(CORRECTED Aug. 10) MONTEREY, Calif. — Exhibitors at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference and Exposition featured new products and services. The Packer’s Editor Greg Johnson and staff writer Mike Hornick gathered these items July 31.
Andrew & Williamson
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, San Diego, started an heirloom tomato program, said Mark Munger, vice president of marketing. He said the tomatoes are grown in shade houses in Baja California, Mexico, and are grown with flavor in mind.
The company also expanded its yellow grape tomato program, Munger said, and plans to brand them this fall.
“We’re really excited about Peruvian avocados coming into the U.S. for the first time unencumbered by the cold process,” said Mike Angelo, director of national sales for Calavo Growers, Santa Paula, Calif.
Arrivals should begin in late August, Angelo said.
Cal-Organic Farms, a division of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway Farms, has expanded its greenhouse growing operations by 10 acres in the Tehachapi, Calif., area, said Todd Linsky, vice president of organic sales.
In addition to beefsteak tomatoes, Cal-Organic is growing red, yellow and orange vine tomatoes, Linsky said.
Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International’s new line of dried fruit chips is available to foodservice customers, in addition to retail, said Joe Huston, president for North America.
The product comes in 30- and 80-gram bags and contains dried pineapples, bananas and mangoes. He said Chiquita did a test market in AMC Theatres this spring and was pleased with the results.
Christopher Ranch, Gilroy, Calif., plans to begin shipping a peeled version of its Monviso heirloom garlic for foodservice by mid-August, said Justin Guibert, salesman. A loose version of the Monviso started earlier.
The Chuck Olsen Co.
Seedless lemons are expected to start shipping from Visalia, Calif.-based Chuck Olsen Co. by late August or early September, said Dave Perez, salesman. They’ll be sourced from the San
Joaquin Valley and supply will run through February.
The company is also making a move on the import-export scene.
“We’re going to be marketing the DiMare lemon deal out of Indio” in fall and winter, Perez said.
Church Bros. LLC, Salinas, Calif., is adding a Tuscan lettuce mix in an 8-pound box that will combine five varieties in different colors. Shipment should begin later in August, said Ernst Van
Eeghen, director of marketing and product development.
In July, the company began shipping a Euro romaine with a dense heart, Van Eeghen said. It weighs in at 1,400 pounds per pallet compared to the usual 1,120 or so.
“Freight advantage is No. 1 to that,” he said. “It cups early and lends itself well to processing.”
The company will also ship a new spicy spring mix by mid-August, Van Eeghen said.
Church Bros. also told clients about the Mexico division it started this past winter.
Watsonville, Calif.-based Classic Salads started shipping petite arugula in June, said saleswoman Jill Lenz. That followed the company’s April launch of romaine hearts in 12-by-3 and 48-count sizes.
Leaf Ez Little Gem Hearts, new from Salinas, Calif.-based Coastline Produce, offer a compact cross between butter lettuce and romaine hearts, said Mark McBride, sales manager.
The small heads can be purchased in a 6-by-3 count retail zipper handle bag or a 24-count foodservice pack.
Colorful Harvest displayed new packaging for its Naturally Red Ruby Jewel Sweet Corn. New graphics accent a product previously shipped in a clear film wrap, said Don Brumley, senior director of value-added sales for the Salinas, Calif., company.
Colorful Harvest also introduced a 4-pound strawberry clamshell.
Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak now offers its fry-cut apples in 1-pound bags for foodservice customers, said national marketing director Tony Freytag.
He also said the company’s Apple Snackers line of 4.75-ounce trays of fresh-cut apples paired with other snacks such as raisins and pretzels is growing quickly in the convenience store channel.
D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, Salinas, brought a product still in development, a 42-count baby rosette romaine, for feedback from buyers. It’s in proprietary seed trials and the plan is to ship it mainstream next spring, said Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., now offers its line of fresh fruit cups in smaller sizes to better appeal to children in schools and restaurants.
Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing, said the cups range from 2 ounces to 3 1/2 ounces.
Oviedo, Fla.-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. introduced a 1-pound bag of its Radish MiniSticks for the foodservice market. Bill Munger, fresh-cut sales director, said the product has gotten a strong reception at retail.
Besides its new Power Meal salad line, reported previously in The Packer, organic grower-shipper Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., unveiled plans that included a rollout of iceless broccoli in late August and wasabi arugula in early September, said Dan Holt, director of foodservice sales.
A product that’s half spring mix and half baby spinach started shipping in a 2-pound size in the second week of July.
PMA board member Maurice Totty joined FAC Logistics, Rocky Mount, N.C., two months ago to expand the company’s presence in fresh produce, he said.
Totty previously worked for Atlanta-based Foodbuy LLC/Compass Group. He said he plans to help make the company’s transportation costs more transparent to produce companies.
Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. Inc., Los Angeles, promoted its new line of meyer lemons.
Midwest business development manager Ben Reilly said the variety, known for its sweetness, is from New Zealand and it has displayed excellent quality and color. He said the season started in mid-July and should last through August.
Gills Onions, Oxnard, Calif., now offers 1-inch Asian-cut onions.
“It’s a big chunk, like a stew cut,” said Nelia Alamo, director of sales and marketing.
Shipping started in June.
Growers Express now has year-round availability on brussels sprouts in 1-, 2- and 5-pound bags, said Mishalin Modena, marketing manager for Growers Marketing LLC.
Green beans are available in the same sizes, including a 2-by-5 pound cello pack. Among other products, the Salinas, Calif., company also showcased a four-count, 2-pound container of sweet baby spinach.
HMC Farms, Kingsburg, Calif., is now shipping a 4-pound tray of red seedless grapes, said Steve Kenfield, vice president of sales and marketing. Kenfield expects 52-week availability, and said fruit salads are one use for the product.
Idaho Potato Commission
In August, the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission began offering its foodservice tool kit, which is designed for beginning culinary students, said Don Odiorne, vice president of foodservice. He said the materials cover cutting techniques, planting and harvesting, among other potato information.
Odiorne said the commission is also increasing its use of its Stunt Tater character in social media, especially targeting the younger audience.
Foodservice buyer Markon Cooperative, Salinas, Calif., began shipping Artisan romaine two months before the conference, said Steve Pinto, director of multi-unit accounts.
“Tanimura & Antle is packing it in our brand,” Pinto said.
Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario, added a field-grown green pepper to its lineup in June that will be year-round, said Dean Taylor, foodservice manager.
“We have all colors available now,” he said.
The company is also offering a new website for foodservice.
King City, Calif.-based Metz Fresh LLC is starting shipments of baby red and green romaine for foodservice, said Jeanette DeConinck Hertzler, director of sales development.
Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms introduced a 40-ounce, four-count foodservice mushroom pack, said Mike Reed, director of sales.
It’s a smaller box than previous offerings, and extends product life in part by lowering the risk of exposing mushrooms to heat in a foodservice setting, Reed said.
Naturipe Farms, Naples, Fla., showed two products that are new for foodservice, said Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing.
Berry Quick Snacks come three to a perforated pack. Each snack contains 1.5 ounces of blueberries.
The other product, labeled Naturipe Blueberries in English and French, comes in a 4.4-ounce resealable plastic container. Both products come prewashed, Verloop said.
NewStar Fresh Foods
Power Greens — mixed baby green and red swiss chard with baby tatsoi and spinach in a 13.25-ounce bag — is now out from Salinas, Calif.-based NewStar Fresh Foods, said Mark Solis, inside sales account manager.
An organic version, Super Greens, substitutes wasabi arugula for the baby tatsoi.
The new products are for retail and foodservice, Solis said.
Pacific International Marketing
Pacific International Marketing, Salinas, Calif., introduced a 2.5-pound pack of celery sticks for foodservice, which began shipping in July, said Henry Dill, sales manager.
Pear Bureau Northwest
The Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore., and its USA Pears brand introduced a guide to Northwest-grown pears for foodservice menu developers, chefs, buyers, and distributors.
Cristie Mather, director of communications, said the guide is designed to educate the foodservice industry on the flavors and uses of the 10 primary pear varieties grown in Washington and Oregon.
The guide uses a photo and description of the varieties in addition to other information.
Rosemont Farms, a subsidiary of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., now has a year-round supply of brussels sprouts.
Rosemont director of f.o.b. and grower sales Daniel Whittles said the product will come from Colombia and Guatemala.
Royal Rose LLC, Salinas, Calif., unveiled a new radicchio variety, verona.
“It’s a sister to chioggia, which is the main radicchio,” said Emily Lyons, marketing manager.
“We introduced it to foodservice because verona is a little lighter flavor and it makes perfect cups, which chefs like for plating and display.”
The Salad Farm
The Salad Farm, Salinas, Calif., plans to start shipping baby carrots, baby beets, candy-striped beets, and radishes in mid-August, said Lex Camany, president.
“They will ship out of the D’Arrigo cooler,” Camany said.
San Miguel Produce
Oxnard, Calif.-based San Miguel Produce introduced its Jade line of Asian greens for retail some years ago, but it’s become available for foodservice within the last six months, said Marshall Sherman, general manager.
New to the company is Braising Blend, a six-count, 2.5-pound specialty leaf blend that’s part of the company’s Cut ‘N Clean Greens line, said Brian Cook, sales manager.
Morro Bay, Calif.-based Shanley Farms showcased its finger limes and a new late-season avocado brand, Morro Bay.
“Del Rey (Avocado) packs them for us,” owner Jim Shanley said of the Morro Bay label.
“It’s an exclusive marketing agreement in September and October.”
Seven years in development, the jalapeño-shaped Shanley Farms finger limes are in their second marketing season and available September through January.
The company packs the limes, grown in Visalia and Morro Bay, in half-pint clamshells.
Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., has expanded its new tropicals line into foodservice.
Chief executive officer Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk said foodservice takes about 15% to 20% of the company’s overall sales.
Among the new products Seald Sweet offers are pineapples, avocados, melons and mangoes.
Kacie Vieth joined Taylor Farms, Salinas, Calif., this spring as director of product and business development.
She said her duties entail working with retail and foodservice operators to develop new items using Taylor’s product mix.
She was most recently marketing manager for FoodSource, a subsidiary of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Kevin Stanger, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Idaho, said the company now offers its pre-wrapped, triple-washed potatoes in 50-pound boxes for foodservice customers.
He said Wada plans to promote that option heavily in September once harvest begins and supplies increase from this summer’s shortages.
Wayne E. Bailey
Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., brought its free-standing retail display for its 1.5-pound bags of ready-to-cook sweet potatoes, with the idea of attracting foodservice distributors to the product.
President George Wooten said each bag holds four or five sweet potatoes, and the kiosk holds 12 bags.
Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh added Maine white potatoes to its lineup beginning with fall harvest in about October, said Jim Richter, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Wilcox Fresh also added two employees this year: Nicole Rumsey, saleswoman, and Cameron Kerbs, logistics manager.
HarvestMark, the traceability program from YottaMark, Redwood City, Calif., now offers its traceability app for the Android mobile device.
Aimee Young, senior marketing director, said that when the company came out with the app for the iPhone, it immediately got requests for it on the Android, which became available in late July.
(CORRECTED: The DiMare lemon deal handled by The Chuck Olsen Co. is out of Indio. The original story misquoted Dave Perez.)