The Produce Retail PodcastThe Produce Retail Podcast

Former Walmart produce exec Dorn Wenninger talks indoor ag, data and more

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We're delighted to welcome as our guest this week longtime produce executive Dorn Wenninger. His most recent role was senior vice president of produce for UNFI, and before that he was vice president of produce and floral for Walmart. Before he moved to the buy side of the business, he worked for renowned suppliers Driscoll's and Chiquita. He was also a member of the inaugural board of directors for the International Fresh Produce Association. Over his time in the industry, Dorn has developed a keen interest in indoor agriculture, and he's also passionate about digging into industry data and finding opportunities for action – so those will be the two major buckets for today's conversation.

Dorn and The Produce Retail Podcast host Ashley Nickle discuss why Dorn has been a student of indoor ag for 14 years now; how the vertical and glass segments are different and the opportunities he sees for them; the factors that will influence investment in CEA in the near term; the growth that greenhouse SKUs have seen within the packaged salad category, which has otherwise been down; the significant market share of CEA in packaged salads in certain regions; the few non-CEA SKUs within packaged salads that are growing; opportunities that the data shows in specialty and organic; how to use your center-store assortment to identify potential gaps in your produce assortment; the importance of combining data deep dives with walking stores and having conversations with associates; how up-and-coming produce leaders can become more comfortable with data and learn how to leverage it better; why he's been exploring floral as a key area for growth; and much more.

For more episodes featuring executive perspective, check out this curated playlist dedicated to conversations with current and former vice presidents of produce, directors of produce, and other executive roles. 

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Podcast Background

This podcast is designed to cover all things produce retail: strategy, partnerships, planning, training, leadership, communication, merchandising and beyond. Scroll through our episodes list to find conversations with vice presidents and directors of produce, merchandisers, produce managers, retail dietitians and more.

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The Produce Retail Podcast is hosted by Ashley Nickle, a former trade journalist turned consultant. Have an idea for a topic or a guest? Give her a shout on LinkedIn. 

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