ANAHEIM, Calif. — Packer staffers Greg Johnson, Pamela Riemenschneider, Amelia Freidline, Vicky Boyd, Mike Hornick, Tom Burfield, Coral Beach and Tom Karst collected these news items Oct. 27-28 on the PMA Fresh Summit 2012 exposition floor.
ACCU-LABEL: Accu-Label International, Lakeshore, Ontario, rolled out its Eco-TL tray labeler for tray packing, at Fresh Summit 2012 in Anaheim, Calif. Terri Sleiman, engineer, engineer for the company, said unlike most labelers that are stationary and affix the label to individual pieces of fruit as they pass below, this labeler moves back and forth over the tray, labeling each fruit as the tray slowly moves below.
ALLEN LUND: Allen Lund Co., La Canada Flintridge, Calif., has opened new offices in McAllen, Texas; Alamosa, Colo.; Joplin, Mo.; and Garland, Texas, says David Lund, vice president of sales and operations. The company expects to open more offices by the end of the year. The firm also launched a less-than-truckload (LTL) program out of McAllen in October and that will concentrate on berries through June.
Vicky BoydAlsum Farms & Produce ALSUM FARMS & PRODUCE: In response to customer requests, Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. introduced individually wrapped microwavable russet and sweet potatoes. The label features a picture of owner Larry Alsum as part of an effort to help consumers put a face to the Friesland, Wis.-based grower-shipper, says Rick Kantner, director of sales and marketing.
AWETA AMERICAS: Aweta Americas, Fresno, Calif., showed part of its new, high-speed sorter. The machine is scheduled to be installed in November at FoodSource Edinburg, Edinburg, Texas, where it will be used for lemons and limes, says Kelvin Farris, Aweta sales manager. The sorter could be used for similar-sized items, like kiwifruit, roma tomatoes, plums and nectarines, he says. Although the machine is in use in Europe, this is the first time it will be installed in the U.S.
Amelia FreidlineBabe Farms BABÉ FARMS: Santa Maria, Calif.-based Babé Farms introduced a line of packaged gourmet vegetables. Saleswoman Ramona Chavez says the 14- and 16-ounce pouch bags include items such as radishes, carrots, baby purple artichokes, green and purple baby brussels sprouts, baby beets and baby fennel.
BARD VALLEY MEDJOOL DATE GROWERS: The Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, Bard, Calif., introduced its pitted medjool date. Most pitted dates on the market are the deglet variety, which are a bit sturdier, says Ed O’Malley, president and chief executive officer of Datepac LLC, Yuma. The association also featured 3.3- to 4.4-ounce snack-sized Natural Delights, available in whole dates, pitted dates, coconut date rolls and almond date rolls.
BC HOT HOUSE FOODS INC.: BC Hot House, Langley, British Columbia, updated packaging and display-ready cartons with new logos and colors that play up the greenhouse vegetable grower’s 40th anniversary. Inside packaging, consumers will find a quick-response code to a website full of information about product care and recipes, says Michael Reed, president.
Greg JohnsonBland Farms BLAND FARMS: New Sweet Onion Petals product is the produce department’s answer to popular onion-flavored snack Funyuns. It’s made from baked and pureed Vidalia onions and is processed by Inventure Foods, says John Cameron, director of sales.
WM. BOLTHOUSE FARMS INC.: Account executive Ashleigh Rossi says Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, Calif., now offers Bolthouse Farms Baby Carrots Shakedowns — 2.25-ounce packages of seasonings and baby carrots that can be mixed together. They’re being tested in three markets and should be rolled out by next summer or back-to-school time. Three flavors are being tested: chili lime, ranch and salsa.
BORTON & SONS INC: Borton & Sons, Yakima, Wash., is partners with the National Dairy Council and the National Football League to promote the Fuel Up to Play 60 program on its apple bags. The program encourages nutrition and 60 minutes of daily exercise for children. Borton & Sons also offers a bagged mix of size 138 apples and mandarins under the Smaller Fruit for Smaller Appetites label, says Eric Borton.
BOSKOVICH FARMS INC.: Boskovich Farms, Oxnard, Calif., plans to release microwaveable globe artichokes in the next few months, says Russ Widerburg, sales manager. Packaging for the new item now is being finalized. Each pack will contain two size 24 or 30 artichokes.
CABO FRESH: Los Angeles-based Cabo Fresh introduced detachable four-packs of 2-ounce personal-sized servings of guacamole that have only 100 calories. Cabo Fresh also showcased 6-ounce containers of authentic and spicy guacamole that are hand-scooped for a chunkier texture — more like homemade, says Dan Wilson, executive vice president.
CALAVO GROWERS: Calavo introduced a 90-calorie single-serve guacamole in spicy and mild flavors. Another product, Calavo’s avocado halves, started shipping two weeks before Fresh Summit 2012.
Tom BurfieldCalifornia Giant CALIFORNIA GIANT: California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., is partnering with Concord Foods Inc., Brockton, Mass., to launch a “Blueberry Baking Bliss” sweepstakes and social media promotion from Nov. 5 through Dec. 10, says Cindy Jewell, director of market for California Giant. The promotion includes a YouTube video, blogger involvement and consumer baking ideas and tips. It’s featured on the company website and its Facebook and Twitter pages.
CALIFORNIA TABLE GRAPE COMMISSION: The Fresno-based California Table Grape Commission has a new retail guide — “Grapes and the Health-Minded Shopper,” says Cindy Plummer, vice president of domestic marketing. The guide summarizes health benefits and provides talking points for ads and promotional programs, she says.
CARLSON AIRFLOW: Brooklyn Park, Minn.-based Carlson AirFlo is testing a new way to display pineapples. The company’s new pineapple floor display comes in two sizes: a larger rack with a 63-piece capacity and a smaller 24-capacity rack designed to highlight pineapples, one of the fastest-growing produce categories. The racks are designed to hold the fruit upright without causing damage, says Suellen Lindsay, marketing coordinator. The larger rack has a 3-foot footprint and the smaller one has a 2-foot footprint. Lindsay says they’re ideal for mobile merchandising, such as with hams for the holidays.
CHELAN FRESH MARKETING: Chelan, Wash.-based Chelan Fresh Marketing featured the Orondo Ruby cherry, which it recently required the rights to after buying the Orondo, Wash.-based Orondo Fruit Co. packing plant. Cory Wray, marketing director at Orondo, says the cherry is similar to a rainier but is all red and has up to 20% more acid and sugar and a firmer skin, which gives it a crisp bite. She says the cherries are harvested in late June and have a two-week window of availability at retail. The cherries are sold in 1- and 2-pound clamshells.
Vicky BoydC.H. Robinson Worldwide C.H. ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC.: C.H. Robinson, Eden Prairie, Minn., displays its proprietary Eco-Crate for sweet corn. The container is made of extruded recycled plastic, is fully recyclable and enables shippers to put one to two more pallet loads on a truck, compared with wooden packing crates, says Drew Schwartzhoff, marketing director. Timco Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary, introduced the CantaBella melon, a cross between a cantaloupe and a chanterelle melon. It has high brix levels, the aroma of a chanterelle and the shelf life of a cantaloupe, says Jamie Vosejpka, produce manager.
CF FRESH: Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based CF Fresh now has a 2-pound plastic bag for Viva Tierra organic apples, says president Luis Acuña. The product, which ships 18 bags to a 40-pound box, is designed for consumers who don’t want as many apples as the company’s 3-pound bag holds. Acuña says the bag is available for all varieties, but the greatest customer demand is for galas and fujis. The company exhibited in a new booth.
CMI: New for Wenatchee, Wash.-based Columbia Marketing International are pouch bags for apples, says vice president of marketing and food safety Bob Mast. The 2-pound bags are available for organic fujis and galas and conventional Ambrosia and Kiku apples. Shipper boxes contain 10 bags of fruit. CMI also is launching a 2-pound poly bag for organic apples, in addition to the 3-pound bag the company offers.
COLORFUL HARVEST LLC: Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif., introduced a 12-ounce pack of blackberries to complement its 6-ounce size, says Doug McFarland, marketing director. The company also is adding quick-response codes to packages of berries, which will take consumers to a landing page with berry recipes and other berry information.
Amelia FreidlineCountry Fresh Mushroom COUNTRY FRESH MUSHROOM CO.: Avondale, Pa.-based Country Fresh Mushroom Co. has introduced a 7-ounce microwaveable pack of sliced white mushrooms. The pack includes a butter sauce, says Bob Besix, senior vice president of sales and marketing. He says the company’s 10-count portabella pack has also seen success at retail.
DEARDORFF: Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, Calif., has a new home, says Scott Deardorff, secretary-treasurer. After nearly 40 years in the same location, the company has moved to a 115,000-square-foot site that includes 40,000 square feet of cooling space, a 60,000-square-foot warehouse/packing area and 15,000 square feet of offices. The company should be settled by the winter vegetable season. he says. The firm added a new overwrap machine, Deardorff says.
Amelia FreidlineDel Monte Fresh Produce DEL MONTE FRESH PRODUCE: Jeff Murray, director of key account sales for fresh-cut for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce, displays an 8-ounce pack the company has added to its line of fresh avocado pulp. Melissa Athanasopulos, director of fresh-cut key account sales, says the product is ready for retail but has not yet shipped. Del Monte has also added a fajita kit to its ready-to-go meal line. The kit features sliced red and green bell peppers and onions and a cup of avocado pulp.
DIAZTECA CO.: Rico Rico, Ariz.-based mango grower Diazteca has added gold pineapple from Mexico to its product lineup, says saleswoman Graciela Maldonado and salesman Mario Ramos. The company is marketing the whole gold pineapples from a Mexican grower under the Sarita label.
DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS; After six years in the produce business, Disney is more interested than ever in adding new produce commodities to its lineup, says John King, director of licensing for media networks and games consumables for Disney Consumer Products, Glendale, Calif. Currently with six partners in the produce industry covering value-added salads, sliced apples, cherries, grapes and berries, King says Disney is open to more partners. “We would love to be in bananas, get into citrus again, things on the vegetable side, snacking carrots, things that are kid friendly.”
DJ FORRY CO.: Reedley, Calif.-based DJ Forry Co. introduced 2-pound stand-up, recloseable bags for California peaches, grapes and cherries; fuyu and hachiya persimmons; and a summer fruit trio of nectarines, peaches and plums, says owner John Forry. The fruit comes 10 bags to a case. The company is also introducing a pomegranate aril package that contains two 2-ounce servings.
Amelia FreidlineDole Food Co. DOLE FOOD CO.: Dole introduced an 8.75-pound pre-packed display box of mini yellow and red bananas. Bil Goldfield, communications manager, says the product was designed as a way to get people more interested in exotic fruit without requiring an extensive program commitment from retailers. The banana bunches are packaged in plastic bags for each variety.
DOUBLE DIAMOND ACRES LTD.: Double Diamond Acres Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, displayed its Zebrino striped cocktail tomato, new this season. Owner Chris Mastronardi says the company received a good response to the tomato, which comes in 1-pound clamshells. Mastronardi says the tomato has a thicker skin than typical cocktail tomatoes but is sweet. He says the company also received a good response for its orange grape tomatoes.
Miike HornickDuda Farm Fresh Foods DUDA FARM FRESH FOODS: Nichole Towell, marketing development manager at Duda, displays celery packaging with a new seasonal label, Celebrations. It’s expected to be in stores Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, bracketing the holidays. By texting celery to 99000, shoppers can reach a mobile website with recipes.
EARTHBOUND FARM: Samantha Cabaluna, director of communications, shows new organic products in 5-ounce clamshells: Butter Lettuce Leaves and Zen Blend. Both have been soft launched, with full distribution to start in January. Zen Blend includes spinach, chards, Asian mustards, komatsuna, red mizuna and pak choy.
EUROFRESH FARMS: Willcox, Ariz.-based EuroFresh Farms features new Redi Bites snacking cucumbers at Fresh Summit. The new product joins the recently introduced Redi Bites grape-sized tomatoes, says David Leitch (left), general manager of packing operations, and Mark Cassius, executive vice president of sales. They will be sold under the ArtiSun Farms label.