones harvested and packaged in Ecuador for distribution among major retail supermarkets all across the U.S. That’s what is happening now at Prime Fresh Products.

Well Positioned
And all this upon a backdrop of aggressive sales and marketing efforts geared toward boosting awareness of the Prime Group brand in a way that will position us for long-term growth in new and emerging markets around the globe.

They say the only constant in business is change. With that in mind, we are continually monitoring our alignment with defined organizational challenges and objectives. We are also keenly aware that our business can be influenced by:

• Increased diversity and globalization in the workforce, customers, suppliers, and competitors;
• New technologies that have resulted in faster pace and larger scale;
• A more complex communications environment with more channels; and
• Changes in business situations and strategy.

So in 18 years, when I look back at our bright smiling faces, the moments, and milestones – stored on an antiquated USB drive – I will know that right there in the background, there were smart and strategic efforts taking place to ensure the long-term success of our company.

Thank you for being with us on this journey.

Prime Planet re-engineers an already delicious snack product

They say letting something go creates space for something better. In the case of Prime Planet Tostones, they’re absolutely right.

Since Prime Fresh Products (PFP) let go of the original iteration of its much-loved Tostones chips in order to launch a new and improved version in April – they are flying off the shelf.

That’s because now these delicious green plantain chips not only taste better and come in a better package, now they’re easier to find on the grocer’s shelf. After meeting certain standards in order to be re-designated a more mainstream snack, Prime Planet Tostones have made the critical move from the ethnic section to the all-important snack aisle.

“Since 2016, we have been the pioneers of converting plantains into all natural and better-for-you chips,” says Prime Fresh Planet’s Marcia Tipiana, “So, naturally, we wanted to get the formula for production and distribution right.”

Initially sold only in the South Florida, over the past several months, Prime Planet Tostones underwent a total re-engineering, by taking a really good chip and making it a whole lot better. In fact, when compared with the original chip, existing customers overwhelmingly love this new product, with Original, Lime, and Habanero varieties topping the list.

“Tostones have long been a highly recognized side plate among the Caribbean and South American culture,” says Tipiana. “But that’s now rapidly changing as they are being distributed to U.S. grocery stores well north of South Florida – in fact all the way to the Canadian border.”

What’s more, a recent report on Hispanic food-marketing efforts and consumer behavior points to projected sales in the Hispanic-foods market in the U.S. increasing from $17.5 billion in 2015 to over $21 billion in 2020.

 

Good News Travels

PFP also has been taking its new and improved chip on the road to retail/wholesale food events, such as this spring’s Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing Company (ECRM) Snack Food Show in Las Vegas. Here, the company focused on presenting the new snack item to buyers from across all U.S. retail channels.

According to Tipiana, it was also here that Prime Planet introduced its new re-sealable packaging, “because we understand that portion control is a big concern for consumers before they choose their snacking option.

 

The Difference

Prime Planet’s palm oil is certified RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The difference between regular banana chips or plantain chips is the taste, texture, and health benefits. The company focuses on ensuring its all-natural plantains have no added sugars or preservatives, since 47 percent of U.S. consumers indicate natural and non-added sugar is a main driver for putting an item into their grocery buggy.

“We are constantly innovating and adapting to the current snacking trends, which is the main reason we changed our packing image to target not only Hispanic/ethnic market but the mainstream market,” Tipiana added.

PFH also innovated the type of bag they offer, featuring a re-sealable a stand-up package, since demand for such pouches used in the candy and snack industry is forecast to increase 3.8 percent annually through 2022 to $3.4 billion.

 

About the Company

Founded in 2016 PFP finds the finest food products from around the world and then import, distributes, and transports them to the shelf in the U.S. Prime Planet is a brand of PFP that that focuses on the production of ready-to-eat tropical snacks for the retail and wholesale industry.

 

PFP is a division of Prime Group Holdings, located at 1301 NW 84th Ave. Suite 127, Miami, FL 33126. For information, visit www.primefreshproducts.com or contact Marcia Tipiana at 305-592-2044 or via email at opscoordinator@primefreshproducts.com.