Raley’s Owner Mike Teel On California Farmers
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director
California Ag Today recently had an exclusive conversation with Mike Teel, the owner of the Raley’s Supermarket chain, which has 135 locations throughout California and Nevada. We asked him what he’s looking for in terms of the produce produced by farmers in California.
“We’re looking for fresh, and any new products that could be in development, because that’s what differentiates us from the rest of the competitors,” Teel said.
“You know, there are new products coming on, and while most of them are not in the produce and fresh arena, there are interesting ways to combine and bring fresh produce and different combinations for our consumers. We’re a great chain for that, because we’re not too big, but yet not too small,” Teel explained.
Teel told us that Raley’s being based in California does have an advantage in being close to the farming industry. “It does make it easier for us to get it into the market faster,” he said.
And Teel said that consumers want to know more about the produce they’re buying. “Today’s consumer wants to know where their food comes from, and who’s producing it,” Teel said.
“They want to have somewhat of a relationship, even if it’s just the knowledge of who they are, particularly if they’re a family business, and so we try and highlight that,” he continued. “We have great relationships with our producers.”
Teel added that consumers would like to see an image of the farmer on the package. “I think they want to see that. They want to have a connection with the source of their food, and so any way that we can convey that to our consumer, whether it is with photographs or information at point of sale, or highlighting them in an ad, where it be online or on television. I think it resonates with the consumer.”