His background is in the shipping industry, working with perishable food, including fresh produce.
Also, Richard Cotton joined the company in its sales office in September.
Cotton has a background in the cherry business, company president Don Armock said.
River Ranch Fresh Foods won best new product honors at the expo show with its Heritage Blend, a proprietary blend of petite red and green lettuces, first displayed at the 2010 Fresh Summit.
Heritage Blend first shipped in January and is available in 5-ounce or 1-pound sizes for retail, and a 1-pound foodservice pack. The line recently expanded with the introduction of a Heritage Blend Salad Kit, with dressing and toppings, available in a 13-ounce bag.
River Ranch has touted the blend as offering advantages over spring mix for shelf life, plate volume and nutritional value.
“We’ve been very focused on developing and perfecting this unique salad blend, and we’re pleased that the branding and messaging we conveyed at PMA was compelling to the show judges,” said Kim St. George, director of marketing.
Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE, formerly Russet Potato Exchange, has a new look for its bagged potato line.
The Old Oak Farms label and clear bags are available for the full line and have customized information for each type of potato, said Melissa Sylte, marketing manager.
“These are perfect for a retailer to manage their entire potato category,” she said. “They’re a very consumer-friendly package.”
Call-outs feature information about suggested cooking times and methods for each different type of potato as well as graphics touting caloric content and the fact that potatoes are a gluten-free product.
RPE plans to support the program with Twitter and Facebook profiles and bags carry quick-response codes for consumers to connect in the store.
Scientific Certification Systems
Emeryville, Calif.-based food safety auditor Scientific Certification Systems held three educational tasting sessions on the flavor attributes of watermelon and snacking tomatoes.
The sessions featured a “hands-on” tasting panel representing growers, retailers and seed companies, according to a company statement.
Wil Sumner, director of agricultural testing/certification, led participants through the company’s 15-point scale of sensory input, which generates a flavor profile and sensory rating, the first steps toward an SCS “Flavor Rich” certification.