Del Monte Fresh
In early July, Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., started California testing of a new bagging machine to produce single-serve packs for schools and other foodservice operations.
The machine, expected to be added to more Del Monte facilities by 2014, can process bags from 2 ounces to 10 pounds, but Del Monte is currently focused on 2- to 6-ounce bags, said Melissa Athanasopulos, director of key account sales (fresh-cut), and Julie Gates, district sales manager.
They said the bags will be ideal for use in schools on breakfast, lunch or snack items, and the bags could include fruit or vegetables.
Out in the market only a couple of weeks, Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Kingston Marketing’s Kingston Ringer onion and Kingston Fryer potato offer foodservice customers an opportunity to increase profit margins and use contract pricing, said Nick Proia, vice president of business development.
“The Ringer is similar to what Outback Steakhouses use on their Onion Blossom. An item like that requires a very tight double heart onion,” he said.
The Ringer typically produces two more onion rings and a 33% increase in ring yield compared to other onions.
The Fryer is geared for restaurants producing fresh-cut french fries and chips, allowing them the convenience of contract pricing. The company bills it as the “ultimate frying potato.”
Nashville, N.C.-based Nash Produce in late July began testing a carbon dioxide system designed to replace fungicide and add shelf life.
“It will be incredible if it works,” president Thomas Joyner said.
“It will give us a real leg up on our competitors.”
The company also has a new stainless-steel packing line that is fully Produce Traceability Initiative-compliant, said marketing director Laura Kornegay.
Faison, N.C.-based sweet potato grower-shipper Southern Produce Distributors Inc. has set its 2014 sights on the fresh fruit market.
“We’re always looking to expand our business. We’ve always been focused on mainly sweet potatoes and veg side, but we may get into fruit next year,” said Dennis Harrell, director of food safety and marketing.