NEW ORLEANS — The Packer staffers Dan Galbraith, Tom Karst, Pamela Riemenschneider, Doug Ohlemeier, Vicky Boyd and Coral Beach collected these news items on the expo floor at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit 2013 Oct. 19-20 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
READY PAC FOODS: Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods won a PMA Impact Award for the Peel-and-Reseal tray it worked with Clear Lam Packaging, Elk Grove Village, Ill., on for its Bistro Bowls. The clamshell tray is environmentally friendly that’s easy to open and keeps lettuce fresh while using one-third less plastic. Ready Pac also introduce two line extensions, Baby Kale Blend Bagged Salad and Baby Kale Turkey Cranberry Bistro Bowl. Baby Kale Blend Bagged Salad features baby kale with baby spinach, baby arugula and chard; Baby Kale Turkey Cranberry Bistro Bowl is the newest extension of the Bistro Classic Bowls line and features baby kale, diced turkey, sliced almonds, whole cranberries and red apple poppyseed dressing, said senior marketing director and corporate communication manager Tristan Simpson.
Dan GalbraithRuby FreshRUBY FRESH: Katrina Tonkogolosuk, account executive with Fresno, Calif.-based Marketing Plus, shows off new products from Firebaugh, Calif.-based Ruby Fresh. Organic pomegranates are available in four-pack clamshells, Tonkogolosuk says. Also new are 5.3-ounce and 4-ounce pomegranate aril cups that are actually not yet on the market yet; and 3.5-ounce Salad Jewels, which launched about two months ago and emerged as a PMA Impact Award finalist.
SUNSWEET GROWERS: Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif. has additions to the PlumSweets Amazins dried plums line, including plums dipped in dark chocolate and plums dipped in Greek-style yogurt. “Greek yogurt is the big thing right now, so we want to capitalize on that,” said dried fruit product manager Jen Driscoll. “What differentiates our product is the Greek yogurt we use is very high-end.”
TANIMURA & ANTLE: Diana McClean marketing director, and Caitlin Antle Wilson, western sales manager, displayed new kale products from Salinas, Calif.-based Tanimura & Antle. The Artisan Kale Blossoms and Artisan Lettuce will ship in a container with an open top, addressing demand from high-end retailers such as Whole Foods, McClean said.
Dan GalbraithVeg Pro InternationalVEG PRO INTERNATIONAL: Steve Appell, vice president of sales for the U.S., shows off three of the new fresh produce offerings from Sherrington, Quebec-based Veg Pro International. At far left is the Fresh Attitude Greek Mix kit, with feta cheese, pita bread and salsa with tomatoes and olives, which retails for $5.99. Next is Fresh Attitude Cut Romaine Hearts, a 7-ounce pack with a suggested price of $2.99. At far right is Fresh Attitude Crunchy Spinach, one of four products in the new Solo Salads line. The others are Garden Fresh, Italian Blend and Chef’s Blend. Solos retail for $1.99. The company also has four new Fresh Attitude ready-to-eat salads: Caesar, Arugula, Baby Spinach and Spring Mix. Veg Pro recently changed the look of its labels to include more color and a more modern design.
VILLAGE FARMS INTERNATIONAL: Douglas Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Delta, British Columbia-based Village Farms International Inc., discussed two new products: the Delectable TOV and the 500-gram Rinse and Serve “Lip Smackn’ Grape” reusable tomato bowl that was an Impact Award finalist. “It’s more of a serving dish consumers can use for family dinners,” Kling said. “We’re very focused on convenience.”
WORLD VARIETY PRODUCE: Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce, which markets under the Melissa’s brand, said new products at the company include a 7-ounce package of Spicy Edamame and a 12-ounce package of microwaveable Roasted Baby Dutch Potatoes with olive oil and rosemary. The specialty produce firm introduced about two dozen products at Fresh Summit, many of them based on convenience, he said.
Vicky BoydWilcox FreshWILCOX FRESH: Jim Richter, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Wilcox Fresh, holds 2-pound foodservice versions of the Rexburg, Idaho-based firm’s Potato Jazz microwaveable seasoned potato kits. Wilcox Fresh already had 16-ounce consumer packs. In addition, the firm introduced the Mother Earth Fresh organic line of five salad blends that will come in 5-ounce clamshells.
PETER RABBIT ORGANICS: Julia Garrotta, marketing manager, discussed the Peter Rabbit Organics squeeze pouches with pureed fruits and vegetables. The Salem, Ore.-based firm introduced a 4.4-ounce blend of kale, broccoli and mango and a 4-ounce blend of raspberry, banana and blueberry.
BC HOT HOUSE: Mike Reed (left), president of BC Hot House, Langley, British Columbia, shows off a 1.5-pound club pack of Blushers pink cherry-type tomatoes. The top-seal package is resealable, uses at least 20% less packaging and extends the shelf life, he says. In coming months, BC Hot House plans to convert all of its packs to the top seal. The greenhouse grower is working to reduce packaging even further, says Ravi Cheema, a grower and board member.
Vicky BoydD'Arrigo Bros. of CaliforniaD’ARRIGO BROS. CO. OF CALIFORNIA: Matt Amaral, business development manager, shows off the new 12-ounce consumer pack of iceless premium-cut, ready-to-cook broccoli rabe, known generically as rapini. The proprietary variety is packed under the Andy Boy label. D’Arrigo also has begun growing the Madrigal artichoke variety, which yields year-round.
DRISCOLL’S: Neal Lassila, president and chief executive officer of El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh Juice Global, demonstrated the interactive Berry Patch Display the company developed in partnership with Driscoll’s. The display can be customized to play videos of growers or department store managers and is activated when a customer reaches in for a clamshell.
GOURMET TRADING: Chloe Varennes, marketing manager for Gourmet Trading Co., displayed 8-ounce Green Giant Fresh brand asparagus tips that sell at Target stores that are not supercenters. She also talked about a 4.4-ounce package of Green Giant Fresh blueberries that the Los Angeles-based firm just started importing from Argentina. Later in the season, the firm will offer 6-ounce clamshells of Green Giant Fresh blueberries from Chile.
LAKESIDE PRODUCE: Anthony Cervini, retired owner, displated Brunetta, a brown round tomato sold in three-packs. The Leamington, Ontario, Canada, grower of greenhouse vegetables also introduced Rubies, a grape-type tomato; and Stramato, cherry tomatoes on the vine.
GIUMARRA: John Giumarra, owner of Giumarra Vineyards, Bakersfield, Calif., displayed proprietary grape varieties, some of which were recently introduced and some of which are nearing introduction. Sweetie and Sweet 16 are large white varieties that were available in limited quantities this season. Sweet 16 is harvested at about the same time as sugraones and Sweetie comes in about the same time as thompson seedless. Giumarra Vineyards, which developed the varieties, licenses growers throughout the world to produce them.
BEACHSIDE PRODUCE: Steve Adlesh, director of sales and marketing, showed the Guadalupe, Calif.-based firm’s 16-ounce consumer pack of celery sticks. The sticks come from a super tall celery variety that allows two cuts per stalk. Beachside Produce also started an export division, with Derrick Stinnett heading the effort. Exports include broccoli, strawberries, celery and romaine lettuce.
ROCKET FARMS HERBS: Jorge Michael, western regional sales manager, and John Palczynski, regional sales manager and chief mixologist, showed off a new Fresh Herbal Lemonade Kit. It contains four or five herbs that users can add to lemonade.
Vicky BoydMisionero VegetablesMISIONERO VEGETABLES: Alica Blanco, (left), marketing manager for Gonzales, Calif.-based Misionero Vegetables, shows off 5-ounce clamshells of organic Earth Greens organic Lemony and Spinach Blend and Lemony and Argula Blend. Nancy Bryner, regional sales manager for the East Coast, holds a 5-ounce container of Garden Life Lettuce Stackers — individual lettuce leaves sized to fit sandwiches. They are conventionally grown and are a cross between green leaf and iceberg lettuce.
JEMD FARMS: JemD’s new redsun Hacienda Series Special Reserve Heirloom Tomatoes are greenhouse-grown at the Kingsville, Ontario, firm and come in a 10-pound display-ready carton that resembles a wooden wine box, complete with shaved aspen wood packing material, said Sabrina Pokomandy, marketing and public relations manager.
ORGANICALLY GROWN: Eugene, Ore.-based Organically Grown Co. displayed bags of shallots and yellow and red cipollini onions — all organic. The products, which are new to the organic marketer, are packed under the Ladybug label.
Coral BeachCalifornia GiantCALIFORNIA GIANT: Nader Musleh, (left), general manager of Chilean operations for California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., and Evan Pence, western region blueberry operations manager, plan to have 25% to 30% more blueberries from Chile and Argentina this year compared to 2012, says Cindy Jewell, marketing director. The company is increasing imports in response to its customers’ demands and expects the first berries of the season to be shipped Nov. 1, Jewell says.
CHIQUITA: Chef Todd Fisher, known for his cable TV series “The United States of Bacon,” said new cooking greens from Chiquita Brands International, Charlotte, N.C., make it easy to add leafy greens to a wide variety of recipes such as his smoked turkey gumbo. Chiquita’s Fresh Express is also launching new flavors of fresh-cut bagged salad mixes, including a Caesar mix with bacon.
Coral BeachChristopher RanchCHRISTOPHER RANCH: New squeezable garlic from Christopher Ranch, Gilroy, Calif., gives consumers added value, says Patsy Ross, vice president of marketing. The garlic product is expected to begin shipping to retailers by the end of the year. Standalone floor displays are available to help retailers position the product easily and prominently in the produce aisle without taking shelf space away from other products, Ross says.
See The Packer's video coverage from the show floor at thepacker.com/freshsummit