(April 6, 3 p.m.) PLEASANTON, Calif. — The following information was gathered April 1 at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council 2009 Northern California Expo:
Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, is now offering its Hawaiian papayas in new clamshell packaging, said Steve Hayworth, commodity manager. The papaya four-packs come in cases of six clamshells and will be available in retail stores this spring.
Coast Produce Co., Los Angeles, is releasing a new line of four organic snack vegetables, the first of which is four mini cucumbers in clamshells, said Emily Fragoso, marketing manager. A line of organic snacking tomatoes is in development, she said, and should be available by June.
Salinas, Calif.-based Colorful Harvest LLC is shipping this spring a full line of colored cauliflower, said Jud Pray, director of sales and business development. Before, the company offered orange cauliflower, Pray said, but now has purple and green. They come in nine-, 12- and 16-count packs, Pray said, and will be distributed nationwide.
Del Monte Foods, Coral Gables, Fla., showcased its newest products, 8-ounce SuperFruit fruit cups. The line has pears with acai blackberry juice, peaches in pomegranate-orange juice, and mixed fruit chunks in mango-passion juice. Ryan Stow, western regional sales manager, said other products launched in March were two new fruit bowls, grapefruit duo and citrus salad.
Grant J. Hunt
Grant J. Hunt Co., Oakland, plans to start importing Zespri kiwifruit from New Zealand to California for the first time, said president Grant Hunt. The new imports will also include apples from Freshco in New Zealand, Hunt said.
Hollandia Produce Inc., Carpinteria, previewed its new bagged Live Gourmet arugula bunches, which will be available by the end of April, said Anne Fortuna, sales manager. The bunches will come in 12 per case and will be distributed first in California, Fortuna said.
Los Angeles Salad Co.
Los Angeles Salad Co., City of Industry, will be offering shelled English peas in retail stores by June, said Michael Bendix, director of sales and marketing. The peas, under development for 18 months, will come in an 8-ounce plastic package or in two 12-ounce packages.
Mann Packing Co., Inc.
Mann Packing, Salinas, previewed a new holiday platter in time for Cinco de Mayo. Called the Fiesta Platter, it features ranch mixed with salsa, along with snap peas, celery, carrots and broccoli. Larry Olivo, western regional manager, said the 37-ounce trays retail for $9.99 and come in four-packs.
Misionero Vegetables, Gonzales, is now offering a 2.5-pound food service and club store pack of its fresh cut romaine and green leaf lettuces, said Danny Canales, vice president of sales and marketing. The company will also be changing labels on its organic clamshell products, Canales said.
Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterery Mushrooms Inc. is expanding its line of Sun-Bella mushrooms to include all its mushroom varieties this summer, said Mike Reed, director of sales for the western region. The vitamin D enriched mushrooms, as well as the company’s other mushroom products, will also be available in new recycled cartons starting this summer, Reed said.
The Produce Exchange, Livermore, previewed its new Tesoro roma tomatoes, which have fuller flesh, no gel and fewer seeds than a conventional roma, said Van Argiros, director of sales development. Tesoro roma tomatoes are not yet available in stores, Argiros said, because the company is still gauging retail interest. The tomatoes are available for foodservice use, he said, and will likely sell in 1- to 2-pound packages, depending on the price points.
San Miguel Produce
San Miguel Produce Inc., Oxnard, displayed its new Asian cooking greens. The line features eight varieties — bok choy, baby bok choy, Shanghai bok choy, baby Shanghai bok choy, gai choy (Chinese mustard greens), yu choy (flowering cabbage), gai-lan (broccoli-rapini), and dau miu (snow peas shoots). Jan Berk, vice president, said the company is also expanding its cooking greens, such as collard greens, with a new organic line.
The Sholl Group II
Under the Green Giant Fresh brand, The Sholl Group II Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., is launching a new salad kit line called “Salad Café” in salsa ranch trio, Mediterranean-style orzo, bistro broccoli and spinach penne. Jo Gruber, director of strategic business and product development, said the kits will be available by Memorial Day.
Westlake Produce Co., Los Angeles, is now packing blueberries and strawberries in clamshells under its new Always Fresh label, said Juan Perez, salesman. The blueberries are available in 4.4-ounce packs and strawberries are now available in 1-pound packs in addition to 2 and 4 pounds.