For more expo booth news, check out From the show floor: United Fresh 2012 booths, A-E and From the show floor: United Fresh 2012 booths, O-Z.
DALLAS — Editor Greg Johnson, Managing Editor Fred Wilkinson, National Editor Tom Karst and Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider collected these news items on the exposition floor at United Fresh 2012 on May 1-3.
Dan Baker, director of foodservice for Sidney, Ohio-based Freshway Foods, says the company’s new lineup of Culinary Garden salad mixes give restaurant operators a premium salad and coleslaw blend. The line was introduced in early April, and could expand to retail. It includes Asian Salad, Hearty Blend, Asian Apple Coleslaw, Tuscany Blend and Asian Coleslaw packed four 3-pound bags per case.
Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce Ltd. started a traceability program with Redwood City, Calif.-based YottaMark’s HarvestMark last fall, and it’s now getting feedback from the program, said executive vice president Amy Gates. She said the information should allow the company to better meet consumer needs. She said it’s set up in three markets, Dallas, Houston and St. Louis, but already, it’s led to the company doubling its friends on Facebook through stronger consumer interaction.
Vincent Choate, director of sales and marketing for Carpinteria, Calif.-based Hollandia Produce LLC, says the company is expanding distribution for its three-in-one salad blend, previously available only at specialty retailers. It’s a blend of lollo rossa, lollo bionda and red oak leaf lettuces grown together in one root ball, packed in the company’s signature Squircle container.
Adrian Abbott, vice president of operations for Leamington, Ontario-based JemD Farms, shows off piccolo baby snacking cucumbers. The 10-ounce clamshells are available at retail in the Northeast, Abbott says.
The touchscreen monitor and snap-in ink cartridge of the new Kwik Lok Autopilot 901C Inkjet Printer gives users an easier interface for bag closure printing. The system is capable of printing consecutive numbers, GTINs, 2D bar codes and soon, will be able to print Quick Read codes, says Bruce Cox, regional sales manager for the Yakima, Wash.-based company.
Lucky’s Real Tomatoes
Lucian La Barba (from left), president of Dallas-based wholesaler FreshPoint Inc.; Alan Marcelli, president and CEO of New York-based Lucky’s Real Tomatoes; and Lucky Lee, vice president of sales. FreshPoint recently began offering Lucky’s Tasti-Lee vine-ripened, field-grown tomatoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The new vertical asparagus bag from Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif. is a 1-pound breathable bag that holds full-sized spears and features 18-21 days shelf life, which is longer than asparagus that’s displayed in bulk or in bands at retail, says sales manager Cruz Carrera. He says the pack should retail for $2.49-2.99.
A new 1.5-pound pack design called Steakhouse Roasters features fingerling potatoes marketed by MoutainKing Potato, Houston. The pack features three varieties of fingerling potatoes, says Phil Baldwin, category development manager for the company. Consumer research showed a good number of consumers didn’t like the word “fingerling,” so the company marketed tied the fingerlings in with their Steakhouse Baker pack and called it a Steakhouse Roaster.
Mucci International Marketing Inc., Kingsville, Ontario, is a new United Fresh Produce Association member. Joe Spano, vice president of sales and marketing, said he was pleased with the traffic the greenhouse vegetable marketer received, especially with the expo following so soon after the Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and the Northeast Produce Council expo. “We thought everyone would be ‘showed out,’” Spano said.
Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms’ new Mighty Blues pack is a 9-ounce wash-and-go clamshell featuring large blueberries. It retails around two for $5 or $2.99 each, says Kyla Garnett, marketing coordinator. The company’s new organic berry packaging featuring Earthcycle palm fiber trays also garnered a United Fresh Best New Product award. Palm fiber packaging currently is available for raspberries and blackberries and should expand to strawberries and blueberries soon, Garnett says.
San Antonio-based NatureSweet Tomatoes has an advertising and point-of-purchase campaign running through the summer encouraging consumers to “Just Pick NatureSweet.” Television ads will run through October in the Dallas, Denver and Houston markets, says John Cameron, division manager. The ads encourage consumers to pick up a clamshell of NatureSweet tomatoes according to their best use, such as cherries for cooking, Cherubs for salads and Sunburst yellow tomatoes for snacking.
N2N Global, Longwood, Fla., has a new technology product for small businesses in the produce industry. Chairwoman Angela Nardone said the KiSS Small Business Suite offers an affordable software package for growing, packing and shipping operations that allows businesses to grow. Nardone said the product works to upgrade food safety and product efficiency. “This should give small businesses no excuse for not complying with food safety laws,” she said.