SAN DIEGO — Editor Greg Johnson, Managing Editor Fred Wilkinson, National Editor Tom Karst, Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider, and Staff Writers Mike Hornick and Vicky Boyd collected these news items on the exposition floor at United Fresh 2013.
CHELAN FRESH: “Super large” Washington cherries will be marketed in a one-pound clamshell by Chelan Fresh Marketing. Chelan, Wash., says Mac Riggan, director of marketing. Though many large cherries are sent to export markets, Riggan says he is convinced that cherries 9.5-row and larger will increasingly find a premium niche in the domestic market. Chelan’s new clamshell pack highlights the large cherries, including a sticker touting “super large” to consumers. Jim Busche, director of category management, says the company also is introducing a pouch bag for this season’s cherry crop.
CHIQUITA/FRESH EXPRESS: Cassie Callon, senior marketing specialist for Chiquita Brands International, Charlotte, N.C., showed attendees the company’s new Fresh Express Caesar salad kit, from Chiquita’s Fresh Express salad division. The dressing and croutons in the 7.6-ounce kit have been reformulated, Callon said. In April, Fresh Express introduced a shredded lettuce package created from green leaf lettuce. The pack offers texture and nutrition upgrades compared with an iceberg shred, Callon said.
DEL MONTE FRESH: Del Monte Fresh plans to introduce a five-pack clamshell of individually packaged pineapple spears by September, says Melissa Athanasopulos, director of key fresh-cut account sales. The retail price point for the re-sealable five-pack is projected at about $4.99, she says.
CRUNCH PAK: A new blue raspberry flavor for Crunch Pak’s Flavorz sliced apples will be marketed with artwork depicting characters from Disney’s Monsters Inc. movie, said Krista Jones, marketing and product development for Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash.
SUNSET/MASTRONARDI PRODUCE: Mastronardi Produce’s Sunset brand shows off its new logo, new mixed variety packaging and increasing volume of a high flavor tomato-on-the-vine variety, says Peppe Bonfiglio, key account manager the Kingsville, Ontario, greenhouse company. The new tagline, “Inspired by flavor,” reflects the conviction that flavor results in repeat sales. Mastronardi has introduced a Duo, Trio and Quattro packs of tomato varieties this spring, he says. The new item, launched this spring, allows retailers to test consumer comments about various new tomato varieties. The Quattro pack is 18 ounces, the Trio pack is 12 ounces and Duos have a capacity of a dry pint, according to Bonfiglio.
REDLINE SOLUTIONS: Todd Baggett, chief executive officer of Redline Solutions Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., said the company’s recently released PTI Lite 2 product can be installed on one personal computer and have up to ten other computers networked into that machine sharing one single database. “For a very low cost per user, you can become compliant,” he said.
REICHEL FOODS: Nicole Ly, customer operations manager for Reichel Foods Inc., Rochester, Minn., displays the company’s fresh cut products that are being readied for introduction by fall. The new 2.75-ounce products will include apples with peanut butter and chocolate chips, celery with peanut and raisins and other new packs, Ly says.
AG-PAK: Ag-Pak featured new cup-filling packing equipment on the expo floor. Andy Currie, salesman with Ag-Pak, Gasport, N.Y., said the machinery is capable of producing about 90 cups per minute. “We think this a trend where things are going to a real consumable like this,” he said.
CHURCH BROS.: Ernst Van Eeghen, director of marketing and product development for Salinas, Calif.-based Church Bros. LLC, shows a packaging option for True Leaf Farms-labeled heirloom spinach blend introduced around May 1. It’s a 2-pound clamshell for retail and foodservice. By mid-May, wild arugula was available too. The clamshells consist of two 1-pound bags and were previously available for other items. They’re palletized without additional containers.
COLORFUL HARVEST: Doug McFarland, director of marketing, said Colorful Harvest is phasing in new labels for berry clamshells. Changes include more space for the company name plus quick-response and universal product codes on top. Comparable changes are being made to bags of carrots and mini carrots. Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner, said the brand’s blueberry volume — mostly out of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas — is up several million pounds over last year.
FIVE STAR GOURMET FOODS: Steve Fleckenstein, vice president of sales for Five Star Gourmet Foods, Ontario, Calif., shows Caprese salad, introduced in mid-April at Costco in packs of two. Caprese salads include yellow and red vine-ripened tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.
LINKFRESH: Carl Iversen, vice president of product development, and Ron Myers, executive vice president, marked the company’s first appearance at United Fresh. LinkFresh offers a new release on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform, and in the fourth quarter plans to introduce a Dynamics AX product for larger organizations, Myers said. “We’ve managed to get ourselves a good footprint in the U.S. in the past 18 months, taking on businesses like the Giumarra group and Gourmet Trading,” Iversen said.
MELISSA’S PRODUCE: Bill Schneider, director of marketing at Los Angeles-based Melissa’s Produce, shows roasted baby Dutch potatoes, right, which started shipping in April. At left, the Veggie Sweets mini peppers tote bag has new graphics. Chilies and some other items have become available in perforated clamshells. Melissa’s recently introduced several products, including spicy edamame and shirataki noodles, the week of May 13.