The 2019 Robinson Fresh Produce Madness Tournament

The 2019 Robinson Fresh Produce Madness Tournament

March is nearly over, and in case you haven’t been paying attention, the festivities are in full swing. From unpredictable upsets to close finishes, this month’s sporting tournaments have provided more than its fair share of drama and intrigue. But for us at Robinson Fresh®, the madness is just beginning as we unveil spring’s fiercest non-sports competition: #ProduceMadness.

Our selection committee created a bracket of 16 “teams” covering major subcategories within fresh fruits and vegetables. The selections were based on what the committee members know about the top-selling produce subcategories within the United States (according to 2018 IRI data), combined with a bit of artistic seeding license.

Grapes earned the coveted #1 spot as a big mover for families looking for an easy, nutritious kids snack. Asparagus took the #2 seed with Easter and the summer grilling season just around the corner. As popular items not only in the summer but also year-round, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) were able to clinch the #3 seed with melons taking the #4 spot. It’s no surprise these fresh produce items top the charts with a portfolio of leading consumer brands such as Green Giant Fresh, Welch’s® and MelonUp!®.

At the other end of the bracket, tomatoes, apples, onions, and bananas were all able to squeak in to claim the last four slots in the tournament. You can connect with one of our experts with deep expertise in these coveted top spots in fresh produce if you’re looking to get in on the action before one of these fruits or vegetables becomes a champion.


The first round of competition has already concluded with some thrilling finishes.

In a battle between two teams with similar backgrounds, dry vegetables (beans, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, and squash) was able to draw on their deep diversity of talent to edge out lettuce and claim a spot in the next round. On the other side, it looked for much of the game that apples would upset berries to come away with the victory, but an impressive scoring run in the second half produced an exciting comeback win for the berries. A hardy stonefruit team (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums) also put up a valiant effort against historic tournament favorites citrus (mandarins, Clementines, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, and tangerines), but in the end the sweet and tangy fruits found their mojo to move into the next round.

As Robinson Fresh’s resident bracketologist, I predict captivating second round matchups.

Berries vs. tropicals (avocados, kiwi, limes, mangos, papaya, and pineapple) should prove interesting, especially as the tropical team seems strong no matter where in the season they are. Grapes encounter dry vegetables in a battle of opposites to determine who will reign supreme, while asparagus stalks citrus in a similar and highly anticipated matchup. And that’s to say nothing of melons vs. greens in an intriguing contest of “things that can make a salad.”
But the most important question remains: Who will win? Well, it’s up to you!

In the coming days and weeks on our Robinson Fresh Twitter and LinkedIn channels, you’ll be able to vote on each matchup to determine the winner of this year’s Produce Madness tournament! Keep an eye out for each day’s featured matchup, all the way to the championship showdown on April 8.

Will asparagus peel away victory from citrus? Could melons slice and dice greens to advance to a spot in the final four? Who will emerge as the tournament victors?

The madness has only just begun, and now, it’s in your hands!

If you want to know more about our consistent global supply of produce grown in 40 countries with the strongest growing seasons, or how to grow your business using marketing and consumer/category insights, connect with one of our experts.

Brendan Haslam

Brendan Haslam - Manager of Business Analytics

Brendan Haslam joined Robinson Fresh in 2018 as a manager of Business Analytics. Prior to that, he spent 15 years working for multi-national CPG companies and research agencies in the U.S. and Australia, honing strategic and leadership skills in market analytics, account management and targeting roles. Brendan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing and Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Brendan is married with two kids under 5 years old, and is a fairly rabid ‘phan’ of Philly sport teams – primarily the Eagles, Phillies and Sixers.

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The 2019 Robinson Fresh Produce Madness Winner Is. . .