NEW ORLEANS — The Packer staffers Dan Galbraith, Tom Karst, Pamela Riemenschneider, Doug Ohlemeier, Vicky Boyd and Coral Beach collected these news items on the expo floor at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit 2013 Oct. 19-20 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center.
FAMOUS SOFTWARE: New traceability software and hardware is available from Famous Software, Fresno, Calif., says Heather Hammack, director of sales and marketing. Famous Mobile includes handheld devices that operate in English, Spanish and French and make it possible to capture data and print Produce Traceability Initiative-compliant labels in the field. A pilot launch of new software is ongoing with a hard launch anticipated in the first quarter of 2014, Hammack says.
KINGSBURG ORCHARDS: This season marks the first time Kingsburg Orchards, Kingsburg, Calif., will have promotable volumes of its new pluot variety Autumn Red, said sales director Bob Maxwell. The company is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Dinosaur Eggs branded fruit stone fruit and is introducing pouch bags.
JACOBS FARM/DEL CABO: New to the Kitchen Harvest line of living herbs from Jacobs Farm is living basil, which the Santa Cruz, Calif., company launched at Fresh Summit. Also new from sister company del Cabo are Japanese shishito peppers and Rubies on the Vine sweet cocktail tomatoes.
DOMEX SUPERFRESH GROWERS: As the sole owner of the Autumn Glory apple in North America, Domex Superfresh Growers has about 100 acres of the hybrid variety in the ground, says Howard Nager, vice president of marketing. The Autumn Glory’s parents are the fuji and golden delicious, creating a crisp texture with an old-fashioned applesauce flavor hinting of cinnamon, Nager says. The variety stores well and its flavor profile improves while in storage, he says. It is available in 2-pound handle bags.
COASTLINE PRODUCE/SUNRIDGE FARMS: Vivian Sotelo, marketing manager for Sunridge Farms Inc., doing business as Coastline Produce, said response to the company’s Little Gem Hearts lettuce has been very strong in Europe, giving the Salinas-based company hopes for a good performance in North America. The lettuce comes in a two-head zipper bag with a price point of about $2.99. It is a hybrid of romaine and sweet butter lettuce.
YAKIMA FRESH MARKETING: Tom Papke, vice president for marketing and business development for Yakima Fresh Marketing, Yakima, Wash., said child-friendly floor stand boxes are designed to be set up easily. They can be used for bulk displays or with paper tote bags that feature characters from the company’s “Galaxy’s Greatest Apples” promotion. The stands include holders for free coloring books.
BABE FARMS: Rosie Munoz, saleswoman for Babe Farms, Santa Maria, Calif., says the company now offers spring mix in resealable clamshells. Previously the clamshells for the greens were packaged in clamshells that required a shrink band for sealing, which made it less convenient for consumers to store leftovers. The clamshells of spring mix are now available in 1-pound sizes.
OSO SWEET: President and general manager Brian Kastic showed new display-ready cartons for Oso Sweet brand sweet potatoes from the Saven Co., Savannah, Ga. Kastick said the company is going “full on” with its sweet potato program, which had a limited launch last season. Oso Sweet continues to market sweet onions year round, celebrating its 26th year in the Chilean deal. Kastick said beginning in January Oso Sweet plans to have Chilean onions for six weeks, filling gaps that may occur if the Peruvian deal is short or the Mexican deal is late.
SUNDIA: Set to launch in January, 64-ounce jars of grapefruit will be available under the True Fruit brand from Sundia Corp., Orlando, Fla. President Dan Hoskins said grapefruit is the No. 1 seller in the category, making up 30% of Sundia’s category sales. The company has also refreshed the entire line of containers and packaging for fresh-cut fruits.
DEL REY AVOCADO CO.: A new salesman is on staff at Del Rey Avocado Co., Fallbrook, Calif. Josh Underseth joined the company about six months ago. Del Rey packs Morro Bay Avocados and the new Gator Eggs small avocados for Shanley Farms, Morro Bay, Calif.
VIVA TIERRA: Sales manager Matt Roberts and salesman Tryg McInerny were on hand at the Viva Tierra Organic Inc. booth. Formerly known as CF Fresh, the Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For the 2013 season it is packing fruit from the Apple King shed in Yakima, Wash., Roberts said.
TURBANA: The focus at Turbana continues to be the company’s growing line of tropical offerings, with Ricardo Echeverri, vice president of tropicals, leading the way for that segment of the Coral Gables, Fla.-based company’s efforts.
NORTH SHORE LIVING HERBS: Erika Unruh, sales and marketing coordinator for North Shore Living Herbs, Thermal, Calif., displays the company’s newest product, Poultry Delights, a blend of rosemary, thyme and sage living herbs, with a root ball attached. The pack includes a quick-response code and peel-off sticker directing consumers to holiday recipes. The company also has a new potted cilantro.
DEL CAMPO SUPREME: Guillermo Martinez, operations manager, and Juan Jose Ley, salesman, displayed the new T’mates tomatoes from Nogales, Ariz.-based Del Campo Supreme Inc. T’mates are a cocktail-sized cluster tomato the company plans to offer year-round. The company decided to go with new packaging for the tomato, Martinez said, that moves away from plastic clamshells. T’mates are available for select customers now, and will expand distribution as supplies increase, he said.
FRUTI FRUIT: Emer Harkin and Cyrus Seper display the new Fruti Fruit, processed and manufactured by Boskovich Farms, Oxnard, Calif. The popsicle-like frozen fruit packs give parents a more healthful alternative to sugary snacks, with several flavors, including pineapple, mango and grapefruit and contain no additives or preservatives, Sommers says. They’re ready to launch on the West Coast, with a target suggested retail of $1.49 each. Sold in the freezer, they can be eaten frozen or packed in a lunch to be eaten chilled.
BOSKOVICH FARMS: Oxnard, Calif.-based Boskovich Farms is testing a 2-ounce washed and ready-to-use cilantro pack, said Stuart Burke, fresh-cut sales representative. The resealable pouch offers the same trimmed and washed cilantro as the company’s foodservice packs, Burke said, but scaled to meet a consumer’s needs. Each pack is roughly the same amount as a bunch of cilantro.
MELISSA’S: Robert Schueller, director of marketing for Los Angeles-based Melissa’s World Variety Produce, displayed two new items, Roasted Baby Dutch Potatoes and Organic Steamed Beets. The organic steamed beets should hit markets soon, said Robert Schueller, director of marketing for Los Angeles-based company.
CMI: Katharine Grove, left, and Steve Lutz of Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash., display new packaging for the company’s Sweet Gourmet Pear line, which includes the 2-pound pouch bags, and two-box shippers, both offering retailers a versatile merchandising option and high-graphic, eye-catching display. Each bag includes information on the pear variety inside, Hargrove says. The company also is bringing Hero snack-sized apple packs and shipper displays to the U.S. Hero aples are packed in 2-pound pouch bags featuring gala, red delicious, granny smith or fuji apples. CMI also has a new Farmstand Bin high-impact bulk fruit display it is offering complimentary to retailers this season. The display, with an awning and graphics representing a farmers market bin, ships with 10 cases of apples and sets up in about 15 minutes, Hargrove says.
SUN WORLD: Natalie Erlendson, program marketing manager for Sun World International LLC, displayed the company’s two new late season proprietary grapes, the Adora Seedless and AutumnCrisp. The new grapes are available September through October and allow the company to have a full line of red, black and green grapes along with the company’s Scarlotta red, through October, Erlendson said. Both grapes are offered in a clamshell or high-graphic handle bags and high clarity CPP bags.
MOUNTAINKING POTATOES: Mountainking Potatoes expects a record crop of gold potatoes from the San Luis Valley and Colorado Rocky Mountain regions this season, said Danielle Quinn, sales and marketing representative for the Houston-based company. Bagged yellow-flesh potatoes also are seeing unprecedented sales this season, up 36% since 2009, and are expected to increase as the company enters its highest demand months through the holidays. Quinn said. Moutainking’s studies have shown that nine out of 10 consumers prefer Butter Gold potatoes to conventional varieties.
ONEONTA STARR RANCH: Dan Wohlford, national marketing representative, and Jill Morrison of Wenatchee, Wash.-based Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, display the company’s new English and Spanish-language applesnaQ and pearsnaQ display-ready bins added to the company’s packing lineup this fall. Wohlford says each bin is designed to hold totes of apples or pears and allow retailers to move displays around the store.
RPE: Melissa Sylte, marketing manager for Russet Potato Exchange Inc., Bancroft, Wis., said the company has three new varieties in the Old Oak Farms brand. Honeysuckle Gold potatoes offer gold skin with red blushes, and grow with less water and fertilizer than traditional varieties; Cherry Creek Red has bright red skin and white flesh and has anti-greening properties that extend shelf life; and Willow Creek Gold is a slightly elongated but smaller gold potato, though it is larger than a fingerling.
See The Packer's video coverage from the show floor at http://thepacker.com/freshsummit