Southern Exposure: From the expo floor, Part 1

03/07/2012 12:26:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

TAMPA, Fla. — Thousands of produce industry buyers, growers, marketers and others in the supply chain found new products and services on display at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure show in Tampa.

The Packer's Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier gathered the following news items March 3 on the expo floor.

Ayco Farms

Ayco Farms Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla., is introducing specialty melons.

The piel de sapo, Spanish for its frog skin texture, and juan canary melons contain high brix and high sugars, said Chris Horrell, salesman.

Ayco began shipping the melons in December.

Horrell said the grower-shipper, importer and distributor of melons, watermelon, asparagus and baby artichokes is receiving strong retailer response to the specialty melons.

“Especially with what has been happening with the shaky cantaloupe market,” he said. “Cantaloupe sales continue to be sluggish.”

Central American Produce

Central American Produce Inc. is entering the cucumber, squash and okra deals.

The Pompano Beach, Fla.-based grower-shipper and importer of cantaloupe, vegetables and tropicals is importing Guatemalan cucumbers and zucchini and yellow squash and Honduran okra.

Central American Produce began shipping the vegetables in January.

In early March, it began importing Honduran galia and Italian specialty melons and watermelon.

“We are expanding our categories and distribution,” said Michael Warren, president.

“While we are well-known for cantaloupe, we are diversifying into other items.”

Central American is increasing its partnerships with Georgia and North Carolina melon growers, Warren said.

Colorful Harvest

Doug OhlemeierCasey Rose (left), director of sales for Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif., and Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner, display the company’s “Strawberry Parking Garage,” a display designed to help cross-merchandise berries in other areas at grocery stores.Hoping to lift strawberry sales through cross-merchandising, Colorful Harvest LLC is introducing a tall display.

The three-foot-high “Strawberry Parking Garage” display is designed to attract shopper attention, said Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner of the Salinas, Calif.-based Colorful Harvest.

Featuring a rear clip that allows it to hook onto center racks, the display allows for eye-level viewing, Ranno said.

Designed for placement in cereal, dairy and bakery areas of supermarkets, the secondary display should help boost sales.

“This is the same principal of placing bananas in (the) cereal aisle,” Ranno said.

“This is a good way for Colorful Harvest partners and other retailers willing to explore how such displays can incrementally grow strawberry sales.”


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