For related content, see: From the show floor: SEPC 2014 booths, No. 2.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Editor Greg Johnson and Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier gathered these business briefs from the expo floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure convention March 1.
DAVE’S SPECIALTY: Mike Bowe, vice president of Dave’s Specialty Imports Inc., Coral Springs, Fla., said the company now offers gooseberries from Colombia for about a month, and then another one-month supply in May. Dave’s also plans to have Chilean grapes in March, which helps compensate for a crazy berry season with the weather problems in the East and Midwest, Bowe said. Saleswoman Jennifer Perez also worked the booth.
FOWLER FARMS: Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y., is finding stronger sales in its Apple Teezers Li’l Reds line of smaller apples aimed at children, says Mark Sharp, director of business development. He says they’re also popular with retired consumers.
APIO: David Verdrager, east regional sales manager for Apio Inc., Guadalupe, Calif., said the company plans to introduce three fresh-cut products in April: Wild Greens and Quinoa salad kit, and two stir fry kits, Shanghai Blend and Kale and Red Chard. All three are in the Eat Smart line.
DEL MONTE FRESH: Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., is introducing single-serve watermelon and pineapple spears. Both come in plastic containers of 5 2.7-ounce bags. Del Monte is also expanding its guacamole line on the East Coast, said Randall Freeman (left), vice president of value added sales. John McCann, vice president of Eastern Region sales, also worked the Del Monte Fresh booth.
MASTRONARDI: Paul Mastronardi, CEO of Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario, showed the company’s new Eco Flavor bowls, which will be available nationwide April 1. He said the bowls use 20% less plastic than before and will be available for brands such as Zima, Angel Sweet, One Sweet and Tomato Medley.
OCEAN MIST: Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development for Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., shows the company’s heirloom variety artichoke. She says the variety is from a perennial plant dating back over 90 years, but Ocean Mist just began promoting it that way.
GIORGIO FRESH: Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager for Blandon, Pa.-based Giorgio Fresh, said the company is introducing two bite-sized mushroom products: Parmesan, artichoke and spinach; and cheese and imitation bacon bits. Both are in 8.5-ounce packages.
PURAVIDA: PuraVida Farms, Scottsdale, Ariz., has two new spring deals, Costa Rican mini watermelons and yellow honeydews, which should end in about six weeks, said CEO Wes Liefer (left). Michael Martori (right), vice president of East Coast sales, said the company ships from about 2,000 acres of watermelon in the eastern U.S.
SUPERFRESH: Howard Nager, vice president of marketing for Yakima, Wash.-based Domex Superfresh Growers, said the company offers stand-up bags this year for cherries and Autumn Glory apples. He said the bags are easier to merchandise for retailers. He expects Superfresh to ship about 50,000 boxes of Autumn Glory ending in April or May.
WHOLESUM: Wholesum Family Farms, Nogales, Ariz., has new packaging for organic vegetables this year, including new lines of mini peppers and mini cucumbers. Sales manager Steve LeFevre says packaging helps retailers get more accurate rings with organic product.
MANN: Mann Packing Co. Inc., debuted a 17-ounce Veggies and Hummus tray. Kim St. George, director of marketing and innovation, said hummus is growing in popularity.