ANAHEIM, Calif. — As the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit drew to a close, Coastline Family Farms representatives had already hit the road for Atlanta and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It ran Oct. 19-22.
The Salinas grower-shipper is rolling out its Nutraleaf burgundy lettuces, more than 18 months in development. The first stop on the tour, the Fresh Summit expo, seems to have had the desired effect.
“It was the biggest traffic yet at a PMA for Coastline,” Phil Adrian, vice president and partner, said Oct. 19 on the show floor. He estimated buyers representing 60% of U.S. retail stopped at the booth.
Beyond the deep red color of the two lettuces — leaf and romaine — Coastline is promoting Nutraleaf for its nutritional value, citing findings that it surpasses blueberries for antioxidants such as polyphenols and anthocyanins.
The varieties were developed by Rutgers University breeders, who published research in the journals PLOS One and Nutrition. Coastline conducted nutritional analysis as well.
“We’re hoping this becomes a whole separate category in leaf,” said salesman Mark McBride.
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 healthcare professionals.