Bite-sized Sunset Kidz greenhouse candy tomatoes continue to delight kids and adults across North America.

“We have a number of acres in production in Canada, but we’re scrambling to increase our acreage to keep up with consumer demand,” said Nancy Pickersgill, marketing coordinator for Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce.

Pickersgill said production levels should satisfy everyone asking for the candy tomatoes once production moves south in late October.

The products will soon be available in the Caribbean.

Response to the ready-to-eat 3-ounce pack, geared toward kids, has been overwhelming, she said.

With a price point of less than $1 a pack, it competes favorably with chocolate bars.

“Consumers love the idea of providing a healthy snack option for kids and for themselves,” she said.

“They’re quick and convenient to pop into lunches, and the rigid frame protects the product.”

Executive vice president Paul Mastronardi came up with the Sunset Kidz idea in 2008 to promote healthy eating among children including his own family members, who appear as characters on the packages.

“It was a fun project for them all as Mastronardi Produce/Sunset is a family business,” Pickersgill said.

“The tomatoes make a fast, healthy finger food.”

There are four Kidz on the label: Alex, Mila, Anni and Nikko, as well as Sammy the monkey.

“We encourage kids to collect all four,” she said.

MiMi machines

Mastronardi’s MiMi club pack won a Produce Marketing Association packaging award last fall.

A vending machine prototype has also created a buzz at trade shows among retailers, consumers and school board representatives, she said.

Pickersgill said the company is working on expanding the Sunset Kidz line to include Candy Cukes and Candy Peppers.