Southern Exposure: From the expo floor, Part 2

03/07/2012 01:06:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Ocean Mist

Consumers looking for Ocean Mist artichokes at retail will have the ability to do so from their mobile devices.

Starting in mid-March, a new button will lead consumers to a site where they can identify retailers near them featuring Ocean Mist artichokes on sale at any given time.

The mobile site features the store, size and price, said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development.

Pandol Bros.

Delano, Calif.-based Pandol Bros. is ramping up production of its mid-season Sweet Celebration variety.

John Pandol, director of special projects, said the variety should start shipping around Labor Day.

“In a sea of new varieties, we really think we’ve found something that has some good characteristics,” Pandol said.

Pandol said the company plans to focus on production of the Sweet Celebration red grape for the 2013-16 seasons.

Pear Bureau Northwest

Pamela RiemenschneiderJames Huges, left, director of merchandising for the Military Produce Group, talks to Ray Crittenden, Mid-Atlantic regional marketing manager for the Pear Bureau Northwest.With a bumper crop available this season, the Pear Bureau Northwest is working with retailers on a two-size promotional strategy, said Walter Johanson, Southern regional marketing manager for the Milwaukie, Ore.-based organization.

Johnson said the strategy works well with bagged, tote and bulk fruit and prices are favorable for retail promotions.

Well-Pict

Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Berries should make the transition to California production before the Easter pull.

“It’s a challenge to make the transition seamless but we do want to get them out there,” said Dan Crowley, sales manager. “We’ll be out of Florida for Easter.”

Crowley said Well-Pict’s Florida production should taper down in mid- to late March.

Westlake Produce

A cold snap in competing regions could help the Florida blueberry harvest this season, said Brandon Mullis of Westlake Produce, Winter Haven, Fla.

The harvest should start around March 15 with peak volume around April 1, Mullis said.

A cold snap affected early berries in Georgia. That should allow the Florida berry deal some room to breathe, he said.

Wilcox Fresh

Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh’s Potato Jazz line continues to develop. Jim Richter, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the company started shipping size C potatoes instead of size B for its Baby Medley Potato Tray. Switching the size gives consumers the perception of a fuller tray, Richter said.



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