(UPDATED COVERAGE 5:37 p.m.) A record 40 finalists are in the running for the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2014 New Product Awards.
The finalists in five categories will be displayed at the association’s show in June 10-13 in Chicago. Show attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the products, with winners set to be announced at the United Fresh Membership booth on June 12, according to a news release.
Product innovation is an essential element for the success of the fresh and fresh-cut produce industries, United Fresh president Tom Stenzel said in the release.
“Our member companies bring foresight about market trends and emerging technologies, and then apply creative ideas to capitalize on those trends, which contributes to the growth and profitability of our entire industry,” Stenzel said in the release.
Categories are fruit products, vegetable products, packaging, processing/packaging equipment and food safety products.
The 2014 New Product Award finalists companies and their nominated products in the fruit and vegetable categories are:
Best new fruit product
- Crunch Pak — Marvel Apple Snacker with superheroes on packs of fresh sliced apples and other ingredients including grapes, cheese and pretzels.
- Fresh Fruit Cuts — Woot Froot brand fresh-cut peaches and nectarines.
- Naturipe Farms —Fresh Cranberry Sauce Kit: microwavable kit.
- Sbrocco International Inc. — USDA Quality Monitored GOOD 4 U FRESH FRUIT: Fresh Table Grapes & Apples in high-graphic pouch bags with USDA Quality Monitored Seal.
Best new vegetable product
- Black Gold Farms — Roasties: clamshell with fresh, whole baby red potatoes and McCormick Produce Partners seasonings.
- Fresherized Foods — Wholly Guacamole Layered Bean Dips: 10 oz. dips can be served chilled or warmed.
- Good Foods Group — Tableside Chunky Guacamole 4pk: single-serve portions with garlic, onions and tomatoes.
- Love Beets — Organic Beets in an Organic Mild Vinegar.
- Mastronardi Produce/Sunset — Y.E.L.O. (Youth, Energy, Life, Om) tomatoes.
- Mucci Farms — CuteCumbers: bite-sized cucumbers with no cutting or chopping required.
- Pure Hothouse Foods Inc. — The Snacking Series: Juno Bites, Bumbles, Sangira, and Azuca bite-sized tomatoes in grab-and-go packs with recipes.
- Reichel Foods — Dippin’ Stix Flavor Celery Stix & Ranch Dip: fresh-cut celery and ranch dip.
- Tiffany Gate Foods — FreshCooked: cooked and ready-to-use with salads, soups or as sides. Includes quinoa, beets, yams and chickpeas.
- Village Farms — Rebellion tomato: packs with four to six different tomato varieties with distinct shapes and colors (red, orage, yellow, green and brown).
- Wholesum Family Farms — Wholesum Harvest Grilling Squash: yellow and zucchini squash in self-sealing bags.
- Apio Inc. — Eat Smart Kale & Red Chard Stir Fry Kit: includes broccoli florets, red chard, kale, snow peas, carrots and stir fry sauce.
Best New Packaging
- Braga Fresh Family Farms — Josie’s Organics Romaine Hearts: 3 pack of organic romaine hearts.
- Del Monte Fresh Produce — Fresh Guac: comes in an assortment of preservative-free flavors in 8 oz. single and 2-pack, and a 2 oz. 4-pack.
- Fresherized Foods — Wholly Guacamole 100 Cal Minis: 2oz mini cups that can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- John B Sanfilippo — Orchard Valley Harvest Wellness Mixes: Three 4oz varieties: Antioxidant Mix; Omega-3 Mix; and Energy Mix.
- Mastronardi Produce/Sunset — Sunset Eco Flavor Bowl: top seal film locks in flavor while reducing your carbon footprint.
- Naturipe Farms — Bouquet Pack: Long-stemmed strawberries packed in bi-colored, co-extruded clamshell.
- Polymer Logistics — Wood-look Returnable Plastic Crate: foldable, simulated wood crate offers the advantages of RPCs including “active-lock” mechanism.
- Ready Pac Foods — Ready Pac Ready Snax Refresh: New packaging and design of the snacking line.
- Redsun Farms — Hacienda Special Reserve Tomatoes with Display Ready Box: case of tomatoes includes varieties such as Brandy Yellow, Cherokee Green and Purple, Green Zebra, Aurea Big Tiger.
- Reichel Foods — Dippin’ Stix Sweet Gala Apples & Caramel: in a 5-pack carton with a versatile design that can be merchandised two different ways.
- Village Farms — Lip Smackn’ Grapes - Rinse & Serve Reusable Bowl: No venting in bowl bottom makes it functional for reusing/repurposing.
- Westmoreland — TopLine Creations: produce with flavor infused olive oil that can be a snack or a salad on the go.
- Yerecic Label — LabelBling: holographic films, sparkle inks, embossing or a combination of these effects on produce packaging.
- North Bay Produce Inc. — Ready To Eat Single Serve Blueberries: portable packs hold up to the demands of on-the-go eating.
Best New Packing/Processing Equipment
- Bosch Packaging Technology Inc. — Bosch SVC 4020 Vertical Form-Fill-Seal Bagger: new SVC vertical packaging platform for the fresh food industry.
- FTNON BV — Super Batch Centrifuge: can handle all kind of products with different capacities. Small footprint and energy efficient.
- Turatti S.R.L. — Strawberry Capper Mod. Frazer : removes the strawberry calyx and cuts each fruit in half - if required. This system can be used also to top radishes.
- West Coast Supplies — Forklift Inflator: can be installed on any forklift and is powered by the forklift battery. Fills air bags anywhere inside the trailer or container with the flip of a switch.
Best New Food Safety Solution
- ALC Logistics of the Allen Lund Co. — Produce TMS Solution: web-based software designed and customized to fit the needs of the produce industry.
- Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee — Arizona LGMA Food Safety Training Kit Videos: now available in a DVD series in English and Spanish.
- DeltaTrak Inc. — FlashTrak Telematics: a complete cloud based solution for cold chain management and temperature monitoring for mobile and facilities applications.
- Food Defend — Fruit Gard: two-part drying product reduces spoilage and food safety organisms on produce for post-harvest intervention without toxic residue.
- FoodLink — FoodLink Fresh: web-based, food safety and quality inspection solution that provides analysis for data collected across the supply chain from harvest to retail.
- Locus Traxx Worldwide — SmartTraxx Go: Disposable temp-recorder provides streaming, real-time data instantly on temperature and location.