Chris KogerSunkist GrowersVANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Packer’s news editor Chris Koger and staff writer Mike Hornick took these photos and collected these news items at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show April 2-4.
SUNKIST: Sunkist Growers is again promoting youth hockey-themed citrus bags, and this year’s promotion includes a sweepstakes for a trip to a popular hockey camp, says Julie DeWolf, director of retail marketing. The promotion began in January and ends April 21. Sunkist also promoted the company’s affiliation with “The Biggest Loser” TV show, with special packaging for grapefruits and lemons. Entries for a trip to a Biggest Loser resort will be accepted through May,
ANTHONY VINEYARDS: Anthony Vineyards, Coachella, Calif., plans to start organic grapes out of California’s Coachella Valley May 1, said Rob Spinelli, in sales and marketing. “It’s about two weeks earlier than last year because of the nice weather in the Coachella Valley this winter,” he said. “We’ll have conventional grapes around the same time.”
Chris KogerEarth FreshEARTH FRESH: Toronto-based Earth Fresh received recognition for its metalized plastic bags that guard against light damage and extend shelf life, says marketing manager Stephanie Cutaia, The bags are featured in the company’s “cook the right potato” program, which breaks down potatoes into boiling, baking, mashing and roasting categories. The actual varieties in the bag can differ, Cutaia says, so variety names are printed in each bags’ Kwik Lok. The packaging received an award from the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators.
DAVE’S SPECIALTY IMPORTS: Organic blueberry volume available through Coral Springs, Fla.-based Dave’s Specialty Imports will probably be up as much as 60% over last year, said Mike Bowe, vice president. “We’ve got a decent window at the moment because Chile is just finishing and there’s not much production off the West Coast,” he said. “The West Coast starts in the next week or so. We’ll try to gauge that. Chile has their fumigation issue, which totally wipes out organic.”
Mike HornickNatureSweet NATURESWEET LTD.: The company recently introduced 1.5-pound packs of its tomatoes in Canada, says Kathryn Ault, vice president of sales. “We’re showcasing the Cherubs, Sunbursts and Glories,” she says. “The larger packs are already in the U.S. They’re for holidays or for those stores with a lot of velocity every day.”
DOMEX SUPERFRESH GROWERS: Howard Nager, vice president of marketing for Yakima, Wash.-based Domex Superfresh Growers, expects the Washington cherry crop to start production around June 4-6. “The cherries started to bud today in Washington,” he said. “It’s going to be a big crop this year. Where last year was about 14 million boxes, we anticipate — weather permitting — 20 million-plus boxes this year. The beginning of June is ideal for Fourth of July ads.” The cherries will be in a zippered standup pouch.
Chris KogerRedline SolutionsREDLINE SOLUTIONS: With the Safe Food for Canadians Act, which is similar to the Food Safety Modernization Act in the U.S., there’s a growing awareness of the need to track produce across the supply chain, says Todd Baggett, CEO of Redline Solutions Inc., Santa Clara, Calif. Here, Baggett demonstrates the Intermec CK71 scanning device, which can be used with Redline’s software to track packages.
NORTHWEST CHERRIES: The cherry industry continues to see benefits from a year-old study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on cherries’ anti-inflammatory properties. The study results were published in the “Journal of Nutrition,” said James Michael, vice president of marketing for North America for Northwest Cherries.
Mike HornickVergers Paul JodoinVERGERS PAUL JODOIN: Jean-Francois Giroux, national key account manager, showed 200-milliliter bottles of organic Pear and Apple Peach juices, recently introduced for Canada only. “We’ve been doing organic shelf stable in 950 milliliters for roughly 10 years,” he says. In November, Vergers Paul Jodoin introduced a conventional sparkling apple cider, left, made with apples from its orchards.
LOVE BEETS: First-time exhibitors Love Beets showcased baby beet products infused with four flavors: Sweetfire, honey and ginger, mild vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Those beets are grown in Cambridge, England, steam cooked, peeled, marinated and vacuum-packed. The company’s sales and marketing office is in Philadelphia, and there is some production in Vineland, N.J., said marketing manager Natasha Shapiro. Just the vacuum packs are available in Canada, in Costco stores.
Mike HornickShanley FarmsSHANLEY FARMS: Megan Shanley, director of sales and marketing, offers Gator Eggs, a six-pack of size 84 avocados in an egg carton-like container. “It’s the perfect amount,” she says of the single-serve concept. “One sandwich, a salad, a snack. You’re not having to eat a huge avocado, put half in your refrigerator and come back to it later.”
THE LITTLE POTATO CO.: Kathy Petkau, manager of sales operations, displayed a new 1.5-pound handled, gusseted bag of fresh creamer potatoes under the Terrific Trio name. “We are just about to launch this,” she said. Little Potato’s microwavable, seasoned product has been rebranded in new packaging.
Chris KogerCalavo Growers Inc.CALAVO: A new high-pressure packed guacamole from Calavo Growers Inc. should be on the shelves by the 4th of July, says Patrick Paulmeier, Midwestern region sales manager for Calavo. More than five hours after being opened to serve on the show floor as a sample, the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa maintained its color without browning.
LASSONDE: Lassonde Specialties, a Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, marketer of numerous brands, showcased Sunbites, vacuum-wrapped ears of corn sold in single, double and four packs at retailers, including Wal-Mart. The corn, packed the same day of harvest, is ready to eat after one minute of microwaving, and has a one-year shelf life if kept refrigerated, said Micheal Hazel, salesman. Kerry Somerset, saleswoman, says the corn is grown from GMO-free seeds.
CABO FRESH: Jessica Brown, sales and marketing coordinator, showed a new guacamole snack pack with four 2-ounce cups. It’s due to ship in early May. Cabo Fresh’s 12-ounce container will shed its current paper label for the transparent look in May. “It’s full disclosure, you can see everything that’s in the product,” Brown said. “It lets consumers see the chunky avocado bits and how pure it is. It’s 95% avocado and 5% seasoning, no fillers or dairy.” Cabo’s guacamole items come in different flavors.
Mike HornickWholly GuacamoleWHOLLY GUACAMOLE: Jay Alley, vice president of retail operations, projects Wholly Guacamole Minis will arrive in Canada in September in multiple flavors. They consist of six 2-ounce cups. “It’s our fastest growing item in the U.S.,” he says. “We have huge double-digit increases.
VILLAGE FARMS: Helen Aquino, marketing manager, said the company is starting a “revolution in flavor” with its 1-pound Rebellion tomato packs, which feature 4-5 different tomatoes that are red, yellow, orange and brown. Village Farms displayed “BC Greenhouse Grown” stickers on packs to support the “buy local” program of the British Columbia Greenhouse Growers Association.