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.
NATURIPE FARMS: Kyla Garnett, marketing manager, says Naturipe is planning Fourth of July labeling as part of its joint promotion with the California Avocado Commission. Recipes feature avocados combined with blueberries or strawberries. From now through September, Naturipe offers a 55-cent instantly redeemable coupon for Reddi-Wip, marking the third year of the joint promotion.
NATURESWEET TOMATOES: J. Michael Joergensen, marketing director, said San Antonio-based NatureSweet is focused on two Arizona greenhouse facilities acquired from bankrupt EuroFresh Farms in a deal finalized in April. “It’s a very different environment for us. We grow in plastic greenhouses; everything there is climate controlled," he said. "We’re continuing to grow all the products they’ve been growing in Willcox and Snowflake, Ariz. They’re our sixth and seventh facilities and greatly increase our overall capacity.”
READY PAC FOODS: Tristan Simpson, director of marketing and corporate communication at Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac, shows two of the four organic Bistro salad bowls that started shipping in late April — Southwest style, left, and chicken Caesar. Ready Pac’s sweet tropical, caramel apple and Waldorf fruit salads were finalists for best new fruit product at United Fresh 2013.
NATURESEAL: Natureseal Inc., Westport, Conn., introduced a formulation designed for avocado in sushi. The chemistry takes into account other ingredients in a California roll that might interact with the anti-browning agent, said Karen Murphy, director of marketing.
RENAISSANCE FOOD GROUP: Phil Fendyan, vice president of sales and marketing, showed cardboard trays that Renaissance Food Group is introducing to replace foam in its Chef Essentials line of vegetables, for sustainability reasons. The company is also launching tamper-proof, rounded containers for fresh-cut fruit.
STELLAR DISTRIBUTING: Kurt Cappelluti of Stellar Distributing said tiger fig production will rise from 10,000 2-pound trays last year to about 100,000 trays when its second year of production starts Aug. 1 on 300 acres in Madera, Calif. Harvesting of fig varieties in Brawley, Calif., started May 5.
FRESHWAY FOODS: Freshway Foods, Sidney, Ohio, introduced a line of "superfood" salads for the foodservice industry. Janet Eastman, director of marketing, said all salad ingredients come in a box and consumers simply toss and dress them. Flavors include an Asian kale and a roasted cherry Brussels sprouts slaw.
PISTACHIO THUMB: Travis Lemaster, creator of Pistachio Thumb, came up with the idea of the aid to help pistachio aficionados protect their digits from wear and tear from cracking nuts. Lemaster is working with Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist on branded Pistachio Thumbs with several promotions coming this summer.
YUCATAN FOODS: Los Angeles-based Yucatan Foods showed off 2-ounce, 100-calorie individual Cabo Fresh guacamole servings that come in 4 packs, chief executive officer Ardy Haerizadeh said. The processor also displayed new 6-ounce containers in the same flavors as the current 12-ounce containers.
NNZ: Steve Greenfield, director of marketing for Lawrenceville, Ga.-based NNZ Inc., says the company is offering a “fast start” option for customers interested in trialing the company’s new Snack Fresh single serving containers. NNZ will include everything needed to set up for 10,000 units for $6,000. Snack Fresh containers can be used for a variety of produce items like grape tomatoes, blueberries, blackberries and grapes.
RUBY FRESH: In response to customer demand for a smaller option for its Ruby Fresh Salad Jewels, Firebaugh, Calif.-based Ruby Fresh offers a new 3.5-ounce option, said salesman Dave Anthony. The smaller option, half the size of the company’s other packs, is more appropriate for a single meal or small family side dish salad, he said.
ROYAL FLAVOR: Jorge Vega, general manager for Royal Flavor Greenhouse, San Diego, says the company plans to start shipping new heirloom tomato variety packs in June. Vega, marketing director, says the company plans to offer a year-round program.
PURE HOT HOUSE: Ken Paglione and Jamie Moracci of Leamington, Ontario-based Pure Hot House Foods showed off the company’s new Juno Bites Trio pack of tri-color grape tomatoes and a new refrigerated Caprese Salad Kit, which includes fresh mozzarella and a vinaigrette in the package. Pure Hot House also has a new Marzanito mini sweet tomato, grown with gourmet cooks in mind, Moracci said. The company also launched a new cocktail cucumber, which is smaller than its mini seedless cucumber variety, and is a 1-2 bite option for snacking and children’s lunches.
HOLLANDIA: Consumers and retailers asked for an organic option for Hollandia Produce LLC’s line of live butter lettuce and watercress, and the Carpinteria, Calif.-based company answered with the Grower Pete’s brand, says Vincent Choate, director of sales and marketing. The company has been test marketing the product and is now ramping up production, Choate says.
ZANINOVICH & SONS: Chance Kirk, director of retail and foodservice sales for Richgrove, Calif.-based Vincent B. Zaninicich & Sons, introduced attendees to its proprietary green Sweet Sunshine grape which comes in high-graphic stand-up handled pouches. The company also has designed a Sweet Sunshine carton along with retail displays, Kirk said.
WELL-PICT: More of the company’s proprietary raspberries are on tap from Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Inc., says Julie Lucido, representing the company along with salesman Jim Grabowski. Well-Pict added more acreage of the sweet-tart berry and expects to have it available through October or November, thanks to the additional acreage.
BUDDY FRUITS: Coral Gables, Fla.-based Buddy Fruits has two Apple Chips varieties, introduced in the fall, said Eliu Vinas, director of new business development. Flavors include granny smith and fuji and contain just that: 100% apple and no other ingredients, Vinas said. They’re offered in a .75-ounce single-serving pouch and 2-ounce family size, said Catherine Vieira, vice president of sales.