Apio plans Eat Smart sweepstakes launch

Apio Inc. plans to offer an on-pack shopping spree sweepstakes on its Eat Smart broccoli florets starting March 5.

The Eat Smart promotion will appear on 1 million 12-ounce bags of the florets, said Ericka Horn, marketing specialist at Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio.

Prizes will be $5,000 in Visa gift cards, including three $500 grand-prize winners and 15 $225 winners.

Deadline for mail-in entries is May 10. Winners will be drawn May 17. The contest will be administered by Inmar.

Mann Packing adds to processing plant

Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing Co. plans to have an 18,000-square-foot expansion to its main processing facility in place for the spring season.

The project marks the fifth expansion for Mann Packing in five years. Vice president of marketing Lorri Koster has attributed these in part to rising private-label business.

Last April, Mann Packing opened a 12,000-square-foot picking operation warehouse expansion with space for 800 pallets at its Hansen Street facility in Salinas.

Pacific International boosts fennel volume

Pacific International Marketing is edging up fennel production in the Santa Maria, Calif., area this spring.

“We did add some acreage in Santa Maria,” said Henry Dill, sales manager for Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific International. “Fennel cuts 1,200 to 1,300 cartons an acre, so two to three acres a week will be plenty for us to start on.”

Sunnyside to offer bagged green beans

When Sunnyside Packing starts green bean production in mid-May, West Coast retailers will have the option to buy the item pre-bagged, said Donnie Blanton, director of sales.
Selma, Calif.-based Sunnyside Packing plans to provide Price Look-Up codes on bags under its Calway label. They’ll range from 1 to 1¼ pounds.

“They’ll just take them from the box to the shelf instead of having a produce manager bag it himself,” Blanton said. “You’re eliminating some labor for them. A couple of retailers were asking about it.”

Sweet Italian flat red onions from Sunnyside Packing will start production at the same time. A bit earlier, around May 5, are zucchini, yellow and gray squash. Cherry and grape tomatoes, hard squash, eggplant and green bell peppers start the first week of June.

“Our bean program is very consistent,” Blanton said. “We’re in it from start to finish, all the way to frost.”