Kern County spring vegetable business updates

04/26/2013 04:53:00 PM
Coral Beach

Bolthouse Farms offers organic fresh-cut line

organic carrot chipsCourtesy Bolthouse FarmsBolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, Calif., is launching a value-added line of organic products, including these carrot chips. The organic products are initially available under the Earthbound Farm label, but will also soon be marketed under the Bolthouse brand.Responding to increasing consumer demand for organic options, Bolthouse Farms Inc. launched the beginning of an organic line of value-added carrot products for retail this spring.

Scott LaPorta, chief operating officer for the Bakersfield, Calif., company, said the new organic carrot chips and matchsticks are initially being marketed under the Earthbound Farm brand. A full rollout with the products available in the Bolthouse brand is planned in the coming months.

The fresh-cut carrot chips and matchsticks are available in 12-ounce and 16-ounce bags for retailers.

Another new product from Bolthouse this spring is the latest addition to the company’s fresh juice line. Mango Ginger Plus Carrot is available in 15.2-ounce bottles.

LaPorta said the Bolthouse ShakeDowns — baby carrots that come with seasoning packets — have completed trials in target markets and are being phased in across the country by regions. Bolthouse unveiled the product in the fall of 2012.

The first region for the ShakeDowns is Texas. Other areas should begin seeing supplies later this year, LaPorta said.

Kern Ridge introduces shredded carrots

In response to increasing demand for fresh-cut produce, this spring Arvin, Calif.-based Kern Ridge Growers began offering shredded carrots.

For foodservice and institutional operators, the shredded carrots are available in 5-pound bags. For retailers, Kern Ridge shredded carrots are available in 10-ounce bags.

Salesman Anthony Bianchi said response to the new ready-to-use product has been positive since it was introduced this spring.

Spud grower Lehr Bros. joins onion deal

Although Lehr Bros. Inc. is known for potatoes, vice president of farming Pete Belluomini likes to mix it up a little in the fields. This year the Edison, Calif.-based grower is trying organic yellow onions.

Belluomini said he didn’t put in too many acres for the first season in the deal.

“I want to see how they do before we go too big,” he said.

Lehr Bros., which grows organic carrots for Kern Ridge Growers, has had an organic branch since 1997, Belluomini said.

Thomson International revises onion label

Thomson International new onion labelCourtesy Thomson InternationalNew for the 2013 season are these labels from Thomson International, Bakersfield, Calif. The new labels come in a variety of color combinations.New onion labels are in the works for the 2013 crop from Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.

Jack Thomson, president, said the goal of the new onion labels is to bring that commodity in line with the company’s other commodities, which include bell peppers and watermelons.


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