TAMPA, Fla. — Green Giant Fresh is entering the sweet corn market this spring with a partnership with Belle Glade-based Pioneer Growers Co-op.
The two companies publicized the deal during the March 3 expo at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure 2012.
Pioneer plans to begin shipments in early April, ahead of the normal mid-April south Florida spring corn volume, said J.D. Poole, Pioneer’s vice president and sales manager.
Pioneer ships corn from Florida and Georgia mid-September through late July. During the late summer, Pioneer plans to supply corn from Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, and through western New York grower partnerships, Poole said.
Jamie Strachan, Green Giant Fresh’s president, said corn remains a legacy product for the Green Giant processed brand.
He said Pioneer maintains quality control through proprietary varieties and tray packing capabilities.
“Pioneer is a direct-from-the farm supplier which matches our production vision,” Strachan said. “Their traypacks provide a nice platform for the brand and Box Tops (for Education program).
“We think there’s a significant growth opportunity for retailers with that particular combination.”
Green Giant Fresh plans to market the yellow, white and bicolor corn in 3-, 4- and 8-count ear traypacks as well as 4-count microwavable packs.
Poole said the Green Giant brand may include additional items.
In addition to corn, Pioneer grows and ships green beans, cabbage, radishes and celery.
“They have a very recognizable brand in the industry, and one the consumer places a high level of trust in,” Poole said. “This national brand should help us get some further market penetration.”