Retail United Fresh 2014 expo notes 1 By The Packer Staff June 13, 2014 | 11:42 am EDT Comments WHOLESALE PRODUCE SUPPLY: Reed Sibet, sales and marketing director for Minneapolis-based Wholesale Produce Supply, says the 16-ounce cardboard tray packs of Tasti-Lee tomatoes have proven popular with retailers. The company recently made the non-GMO tomatoes available to wholesale customers. Sibet says an increasing number of customers are specifically seeking non-GMO produce. By Coral Beach Photo By Coral Beach NATURE FRESH FARMS: Harry Stigter (right), a tomato grower for Nature Fresh Farms, explains how the company’s high-tech greenhouse works with the help of a portable mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse includes live bees and other friendly bugs that pollinate and protect the greenhouse produce. By Coral Beach Photo By Coral Beach SAN MIGUEL PRODUCE: Merchandising manager Rory Richmond and vice president Jan Berk say San Miguel Produce, Oxnard, Calif., has introduced 16-ounce bags of organic greens that include classic and rainbow kale. The company also has organic greens in foodservice pack sizes available nationwide. By Coral Beach Photo By Coral Beach CASTELLINI: A new series of fresh-cut snack packs under the Castellini Group of Cos.’ Club Chef brand is now available and includes six varieties in packages that average 5.5 ounces each. Don Hedrick, sales and marketing director for Club Chef, says combinations include sliced apples, almonds, broccoli, raisins, celery sticks and other fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Dips included in the healthy snack packs range from caramel to ranch dressing. Hedrick says the snack packs are ideal for kids’ soccer team treats, lunch boxes and any time a nutritious snack is needed in a portable package. By Coral Beach Photo By Coral Beach WORLD VARIETY PRODUCE: Robert Schueller, director of public relations for the Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc., which markets under the Melissa’s brand, says the company introduced several products at United Fresh, two which are bite-sized brussels sprouts packs and Belgian style leeks, which have a more edible portion (shown). Schueller says the company also debuted organic baby beets and kale sprouts, which are a cross between kale and brussels sprouts. By Greg Johnson Photo By Greg Johnson WOOT FROOT: Fresno, Calif.-based Fresh Fruit Cuts associate Brittnie Higuera (left) and Kim Gaarde, president, display fresh-cut peaches, nectarines and a new pear offering from the company’s Woot Froot fresh-cut line. Fresh-cut pears should start hitting the market in July, Gaarde says, and are available in 20-ounce trays, 14-ounce bags and 3-ounce single-servings, with a suggested retail price of $1.29-1.99 for the single serving. Each product has a 21-day shelf life. By Pamela Riemenschneider Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider SBROCCO INTERNATIONAL: Alex Salaman (left), and Christina Regan of Sbrocco International Inc., Mountain Laurel, N.J., display the company’s apples and grapes, which bear the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Quality Monitored seal. Sbrocco joined the program this winter. By Pamela Riemenschneider Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider STEMILT GROWERS: After a successful rollout last season, Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, Wash., plans to start shipping premium late-season cherries again this year. Brianna Shales, communications manager, says the Kyle’s Pick late-season packs should start shipping around July 10, and the Closer to the Moon late-season cherries are expected by mid-August. The packs are a mix of Stemilt’s premium varieties of cherries. By Pamela Riemenschneider Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider PURE HOT HOUSE: Leamington, Ontario-based Pure Hot House Foods has a new snacking lineup of bite-size tomatoes. The company offers six stock-keeping units featuring seven varieties that are portable. Each pack contains a dry pint or 10 ounces of tomatoes, says Jamie Moracci (left). The snack options include Sangria Medley, a blend of seven varieties of bite size tomatoes; Oriana orange tomatoes; Juno Bites snacking grape tomatoes; Bumbles yellow grape tomatoes; Azuca; super sweet cherry tomatoes and a combo pack of the three varieties. They’re offered in a small pack, which is easy to wash and eat, Sarah Pau says. By Pamela Riemenschneider Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider NATURESWEET: Not quite a club pack, but more than a traditional dry pint, has proved to be a sweet spot with consumers, says Mike Joergensen, marketing director for NatureSweet Tomatoes. The company’s latest pack, a 24-ounce, was originally intended to be a quick in-and-out special for retailers, but many are keeping it in stock because it offers a desirable size in between what’s currently available. “We’ve seen very little — if any — cannibalization of our other sizes in favor of these,” he says. Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider PARAMOUNT CITRUS: Los Angeles-based Paramount Citrus is wrapping up a successful first season under the Halos brand, and chief executive officer David Krause says the company plans big investments in citrus in the next season. The company plans another $20 million ad campaign next season for Wonderful Halos. “This season we went from zero to 61% consumer brand recognition,” he says. The company’s Texas grapefruit program, the Sweet Scarlett, also is poised for a national rollout after a trial first season of promotions in the Midwest, Krause says. Paramount Citrus plans to leverage its resources to put forward a strong promotion for the grapefruit, he says. By Pamela Riemenschneider Photo By Pamela Riemenschneider HBF INTERNATIONAL: HBF International will have a new consumer website by July 1, says Lori Hickey (right), marketing manager with the McMinnville, Ore.-based company. Consumers will be directed to the website through QR codes on product packaging, she says. Jessica Menke (left), saleswoman with HBF International, worked HBF’s booth with Mark Hurst, managing director, and Hickey. By Tom Karst Photo By Tom Karst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 The Packer’s Greg Johnson, Tom Karst, Pamela Riemenschneider and Coral Beach gathered these news items from the trade show at United Fresh 2014 trade show, June 10-13, in Chicago. For related content, see United Fresh 2014 expo notes 2, United Fresh 2014 expo notes 3 and United Fresh 2014 expo notes 4.