Coastline Family Farms is launching a line of leaf and romaine lettuces under the Nutraleaf Burgundy brand, named for their color and nutritional qualities.
The Salinas, Calif.-based grower-shipper plans to show them at booth 2368 during the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, Calif. The company will also introduce the lettuces Oct. 19-22 in Atlanta at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.
The varieties, known as Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce, were created by breeders at Rutgers University starting from traditional red leaf varieties.
“We began work on these new products over 18 months ago,” Steve Henderson, president, said in a news release. “We’ve done our homework, incorporating multi-district growing trials, engaging the consumer and developing innovative packaging and cooling techniques.”
Coastline is the only grower marketing the varieties developed at Rutgers, according to the company. Both burgundy lettuces will be available from Salinas through November and from the Imperial Valley in winter.
The leaf and romaine products are reported high in antioxidants such as polyphenols and anthocyanins. In the journals PLOS One and Nutrition, Rutgers scientists published research showing extracts of the lettuces improved glucose metabolism and liver lipid accumulation in diet-induced obese mice.
“We started by examining test results performed by Rutgers and then ran several additional nutritional analyses on our own field grown lettuces,” Coastline vice president Phil Adrian said. “The net result is that the Nutraleaf Burgundy lettuces are at least twice as high in certain important antioxidants as blueberries — long the gold standard for antioxidants — and as regular red leaf lettuce.”
Coastline is working with author David Grotto, a blogger for Real Life Nutrition WebMD and nutrition advisor for Fitness Magazine, to promote the health benefits to consumers and health care professionals. He will appear at the Nutraleaf booth in Atlanta.
Social media marketing is underway on sites including Pinterest and Instagram, featuring recipes and photos from Coastline’s new recipe booklet. At PMA Fresh Summit, Coastline aims to reach food and nutrition bloggers invited to exhibits.
For foodservice, Coastline is working with chef Andrew Hunter. He helped the grower-shipper introduce Nutraleaf lettuces at the Flavor Experience, attended by more than 100 menu developers and culinary specialists. He will continue to work with Coastline in presentations to restaurant chains.
Coastline also continues to work with Rutgers scientists to develop additional products.