Fresh-cut business updates - The Packer

Fresh-cut business updates

03/15/2013 03:04:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Crunch Pak plans United Fresh launch

Crunch Pak expects to introduce products at the United Fresh Produce Association’s May 14-16 trade show in San Diego.

The Cashmere, Wash.-based shipper isn’t revealing details yet. But one recent priority has been developing breakfast snacks around its sliced apples, Tony Freytag, marketing director, said in early March.

“We’re trying to combine items that would make a breakfast snack. We’ll be having more combinations in the next six months, including breakfast appropriate where we can highlight that,” he said.

“The line between a breakfast snack and a midday snack is getting much narrower as more fruits and vegetables are eaten in the morning. We’re looking at a number of different flavors, like cinnamon, that you can add to apples.”

Dole targets deliveries, plans sweepstakes

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Monterey, Calif., has begun a program to ensure coast-to-coast delivery of product to its distribution centers and plants in two and a half days or less.

“Fresh-pack vegetables and berries are then shipped with salads to provide more frequent deliveries to our customers,” said Chris Mayhew, vice president of marketing. The move aims to reduce shrink and increase retail sales, she said.

The program, Full Service Solutions, uses team drivers. Dole’s metrics track product age through the supply chain.

Dole Salads plans to launch a “Taste of Spain” retail promotion and sweepstakes in April, Mayhew said.

The grand prize will be a culinary trip to Spain valued at $40,000. Thousands of instant prizes will also be given.

“This promotion is part of our summer-long salute to the flavors, fun and gourmet possibilities of Spanish cuisine,” Mayhew said.

New recipes, a blogger summit and house parties are planned.

In January, Dole Fresh Vegetables and EatingWell magazine began a yearlong effort to boost salad consumption. Downloadable recipes are at www.dole.com/salads.

Duda boosts fresh-cut radish capacity

Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Oviedo, Fla., is planning expanded production and distribution of its Dandy Radish MiniStick.

The radish product is processed at Duda’s California and Florida plants but sold mainly in the Northeast. The grower-shipper wants to see it spread.

“There isn’t national distribution yet, but that’s what we are working towards, probably within a year,” Nichole Towell, director of marketing, said in March.

“We’re just trying to build not only the demand but the raw product and the capacity in our facilities to be able to bring that nationwide.”

Duda Farm Fresh Foods sees the MiniStick as a way to add incremental sales to the radish category, which has declined in recent years.

“We feel this will bring in a younger consumer to a product where they’re really in control of adding the flavor, either more or less, as they see fit,” Towell said.

Taco and sandwich toppings are a common use.

Duda’s main fresh-cut item is celery. Tight supplies are likely through mid-May, Towell said, as yield fluctuates from the same weather issues that hurt lettuce and other vegetables transitioning from desert production toward Oxnard, Calif., Huron, Calif., or Salinas, Calif.

Earthbound Farm to focus on Earth Day

Earthbound Farm’s annual Earth Day promotion is dubbed Every Cart Counts.

San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Earthbound will have on-pack instantly redeemable couples and in-store point-of-sale materials with quick-response codes that let consumers download its Guide to Greener Shopping.

They’ll also download an Earth Week meal plan consisting of five recipes and a shopping list, said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of communications and marketing.

Earth Day is April 22.

Related content will appear on Facebook and as part of Earthbound’s Take an Organic Step Forward program through April.

Grimmway Farms boosts Carrot Dippers

Grimmway Farms plans to focus much of its upcoming efforts on the snack category and its Carrot Dippers in particular, Bob Borda, vice president of marketing, said March 1.

Shoppers grew accustomed to seeing Carrot Dippers retailed in a rigid three-pack, Borda said. Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway hopes to encourage new expectations.

“A lot of the cost of that was in the container itself,” he said.

“We’re able to pull some of the packaging costs out and offer our Dippers in a polypropylene bag with carrots and the dip cup all in one. The retailer is able to sell them to the end consumer for 60 to 65 cents a bag versus 90 cents to $1 for the old pack.”

Mann Packing expands Arcadian Harvest

Mann Packing Co. plans to add a Ruby variety to its Arcadian Harvest foodservice line later this year.

The products are petite whole-leaf mixes.

“We’ll do a soft launch this spring with customers at some food shows, and then we’ll roll out for foodservice in summer,” said Gina Nucci, director of healthy culinary innovation at Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing.

Ruby will include a red butter lettuce from Rijk Zwaan’s Salanova line of proprietary seeds, Nucci said.

With Arcadian Harvest, Mann Packing aimed for minimally processed mixes with fewer edges and reduced pinking.

“That’s been a huge success,” Nucci said. “We’re looking at different components and focusing on some unique reds to highlight in Ruby.”

Pom Wonderful enjoys fresh aril success

Los Angeles-based Pom Wonderful reported 80% increases in sales of its Pom Poms Fresh Arils for the latest fresh pomegranate season, and the same rise in fresh fruit shipments.

Pom Wonderful had a new extraction method plus new sorting equipment and cup fillers in place when the season began. The season runs from October to February or March.

The arils product is not currently on shelves.

The company also notched a 30% increase in juice sales for 2012, according to a news release. Pom Wonderful launched a single-serve 8-ounce bottle that paced the growth.

Pure Hot House adds handled tray pack

Canadian greenhouse grower-shipper Pure Hot House Foods Inc., Leamington, Ontario, has added a 21-ounce tray with embedded handles to its line of Grillers and Roasters fresh-cut vegetables.

The handles are aimed at increased durability, said Sarah Pau, marketing assistant.

Grillers are available in spring and winter and Roasters in fall and winter under the Pure Flavor label.

The products also come in 7-, 10- and 14-ounce sizes from Pure Hot House Foods.

The company is developing a line of microwaveable products, Pau said March 11..



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