ANAHEIM, Calif. — Packer staffers Greg Johnson, Pamela Riemenschneider, Amelia Freidline, Vicky Boyd, Mike Hornick., Tom Burfield, Coral Beach and Tom Karst collected these news items Oct. 27-28 on the Fresh Summit exposition floor.
PACIFIC AGPAK: Kyle Baum shows the company’s 1-pound clamshell for berries, released earlier in 2012. The single layer packaging speeds cooling, Baum says, and stacking tabs secure product.
PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL MARKETING INC.: A 1-pound baby organic spinach clamshell is expected to ship within a few weeks after Fresh Summit. Pacific International planned to start shipping 10-ounce and 48-ounce bags of broccoli florets shortly after the trade show ended.
PARAMOUNT CITRUS INC.: Texas Sweet Citrus grapefruit in 8-pound bags, a new Paramount Citrus offering, is sourced by Healds Valley Farms Ltd., Edinburg, Texas. Paramount acquired Healds Valley Farms in July, says Marc Seguin, vice president of marketing.
PERO FAMILY FARMS: Zipper bags of organic snipped green beans offer customers a new 24-ounce size, says Scott Seddon, brand manager for Delray Beach, Fla.-based Pero Family Farms. The company also unveiled 10-ounce zipper bags of jalepeno peppers at Fresh Summit 2012, which Seddon says provide retailers a better display option than traditional bulk bins.
PERU CITRUS GROWERS ASSOCIATION: Sergio Del Castillo Valderrama, chief executive officer for ProCitrus, Lima, Peru, says Peruvian citrus growers are preparing for a larger crop in 2013 because 3-year-old plantings will begin bearing marketable fruit. He also says the two-day format for the Produce Marketing Association’s annual trade show worked well for international attendees.
PHILLIPS MUSHROOM FARMS: Kennett Square, Pa.-based Phillips Mushroom Farms is rolling out 6-ounce packs of vitamin D-enhanced sliced and whole portabellas, says national sales manager Kevin Donovan. He says the company plans to introduce the product over the winter and make a big push in the summer.
PONDEROSA MUSHROOMS: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia-based Ponderosa Mushrooms rolled out a 6-ounce pack of handsliced king oyster mushrooms at retailers in Vancouver this summer and it is now shipping into parts of southern Ontario, president Joe Salvo says. He says the company has begun exporting its product line to Dubai, with a good response so far.
POTANDON PRODUCE LLC: Using a 1950s diner theme in its booth at Fresh Summit 2012, Potandon Produce staff including Ralph Schwartz dressed the part as they showed new mini-retail displays that will be available to retailers in mid-November. Schwartz, director of category management and value-added marketing, says Potandon will help retailers with promotions if they purchase the new mini displays.
PROGRESSIVE PRODUCE: Progressive Produce Corp., Commerce, Calif., introduced a Hollywood Fries consumer package at Fresh Summit. Sales manager Cory Stohl says the potatoes previously were available only in 50-pound cartons for foodservice operators. Now the potatoes, created to make perfect french fries, are available in 5-pound bags for consumers. The company also is in the process of adding quick-response codes and U.S.A. Grown and Environmental Packaging Initiative labels to its packaging.
PURE HOT HOUSE FOODS: Sarah Paul, marketing analyst, showed a new product line under the Pure Flavor brand from Leamington, Ontario-based Pure Hot House Foods. Scheduled to hit retail shelves in North America in November, the fresh kits for salsa, guacamole and caprese feature three-step directions for consumers. Also new this fall are Pure Flavor’s Luna Sweets Trio 10-ounce clamshells of tri-colored cocktail tomatoes-on-the-vine.
RAINIER: Selah, Wash.-based Rainier Fruit Co., is participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program started by the National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with USDA, says Suzanne Wolter, marketing director. The program, which helps earn money for schools, encourages children to consume nutrient-rich foods to fuel their bodies for 60 minutes of exercise. Rainier also showed its popular Lady Alice and Junami apples at Fresh Summit that should have increased availability starting early next year.
READY PAC FOODS: Newly released, Disney-themed Ready Pac Cool Cuts salads and mini-meals were one of six products to receive a 2012 PMA Impact Award for excellence in packaging. The eight-item line is geared specifically for elementary and middle school-age children, and started shipping nationwide the first week of September, says Tristan Simpson, director of marketing at Ready Pac. Also recently released from Ready Pac are three new single-serve Ready Pac Bistro organic salads.
RIVER RANCH FRESH FOODS LLC: Larry Narwold, retail and foodservice sales manager, displayed individually wrapped lettuce from River Ranch. Romaine, red leaf and green leaf versions started shipping a few weeks before Fresh Summit.
ROCK GARDEN SOUTH: Miami-based Rock Garden South, part of Coosemans Worldwide, received an Impact Award for its Go Micro! Microgreens. Manny Lepe, procurement director, says the packaging, which is a resealable micro-perforated bag with a stand-up bottom, allows the product to breathe and keeps it fresher longer. The company also displayed trial products of living kale and broccoli microgreens on pads to gauge retail interest, Lepe says.
RPE INC.: Two microwaveable 16-ounce bags have been added to RPE’s Tasteful Selections line. Honey Gold and Ruby Sensation were released about a week before Fresh Summit.
RUBY FRESH: Ruby Fresh, Firebaugh, Calif., rolls out three Salad Jewels salad toppings featuring pomegranate. They are Brilliant Southern Blend, Sparkling Spring Mix and Gleaming Mediterranean Medley. Consumers add greens/lettuce to the kit to make a salad or even a meal, says David Anthony, sales.
SEALD SWEET INTERNATIONAL: New for this season from Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., is the Autumn Gold label for late-season mandarins from South Africa. Kim Flores, marketing manager, says the label will also be used for W. murcotts from Chile. The mandarins and murcotts are available in 2- and 3-pound pack sizes.
SEV-REND CORP.: Harrison Chien, vice president of sales and marketing for Collinsville, Ill.-based Sev-Rend Corp., demonstrated how the company’s invisible barcodes can be seen by scanners but not the human eye. The bar codes are being introduced to the fresh produce industry now as the company opens new distribution centers in Bakersfield, Calif., and Vidalia, Ga. The invisible codes make labels look less cluttered and help guard against counterfeiters.
SOUTHERN SPECIALTIES: Charlie Eagle, vice president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Southern Specialties, says he expects the company’s new grab-and-go resealable bags of green beans with holiday-themed packaging to be popular with retailers and consumers. The beans are available in 1- and 2-pound bags. New zipper pouches are also available for sugar snap peas and Brussels sprouts (in cold case) and were designed based on consumer input.
SUMMERIPE WORLDWIDE: President Pat Steider says new packaging styles and sizes, including kid-friendly packages, are in the works for the tree fruit offered by Reedley, Calif.-based Summeripe. He says the company plans to add acreage in 2013, and customers should expect to see the new offerings in January and February.
SUNFED: Matt Mandel, sales representative for Rio Rico, Ariz.-based SunFed, says the company added mini cucumbers and new varieties of tomatoes this year. the company is adding field-grown red peppers now and plans new pack styles and sizes for 2013.
SUNKIST GROWERS: Julie DeWolf, director of retail marketing, shows cara cara, one of five citrus varieties Sunkist has licensed to offer under Stemilt Growers’ Lil Snappers label. The rest are navels, moro blood, minneola tangelo and California mandarin. They launch in January — in future years, they’ll start in November — shipping in high-graphic display trays and quarter bins. Sunkist also has a new 2-pound lemon pouch and a carton, dubbed “generations,” to its line of about a half-dozen 10-pound orange retail boxes. It underlines the company’s history and its family connections.
SUNSWEET GROWERS INC: Sunsweet, a Yuba City, Calif.-based growers cooperative, introduced two products based on its Amazins diced dried plums: Amazin Berry Blend and Amazin Cranberries. The berry blend contains an equal mix of Amazins and dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries, says Jeff McLemore, marketing director of dried fruit. Amazin Cranberries contains 50% dried plums and 50% dried cranberries. The co-op also rolled out PlumSweets — dark chocolate-covered dried plum bites.
TEXSTARR: Ryan Wolverton, (left), and Kenny Alford of TexStarr Distributing, Alamo, Texas, were on hand talking about the company’s Royal Star papaya program. The company also recently completed Global Food Safety Initiative certification for all aspects of its business, from the field through its packing facility, Wolverton says.
TO-JO MUSHROOMS: Kyle Stensmith, intern for Avondale, Pa.-based To-Jo Mushrooms, and Paul Frederic, senior vice president of sales and marketing, showed off the company’s 8-ounce pack of portabella sliders, introduced this summer. Frederic says the product is a nice-sized mushroom that has a lot of applications, such as stuffing or grilling, and has been a good mover at retail.
TAYLOR FARMS: Kim St. George, senior director of marketing at Taylor Farms, introduced attendees to BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad, the fourth product in Taylor Farms’ chopped salad line. Vegetables include romaine, two cabbage varieties, green onions, broccoli and carrots. Bacon, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce and lime tortilla chips top it off. For early 2013, the Salinas, Calif., company plans a Power Greens line with three varieties: Rainbow Medley, Tuscan Blend and Chopped Kale. New packaging for three Popeye spinach products enlarges character faces and adds the word “superfood” and nutrition information. Olive Oyl appears on spinach mix, Popeye on spinach and baby spinach.
VIDALIA ONION COMMITTEE: A new, long-term promotion in 2013 will partmer the Vidalia Onion Committee with other brands for retail cross promotions, says Wendy Brannen, executive director of the committee. “Taste of Summer” will run for three-and-a-half years. Johnsonville Sausage LLC already joined the committee for the promotion. Point-of-sale materials and consumer recipe contests are planned as part of the campaign.
VILLAGE FARMS: A 10-ounce grab-and-go bag (above far left and right) for mini San Marzano plum tomatoes marketed as Heavenly Villagio Marzano introduced at the expo by Village Farms LP, Eatontown, N.J., is the company’s latest addition to its “Olde World Flavor” collection. Helen Aquino, marketing manager, says the company’s heirloom tomatoes (above center) are also proving popular with consumers.
WADA FARMS: Mini red and yellow potatoes from Wada Farms, Pingree, Idaho, are scheduled to appear in retail stores in early November in 1.5-pound bags. Bob Meek, chief executive officer for Wada Farms Marketing Group, says the company is shipping another new product in early November: sleeve-packed medallion onions.
WAYNE E. BAILEY INC.: George Wooten, president of Chadbourn, N.C.-based Wayne E. Bailey Inc., introduces a new four-pack tray of sweet potatoes. They come 12 to a case with the potatoes between 8-10 ounces each and no longer than six inches to allow uniform cooking times for consumers.
WELL-PICT: Well-Pict Berries, Watsonville, Calif., promoted its new Healthy Kids site on the company’s website — wellpict.com. “We want to promote consumptions with kids year-round,” says Julie Lucido, marketing director. The kids’ section has healthful strawberry recipes, coloring and crafts pages and a wealth of Berry Fun Facts.
WESTMORELAND SALES: Leamington, Ontario-based Westmoreland Sales plans to start shipping mini sweet peppers this season, says salesman Dino DiLaudo. The pepper program will start this spring with Ontario operations and will move year-round from Mexican growers. Westmoreland plans to offer two sizes: 8-ounces and 1.5-pounds.
WILCOX FRESH: Jim Richter, executive vice president of sales and marketing, for Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh, says the company partnered with Little Potato Co., Edmonton, Alberta, to relaunch its Potato Jazz brand of microwave-ready packs. He says there are four varieties, such as Zesty Italian and Garlic and Parsley, that use C-size potatoes. He says they are also available in 1.5-pound bags.
WISH FARMS: Wish Farms, Plant City Fla., is marking 90 years in business, says Gary Wishnatzki, president. At the same time, the company has redesigned its website to make it more consumer friendly, says his daughter, Elizabeth Peterson, who manages marketing, social media and public relations for the company. Peterson hopes to “get a dialog going” with consumers on the new site that will include features like a blog and recipe catalog.
WONDERFUL PISTACHIOS: Two flavors, sweet chili and salt and pepper, have been added to its lineup of 7-ounce pistachio snacks. Shipments started in October. A Super Bowl commercial is planned, says Marc Seguin, vice president of marketing for Paramount Farms, Pom Wonderful and Paramount Citrus.