What’s red and green and orange and yellow? It’s not that roll of hard candies with the hole in the middle — it’s the Village Farms Rebellion tomato pack, and the company promises no two clamshells will be alike.
“It’s a revolution in flavor. That’s why we called it ‘Rebellion,’” said Doug Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Delta, British Columbia, greenhouse vegetable company. “The Rebellion pack has some of the best items from our greenhouse trials in British Columbia and Texas.”
Kling said the company is ramping up for regional roll outs of the 1-pound clamshells with distribution planned to begin in April in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, followed by another wave of rollouts in Texas and across the Southwest U.S. when the company’s Texas greenhouse crops mature.
The Rebellion packs are expected to be on display at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association show April 2-4. Kling said most of the tomatoes in the Rebellion clamshells will be snacking sizes, but the packs also will include some medium sizes. New full-flavor varieties and time-tested heirloom varieties will mingle in the clamshells, which Kling said will give consumers a new mix with each purchase.
“Every time you buy a Rebellion (clamshell) you’ll get a different mix,” Kling said.
Also new for this season is the latest 20-acre greenhouse project that Village Farms has built to replace acres taken out by a hailstorm near Marfa, Texas, in June 2012.
Kling said the first vegetables should be ready for harvest in the new, higher greenhouse by June or July. The company lost about 80 acres of greenhouse growing space in Texas. It immediately rebuilt 40 acres, and the final 20-acre rebuild project is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, Kling said.
Some of the rebuilt acres are being used to produce more of the company’s Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomatoes. Kling said the tomato variety is so popular that Village Farms is switching some of its acres away from other commodities so it can grow more if the bite-sized red tomatoes.
The company is close to getting non-GMO third-party certification for all of its tomatoes.
Darren Brown, chef at the Oru restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, site of this year’s Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention will prepare dishes using Village Farms tomatoes during the show April 2-4 in Vancouver, British Columbia.