For related content, see: From the show floor: SEPC 2014 booths No. 1.
Greg JohnsonL&M Cos.ORLANDO, Fla. - Editor Greg Johnson and Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier compiled these news items on the expo show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure show March 1.
L&M: Adam Lytch, operations manager for L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C., says the company is expanding its hard squash and greens programs this year because of stronger demand.
DNE: Celebrating its older groves, DNE World Fruit Sales is marketing some of this season’s grapefruit in a new bag. The Fort Pierce, Fla.-based sales arm of the Bernard Egan & Co., merchandises the fruit as heirloom sweet ruby red grapefruit under its Indian River Pride label, said Mark Hanks, DNE’s vice president of North American sales and marketing. Text on the 5-pound bags highlight the 30-year-old trees and Hanks said the groves this season are producing higher than normal brix levels.
Doug OhlemeierWm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLCHEARNE PRODUCE: Jeff Williams (from left), president of Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC, Michael Ryshouwer, field marketing manager for Bejo Seeds Inc., Oceano, Calif., and Tony Piedimonte, Hearne’s vice president, display SweetHeart Lettage Hearne is introducing. The trademarked tender leaf cabbage is a cross between lettuce and cabbage and offers sweeter and softer leaves with high nutritional values, Williams says. The Wimauma, Fla.-based cabbage grower-shipper is marketing the product in 10-count, 1.5- 2-pound tray packs through a partnership with Bejo.
PIONEER: Pioneer Growers Co-op, Belle Glade, Fla., is introducing grab-and-go-designed bags that hold 12 corn cobbettes per bag. The 30-ounce Green Giant-branded resealable bags come 6 per carton, said Jon Browder, sales manager. Pioneer is also introducing watercress. Pioneer introduced the 5-ounce watercress clamshells in mid-February and the corn cobbettes during the winter.
Doug OhlemeierSouthern SpecialtiesSOUTHERN SPECIALTIES: Southern Specialties Inc. is rolling out trimmed asparagus tenders in microwaveable steam bags. The asparagus is packed in 10-ounce gusseted bags, says Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based specialty produce grower-shipper and importer.
SUPREME CUTS: Supreme Cuts LLC is introducing a line of diced vegetables. Merle Axelrod, president of the Mawah, N.J.-based fresh-cut processor, said the carrots, celery, onions, red onions, green pepper and red pepper come in 8-ounce clamshells. Axelrod says customers who wanted to sell more with the same branded fresh-cut products fueled the introduction. Supreme Cuts also re-introduced organic trimmed green beans. Axelrod said the company is now offering a more consistent availability of the beans that come in 10-ounce clamshells.
Doug OhlemeierEast Coast FreshEAST COAST FRESH: Tom Brown (left), vice president of retail sales for East Coast Fresh, the fresh-cut division of Savage, Md.-based Coastal Sunbelt Co. Inc., and Ross Foca, president, in front of the company’s new line of organic fresh-cut products. Though East Coast Fresh in the past sold organics, product was limited until it expanded its offerings last fall, Foca said. Foca says demand is strong for the line which features 48 stock-keeping units and includes salsas, fresh-cut fruit and diced vegetables. Additionally, the fresh-cut processor is experiencing strong demand for a line of seven deli/wet salad kits it introduced last fall, he said.
PHILLIPS MUSHROOM FARMS: Kevin Donovan, sales manager of Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa., displayed a 24-ounce family pack of baby bella mushrooms. The specialty mushroom grower-shipper introduced the tray wrap product in early February and has seen good customer response, Donovan said.
Doug OhelemeierPero Family FarmsPERO FAMILY FARMS: Pero Family Farms is introducing bags of sweet snipped green beans and sliced bell peppers. Nick Bergstrom, chief sales officer, says the Delray Beach, Fla.-based grower-shipper is offering the washed and ready-to-eat mix of beans and red and yellow bell peppers in 10-ounce microwaveable bags and in 2-count 5-pound foodservice bags. By promoting the colorful vegetables, the bags play on the More Matters initiative and include recipe and nutrition information, Bergstrom says. Pero released the product last fall but has experienced increasing sales, he says.