NEW YORK — From value-added items such as stuffed mushrooms and soup kits, to new packaging for lemons and guacamole kits, exhibitors at the New York Produce Show and Conference focused on convenience and innovation Nov. 8 at the Hilton New York.
Managing Editor Fred Wilkinson and Sections Editor Dan Galbraith gathered the following news items on the expo floor.
Albert’s Organics, Bridgeport, N.J., has begun direct imports of colored bell peppers.
Red, yellow and orange peppers grown in Israeli greenhouses will be available November through August, said Sue Tamm, director of new business development.
Albert’s will supply the peppers nationwide individually and will offer color combinations in two- or three-packs, she said.
Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash., showed off new shipping and display boxes for its Grapples, as well as four-pack tube bags it launched last year.
“Maybe the best thing about them is that some retailers tell us they can offer them for $1 less than they could Grapples in other (clamshell) packaging,” said Bob Mast, vice president of marketing.
New Grapple boxes feature a monkey character on a high-graphic display format.
Also new for CMI at the show: a 2-pound pear bag featuring smaller-sized pears called the Petite Park Place Pears line; and a self-contained, two-box Orchard Fresh shipper.
Dulcich & Sons
Jakov P. Dulcich & Sons, Delano, Calif., is taking its seasonal marketing and packaging approach on grapes to a new level this Christmas.
Following up on the successful Harvest Hobgoblin retail promotion before Halloween, Nick Dulcich, co-owner and sales manager, said he is excited about the Pretty Lady grapes Christmas season launch of high-graphic, holiday-themed packs, bins, danglers and posters.
Earth Source Trading
Ephrata, Pa.-based Earth Source Trading Inc. is testing cape gooseberries in its product lineup.
Sourced from Colombia and available year-round, the berries will be sold at retail in 5-ounce plastic containers with lids, said Christine Runkle, saleswoman.
Cape gooseberries are high in vitamins A and C as well as B complexes, she said, and have a sweet-tart taste with notes of citrus.
Fresh Cut Produce
Many times, fresh produce companies expand foodservice business to the retail scene, but Newark, N.J.-based Fresh Cut Produce is finding success using the opposite strategy, said vice president Harold Miller.
The company did well with retail first and is beginning to branch out into foodservice, offering kosher packs of such offerings as celery roots, leeks, stir-fry medleys, butternut squash, yams, bok choy and a capri blend.
“Our turnaround time for an order is like two hours on our product, and we can cut to order,” Miller said.
High-end, microwaveable, value-added green bean side kits from Perrysburg, Ohio-based Greenline Foods Inc. should start shipping in January, said Rob Haley, Eastern regional sales manager.
The kits, with suggested retail price of $3.99-4.99, include the company’s premium, fresh-cut green beans paired with flavorings and either nuts or cheese.
The new sides are Classic Almondine, Asian Tamari and Garlic Parmesan.
“We want to become the No. 1 supplier of warm, fresh side dishes, and this plays into that goal,” said Haley, who said the company is also coming out with snow peas, snap peas and julienne carrots.
Interrupcion Fair Trade
New York-based Interrupcion Fair Trade has a new logo for its packaging.
The new design features the catch phrase Taste Me Do Good, said Michela Calabrese, stakeholder director.
The new wording aims to let consumers know that the products they are purchasing help fund education, health care and other social welfare projects in production areas in Latin America, she said.
Interrupcion imports conventional and organic items, including blueberries, apples and bananas.
Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce/Sunset launched three products at the expo, including a Fresh Tomato Soup Kit designed to include everything a consumer needs to create tomato soup for four in 20 minutes.
“These will start shipping next week and they include 2 pounds of tomatoes, spices and croutons specially formulated to not get soggy,” said Paul Mastronardi, president.
The company also introduced its Delano tomato, billed as a full-flavored tomato-on-the-vine ideal for use in salads, sandwiches and sauces.
The 1.1-pound trays of Delano tomatoes began shipping in early November, Mastronardi said.
They are packed in flow-wrapped, compostable trays and feature year-round availability.
Also new at the show: Mastronardi’s non-GMO project One Sweet Pepper packs, which contain several multi-colored peppers featuring packaging with quick-response codes that provide consumers with detailed information on the specific peppers in the package.
Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce now has 1-kilogram club packs of green asparagus.
Packed in bags made from breathable film, the large-size asparagus stalks are protected from handling in the display aisle, said David Austin, director of marketing.
Mission has been selling the packs at Wegman’s stores for about two months now, Austin said, and they retail for $5.99-6.99.
Onofrio’s Fresh Cut
A late October launch of Harvest Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms, an extension of the company’s top-selling line, emerged as the big topic of discussion at the show booth of New Haven, Conn.-based Onofrio’s Fresh Cut.
“What’s unique is that butternut squash is the main ingredient in the stuffing, and it also includes cranberries and brown sugar,” said Jody Russo, president of Wood River Services Inc., East Greenwich, R.I., which handles marketing for Onofrio’s Fresh Cut.
“It almost seems like something you’d traditionally stuff a turkey with.”
The mushrooms are in test-marketing now exclusively at Boston-area retail chain Market Basket, “and they think it’s going to be a No. 1 seller” for this holiday season, Russo said.
Procacci Bros., Philadelphia, introduced a tray-packed guacamole kit.
The kit includes all the components to make guacamole: a lime, some garlic, a tomato, a jalapeño and two avocados, said Frank Schafhauser, salesman.
Procacci also is entering the floral market with a full line of floral products for retail, said Jim Gandolfo, floral specialist.
Pure Hot House Foods
Pure Hot House Foods Inc., Leamington, Ontario, displayed its new triple-washed kabob packs that use greenhouse peppers, greenhouse grape tomatoes and mushrooms with skewers included.
The company also displayed its just-trademarked Juno Bites snacking tomatoes that feature a high-brix profile of 9 and are available through the winter, said Ken Paglione, salesman.
Renaissance Food Group
Renaissance Food Group LLC in late October launched party trays and salad toppers, said Phil Fendyan, vice president of sales and marketing for the Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based company.
The new Salad Essentials toppers are Southwest, Mediterranean, Apple Crunch and Vegetable Delight.
Rockhedge Herb Farms
Rockhedge Herb Farms, Pleasant Valley, N.Y., now offers its complete lineup of fresh herbs in three-quarter-ounce plastic cups with lids.
The cups allow retailers more efficient use of shelf space and better product display, said John Alva, global supply chain manager.
Greenhouse tomato grower Savoura, Portneuf, Quebec, began replicating its Canadian operation in the Queretaro region of Mexico in August, with 5 acres of production, along with a new distribution center in McAllen, Texas, said Robert Boudreau, director of business development for North America.
Sun Glo of Idaho Inc., Sugar City, Idaho, is including a microwave steamer bag with its bagged russet potatoes.
A label on the bulk bag includes a detachable Kwik-Lok tag for closure as well as a QR code that provides recipe ideas, said Mary Sedberry, saleswoman.
Sunkist Growers, Sherman Oaks, Calif., showed off new lemon packaging at the expo.
The citrus marketer is offering 1-pound stand-up handle bags filled with meyer lemons, said Leland Wong, director of marketing.
Available year-round, meyer lemons are sweeter than traditional lemons, Wong said.
Sunkist also has new options in its navel orange gift box offerings.
New 10-pound boxes have graphics themed for events — namely tail-gating, auto racing and soccer, Wong said.
The boxes retail for about the same price as a 5-pound clementine box, he said.
Supreme Cuts LLC, Mahwah, N.J., is offering a new line of fresh-cut vegetables for retail and foodservice.
Chunks of butternut squash, rutabaga and sweet potato are available in 20-ounce plastic packs with lids for retail, said Merle Axelrod, president.
Also available is an autumn medley of the fresh-cut vegetables in a 20-ounce pack, Axelrod said.
The packs ship to retailers six to a box, she said, and are sold to foodservice customers packed in two 5-pound plastic bags, she said.
Tanimura & Antle
Tanimura & Antle Inc. has a new player in its lineup of Artisan lettuces.
The Salinas, Calif.-based grower-shipper-marketer is adding boston lettuce to its Artisan product line, said Brian Antle, harvest manager.
The heads of boston lettuce are field-packed in clamshell containers, Antle said, and will be distributed nationwide at retail.
The packs offer benefits to retailers and consumers, he said.
Because the product stays fresher, fewer of the outer leaves have to be cut away, which means less shrink for grocers and more product for the consumer to enjoy, Antle said.
To-Jo Mushrooms Inc. has a new offering for consumers in a hurry to enjoy their mushrooms.
The Avondale, Pa.-based marketer is rolling out 7-ounce microwaveable packs labelled Traditional Mushroom Saute, said Paul Frederic, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The packs feature sliced white button mushrooms with a seasoned pad of butter that are ready to eat in four minutes, he said.
The packs retail for about $2.50 each, he said.
World Variety Produce
Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc. — marketer of Melissa’s brand products — is retailing a utensil to help consumers enjoy their Sweet Young Coconuts.
Priced around $3, the Sweet Young Coconut Punch tool quickly and easily makes a whole in the husk so consumers can enjoy the water inside, said Bill Schneider, director of marketing.
Also new under the Melissa’s brand is the Super Hot Chile Mix, which includes a habanero, a yellow seven pot, a moruga scorpion pepper and a black chocolate pepper, Schneider said.
The Melissa’s brand now includes 16-ounce tubs of tomatillo salsa, he said. A merchandising box for shallots also was new.