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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Western correspondent Tom Burfield compiled these news briefs July 17 at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council Southern California Expo.
Guadalupe-based Apio Inc. gave store-level produce employees a look at the product line the company added when the firm acquired GreenLine Foods Inc., Perrysburg, Ohio, this spring.
The acquisition gives Apio a substantial presence on the East Coast. The move brought together two value-added brands: GreenLine’s fresh-cut green bean products and Apio’s Eat Smart bag and tray vegetables. GreenLine includes about a dozen kinds of green beans and vegetables in specially designed, microwaveable bags.
Bolthouse Farms Inc., Bakersfield, displayed its newest sizes and flavors for some healthful drinks and gave a preview of plans for the holidays.
The company now offers its 100% pomegranate juice in 450-milliliter and 32-ounce bottles and its Amazing Mango fruit smoothie in a 52-ounce family size, said David Schoonmaker, national accounts sales manager.
And the firm introduced some new drink flavors in the spring: orange carrot juice, strawberry parfait, peach parfait and Protein Plus blended coffee, billed as a “coffee protein shake.”
Bolthouse Farms also plans to bring back its Holiday Nog — “a healthy version of eggnog” — which the company tested last year, and it will have a seasonal label on its pomegranate juice, Schoonmaker said.
Campbell Soup Co. announced that it had signed an agreement to buy Bolthouse Farms July 9.
Caldwell Fresh Foods, Maywood, gave produce workers a preview of its Fresh Nibblers — 2.5-ounce packages of baby carrots with celery sticks and baby carrots with broccoli florets. The product already is being distributed to schools throughout California as Fresh Fuel Ups, and it should be available at retail within five weeks, said Maurie Thomas, general manager. The company also may offer five-unit multi packs, he said.
One of the most popular items displayed at the booth sponsored by Los Alamitos-based Frieda’s Inc. was the Lemondrop melon. The product has a sweet melon flavor with a lemon twist, said marketing director Terri Mouton. It’s grown by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Martori Farms, added Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer.
The melon, which the company says has an inner flesh with a “honeydew-like appearance and aroma with a refreshing sweet, tart and tangy melon flavor,” is available from May until October.
Richard Wangenheim, who handles sales and marketing for Perrysburg, Ohio-based HerbThyme farms, had a lot to tout at the expo. The company showed its rosemary skewers in a self-merchandising shipper that includes a quick-response code that, when scanned with a smart phone, takes consumers to a video showing how the product can be used on the grill.
Wangenheim also displayed two holiday shippers — one for the company’s poultry bouquet, which includes three herbs in one package, and the other that contains separate packages of rosemary, sage and thyme. The company also displayed an herbal beverage mix that makes lemonade “with an herbal infusion,” he said.
SteakHouse Style Asparagus from Mission Produce, Oxnard, is great for summer grilling, said Leighanne Thomsen, saleswoman. The jumbo-sized, fresh green asparagus, made popular by high-end steak house restaurants, comes in a 1-pound, extended-life bag that contains information about grilling and broiling the asparagus along with seasoning suggestions.
The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, displayed newly designed cartons from Oceanside Pole at its booth. The company formed a partnership with tomato producer Harry Singh Jr., innovator of the Oceanside Pole growing method, last winter, and the first tomatoes now are being harvested. The design reflects the heritage of the Oceanside, area, where Singh’s family has farmed for more than seven decades. The tomatoes are packed in two- and three-layer configurations.
Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale, had a number of prelaunch products to tout. Ken Perez, sales and marketing analyst, said Ready Pac’s Disney line of four CoolCuts kids’ salads and four CoolCuts kids’ snacks should be available Aug. 1, five varieties of fresh fruit parfaits will kick off Aug. 15, and four organic bistro products are set to launch in September.
West Pak/Blue Bird
West Pak Avocados Inc., Temecula, and Blue Bird Trading Co., Santa Ana, have combined efforts to offer bags of four avocados from West Pak and a 1-ounce packet of Blue Bird “Perfect Guacamole Mix,” said Dan Acevedo, director of business development at West Pak. Stand-up wire racks are available to display the bags at retail.