About 750 New England Produce Council Produce & Floral Expo attendees visited the 230 booths on the expo floor April 14 in Boston. The Packer’s Eastern Editor, Doug Ohlemeier, compiled the following briefs at the expo.
Expanding its offerings in the U.S., Spain-based AMC Direct Inc. is introducing a 2.5-pound Giro bag of clementines.
The clementines, marketed under AMC’s Devine label, has been a strong brand in Canada, and the company decided to release it in the U.S. with the start of its summer citrus program, said Nancy Stevenson-Repash, AMC Direct’s Swedesboro, N.J.-based senior sales and marketing manager.
The clementines are repacked in Swedesboro, Los Angeles and Toronto.
AMC expects to begin shipping from Peru in early May, with Chilean and South African fruit following in June.
Giorgio Foods Inc., Temple, Pa., is releasing 4-ounce clamshells of royal trumpet mushrooms, also known as king oysters.
The mushroom’s flavor profile similar to regular oyster mushrooms, said Bill Litvin, vice president of Southeastern sales and national account manager.
GreenLine Foods Inc., Bowling Green, Ohio, is redesigning packaging and graphics of its microwaveable vegetables.
The new packaging design puts more focus on the company’s brand name and calls consumer attention to minimal preparation time, said Lori Renzi, business director.
“We are creating a more upscale look that screams the benefits to help consumers more quickly understand the value they’re getting,” she said.
GreenLine sells microwaveable packages of fresh-cut green beans, waxed beans, beans and carrots mix, red and gold potatoes, sweet potato medallions and butternut squash.
HydroSerre Mirabel Inc., Mirabel, Quebec, is introducing 4.2-ounce consumer packs of mache.
The hydroponically grown bouquets are prewashed and come nine per box.
Daniel Terrault, HydroSerre Mirabel’s vice president of business development, said the company has offered mache in the past but only in bulk.
Little Potato Co.
The Little Potato Co., Edmonton, Alberta, is expanding U.S. sales by launching a line of creamer potatoes.
The company is offering 2-pound bags of prewashed yellow potatoes called Baby Boomers, yellow potatoes called Piccolos, and red-skinned potatoes called Blushing Belles.
Little Potato is also offering packs featuring mixes of the Baby Boomers and Blushing Belles with Russian blue potatoes.
The grower-shipper, which specializes in proprietary varieties of creamer potatoes, has opened a packing facility in Bakersfield, Calif.
Don Daintrey, sales and marketing director, said Little Potato is trying to lead the development of production and sales of creamer potatoes.
Little Potato also grows creamers in Saskatchewan and Pasco, Wash.
Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, has rolled out new Kumato tomatoes and hot pepper packs.
The company introduced 1-pound flow wrap packs of mini Kumato tomatoes, a miniature version of Mastronardi’s larger Kumato tomatoes.
Mastronardi also has introduced 8-ounce clamshells of tricolor red, yellow and orange peppers called “One Sweet Pepper.”
Paul Mastronardi, executive vice president, said the peppers are great for grilling.
Mucci International Marketing Inc., Kingsville, Ontario, is ramping up production of its jumbo slicer hothouse grown round red tomatoes.
The tomatoes come in 1.5-pound minimum weight flow wrap cascade trades two counts per carton.
Mucci is increasing shipments of mini sweet bell peppers called Bella Sweets.
The peppers come in 12-ounce retail and 1.5-pound club store packs, said Steve Zaccardi, account manager.
The greenhouse grower-shipper is also increasing shipments of Rustico sweet longs. Those come in 2- and 3-count 2- and 4-pound bags.
Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla., is changing the size of one of its strawberry clamshells to provide better shipping efficiencies.
The new 6-count 2-pound clamshells allow are a little taller, to allow for the shipping of two extra pallets per truckload, said John Heffernan, Naturipe’s Boston-based Northeast accounts manager.
Naturipe plans to begin shipments of the new pack in mid-May.
Quality Sales LLC, Hartford, Conn., is introducing packs of mixed hot peppers.
The half-pound overwrap packs feature three to four varieties of Thai hots, long hots, cherry hots, serranos, jalapenos, habaneros and anaheims, said Lucas DiBenedetto, Quality Sales’ vice president of operations and human resources.
Procacci Bros. Sales Corp., Philadelphia, is introducing consumer packs of kumquats to its product offerings.
The kumquats come in dry U.S. pints and feature sweet and edible peels with tart pulps, said Rick Feighery, Procacci’s director of sales.
He said the company has long distributed the product in bulk but responded to customer requests for consumer packs.
“Kumquats are not an exciting item but this adds to the specialty business that keeps growing,” Feighery said.
Pure Hot House
Pure Hot House Foods Inc., Leamington, Ontario, is introducing a line of ready for grilling fresh-cut vegetable mixes.
The greenhouse-grower-shipper is releasing Grill Ready vegetables under the Finest Flavors label.
The 14-ounce metal pan of vegetables can be placed directly on grills, said Ken Paglione, key account manager.
The triple-washed and ready-to-eat mixes come in these offerings: grilled peppers (three colors of bell peppers) fall and winter blend (onions, bell peppers, potatoes and mushrooms), steak toppers (mushrooms and onions) and mixed vegetables (grape tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini squash and mushrooms).
“A lot of double-income couples with kids are all about convenience,” Paglione said. “These people want to buy items that are quick and easy to prepare.”
Pure Hot House is also shipping tomato berries that are sweet and look like strawberries, under the Pure Flavor label in 1-pint and 1-pound clamshells.
Additionally, Pure Hot House is offering 1-pound resealable bags of bite-sized sweet peppers.
The Sweet Sensations packs include conical-shaped mini yellow, red and orange peppers.
State Garden Co. Inc., Boston, is rolling out a line of conventional and organic single-serve salads.
The New England Produce Center-based company, which also owns Olivia's Organics, plans to introduce the Caesar salad, spring mix and baby spinach salads on May 3.
The salads State Garden’s Northeast Fresh division label, come in 3-, 3.5- and 5.5-ounce individual servings and 10.5-ounce family packs, said Stephen Noll, State Garden’s vice president of sales.
Supreme Cuts LLC, Mahwah, N.J., is expanding its line of “steaming bag” microwaveable green beans.
The fresh-cut processor and distributor is offering sugar snap beans and snow peas in 6-count, 8-ounce microwaveable bags.
Merle Axelrod, president, said the packs use technology that maintains product color and nutrients.
“These items are becoming more popular,” she said.
The green beans join other bags of trimmed beans and medleys of beans.