See related content: Food expo highlights San Joaquin Valley ag products
FRESNO, Calif. — Vicky Boyd, staff writer for The Packer, gathered the following information on the show floor of the Fresno Food Expo on March 14:
Photos by Vicky BoydBaloian FarmsBALOIAN FARMS: Fresno-based Baloian Farms grows and packs Bella Fina peppers — miniature multi-colored bell peppers bred by Monsanto’s Vegetable Seed Division. The peppers, packed under the Pam Pak label, come in a three-count plastic sleeve or a 12-ounce grab-and-go handled bag, says Richard Cowden, account manager. Baloian Farms also offers cardboard stands for the peppers that can be used as secondary displays.
BellaViva OrchardsBELLAVIVA ORCHARDS: BellaViva Orchards Inc. introduces resealable bags for its Pure & Natural Dried Fruit Slices line. The Denair, Calif.-based grower-packer tied for the Fresno Food Expo Industry Award, which recognizes the exhibitor with the most innovative new food product, variety or packaging in the past year, according to a news release. The other recipient is Cake Batter Vodka from Modesto, Calif.-based Cold House Vodka.
CALIFORNIA RAISIN BOARD: In late March/early April, the Fresno-based California Raisin Marketing Board begins an instate television campaign touting the health benefits of raisins, said Gary Schulz, president and general manager. The messages are based on research the state marketing order helped fund, showing that raisins are high in fiber, boost heart health, lower cholesterol, are a good source of natural energy and don’t damage teeth. In August, the board will expand its campaign nationally.“It will talk much, much more about the nutritional message of raisins and the advantages found in some of our heart health research as well as for diabetes and wellness,” Schulz said.
Grimmway FarmsGERAWAN FARMING: Gerawan Farming Co., Fresno, gives buyers a glimpse of its new consumer box for peaches it will pack under the Prima label this season. The box features an inner nested tray to maintain fruit quality, viewing windows and finger holes on top to aid carrying, says Denver Schutz, technical sales manager. Boxes will be packed either with four 30-32s or five 40-44s.
Kern Ridge GrowersGRIMMWAY FARMS: Grimmway Farms adds to its extensive line of value-added carrot products with Simply Delicious Carrot Creations microwavable carrots in flavored sauces and 50-calorie Carrot Dippers. The 13-ounce bags of Simply Delicious come with either a roasted garlic and savory herb sauce or a honey, brown sugar and cinnamon sauce, says Jennifer Hayslett, marketing. The bag of Dippers comes with five 2.5-ounce snack-sized bags of peeled baby carrots, each with a small sealed cup of low-fat ranch dressing for dipping.
KERN RIDGE: Kern Ridge Growers LLC, Arvin, introduces ready-to-use shredded carrots in 5-pound bags for food service and institutional use and 10-ounce bags for retail sales, says Eric Bianchi, sales representative.
Phillips FarmsLOS TRES AMIGOS: Kerman-based Los Tres Amigos de Pasa rolls out a line of chocolate-covered and spicy flavored raisins to add a new dimension to snacking, said James Metcalf, senior marketing director. “My kids find natural raisins to be boring, so we thought, ‘let’s spice it up a little bit,’” he says. Flavors include plain chocolate-covered raisins, spicy chocolate-covered raisins, chile limón-flavored raisins and chile limón-flavored raisins with peanuts.
NATIONAL RAISIN: Fowler-based National Raisin Co., which packs under the Champion label, shows off Raisels — natural sour orange- and sour lemon-flavored golden raisins. The snacks, which had been in school food service for the past 12 to 18 months, are now being rolled out to retailers and the public, said Sharon Jensen, director of marketing. The packer also is working on a no-sugar-added snack that features raisins, raspberry-flavored dried cranberries and pomegranate-blueberry fruit pieces.
Phillips FarmsPHILLIPS FARMS MARKETING: Visalia-based Phillips Farms Marketing displays its line of specialty produce, including the latest addition — finger limes. The peanut-sized citrus, which is native to Australia, is filled with juice vesicles that resemble clear fish roe. When eaten, they burst, releasing a pleasant lime flavor, said Caralee Phillips, co-owner. Finger limes can be used in place of regular limes, as a desert ingredient, as a garnish or in sushi.
SETTON PISTACHIO: Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., Terra Bella, has launched Pistachio Chewy Bites made from roasted pistachios and dried cranberries with agave nectar. The individually wrapped mini-bars contain more than 50 percent pistachios and target the active lifestyle and “healthy intended” markets, said Mia Cohen, chief operating officer. The health intended category includes consumers who know about proper nutrition and may want to eat healthier but don’t necessarily do so, she said.
TRINITY FRUIT: Trinity Fruit Sales, Fresno, has taken the work out of removing seeds or arils from pomegranates with its new Juicy Gems ready-to-use fresh arils. The 4.4-ounce cartons feature perforated plastic windows that allow the seeds to breathe, lengthening the shelf life, said Kendal Ankrum, sales. They should be kept and displayed in a retail refrigerator case.