When faced with an unusually large sweet potato crop two years ago, Burch Farms diverted much of the off-grade tubers into making vodka.
Bottled under the Covington Gourmet Vodka label, the beverage is gluten-free and kosher, owner Jimmy Burch Sr. said.
Burch has partnered on the venture with fellow grower Bobby Ham, and together they farm about 15,000 acres of sweet potatoes. They also have joined with business development specialist John Kimber and distillation expert Jim Eason to form Covington Spirits.
The name reflects the sweet potato variety that goes into it, Burch said.
The vodka took a gold medal at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The company has purchased a still and plans to continue making the distilled spirit.
Roman Forowycz, chief marketing officer for Elk Grove, Ill.-based Clear Lam Packaging Inc., introduced the company’s Snap Apart Multipack and the widespread commercial launch of its PMA Impact Award-winning Peel and ReSeal Lidding Film.
Massillon, Ohio-based Corr-Choice’s new MultiCorr Triple Wall Bulk Packaging is designed to hold heavy produce, such as watermelons.
The company also has new 100% recyclable GreenGuard, a patented replacement for paraffin wax. It is water-repellant and repulpable.
At the Calavo booth, Ken Catchot, chief financial officer for Renaissance Food Group LLC, Rancho Cordova, Calif., — a division of Calavo — said the company displayed three new varieties of hummus trays.
The company also rolled out new bistro snacks, which feature half a sandwich paired with a salad or fruit. The company is focusing on big-sized snacks, Catchot said.
Yuma, Ariz.-based Datepac launched an extension to its Snack Pack line with Coconut Date Clusters and Almond Date Clusters, billed as “bite-sized cousins to Natural Delights” date roll products.
These are the first two cluster offerings from the company and are designed as adult snacks or lunchbox fare for children.
Datepac plans to launch pistachio, chili-lime and organic date roll clusters in the near future, said Edward O’Malley, president and chief executive officer.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, part of Oviedo, Fla.-based A. Duda & Sons Inc., is rolling out a 1-pound celery pack that’s “more commodity-oriented than value-added,” said Mark Bassetti, senior vice president.