BEJO SEEDS: Cross a lettuce and a cabbage and what do you get? Lettage. Bejo’s new SweetHeart Lettage is as nutritious as kale, says Michael Ryshouwer, field marketing manager for Oceano, Calif.-based Bejo Seeds Inc., but the leaves are tender like lettuce and taste sweeter than cabbage. “Unique and upscale packaging will support premium retail ring and enhance profits from the cabbage segment,” says Ryshouwer, who’s introducing the pointy, flow-wrapped tender leaf cabbage.
DOLE: Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Food Co. plans to introduce two kale-inspired salad kits to Canada at QPMA. The All Natural Sweet Kale Salad Kit features baby kale, baby spinach and carrots tossed with dried cranberries, cornbread croutons and honey Dijon vinaigrette. The All Natural Kale Caesar Salad Kit combines baby kale, baby spinach, broccoli, Parmesan and Romano cheeses with croutons and Dole’s Caesar dressing. The kits are part of Dole’s strategy to introduce super greens to North Americans in tastier ways, says director of marketing CarrieAnn Arias. The kits are packaged in 9.2-ounce clamshells, with a suggested retail of $3.99-4.29.
CANADAWIDE: Montreal-based importer and wholesaler Canadawide Fruits Inc. has introduced fruits and vegetables packed in easy-carry mesh bags under its Frescadel label. Items include avocados, lemons, limes and oranges, and are available in several sizes. A new website, Frescadel.com, offers detailed information on the products, including nutrition facts and recipes.
GROUPE VEGCO INC: Sherrington,Quebec-based Groupe Vegco Inc., a co-op of 14 Quebec growers, is branching out from carrots and onions into garlic, celery root, radishes, white turnips and beets. “We are really happy to expand our range of products to serve our customers,” says saleswoman Annie Riendeau. Vegco’s packaging also is evolving. The newest is a 2-pound gusseted, easy-carry bag for items such as golden and chioggia (candy cane) beets. The new packages should be in store by September, Riendeau says. Each bag contains storage and cooking information and historical facts. A new website, groupevegco.com, emphasizes the co-op’s “Welcome to our fields” marketing strategy with detailed information on all growers and products.
HYDROSERRE: Mirabel, Quebec-based Hydroserre Inc. plans to present three hydroponic greenhouse lettuce duos in two-pack clamshells at QPMA. Fleur de Mirabel resembles a baby boston lettuce in red and green; Feuilles de chêne features one green and one red head of oak leaf; and Duo Frisée includes two heads of crisp green lettuce, good for sandwiches and burgers.
IPPOLITO FRUIT: Burlington, Ontario- based Ippolito Fruit & Produce Ltd. is launching a peel-and-reseal package for its Queen Victoria fresh salad line. The tamper-evident seal film maintains food security and produces a 100% recyclable package, says director of marketing Ashlee Mclean. The greens are sealed for freshness and extend shelf life through micro perforations and an innovative resealable film.
The LITTLE POTATO CO.: Edmonton, Alberta’s The Little Potato Co. plans to unveil three 1.5-pound gusset bags of mini potatoes. Yellow-fleshed Baby Boomer creamers are “our smallest proprietary potato but they add big impact on your shelves,” says marketing manager Joanna Gietz. They cook quickly and absorb little water for a fluffy texture. Blushing Belle, bred in Germany, is extremely versatile, Gietz says, and Terrific Trio is a blend of red, yellow and blue mini potato varieties. There’s no washing or peeling required, and Gietz says the mini spuds are available year-round.
PATATES DOLBEC: Saint-Ubalde, Quebec-based Patates Dolbec is packing this season’s potatoes in informative new plastic bags. Each bag contains drawings to illustrate how to cook the varieties. “They add nice color to the potato display in the store,” says marketing director Josee Petitclerc. Patates Dolbec also is packing foil-wrapped baking potatoes.
Pom Wonderful: Pom Wonderful, Los Angeles, recently added Sweet Scarletts Texas Red grapefruit to its portfolio of Wonderful products. Grown and packed by Paramount Citrus, these premium red grapefruit will bring a sweet taste of Texas to the U.S. and Canada between November and May. Sweet Scarletts will be available in grocery, mass and club stores, packed in 5-, 8- and 10-pound bags; 8-pound boxes; and sold in bulk.
MUCCI FARMS: Kingsville, Ontario-based Mucci Farms Ltd. has introduced a colorful blend of bite-size tomatoes called Blended Flavours. “This collection is unique because all the varieties selected are best of class,” says Emily Murracas, marketing coordinator for Mucci International Marketing.
POMMES MA-GIC: Rougement, Quebec-based Pommes Ma-gic Inc., a specialist in sliced apples, has begun packing whole apples in a 2-pound gusseted bag under the brand name Collatio. Each package carries a Health Canada reminder that eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may help reduce some types of cancer.
LES SERRES: Les Serres du St. Laurent Inc., which markets greenhouse tomatoes under the Savoura brand, has introduced a pink beefsteak variety. “One bite and you’ll remember the taste of summer year-round,” says saleswoman Marie-Claude Pineault. Savoura has also introduced a bright orange grape tomato that Pineault calls one of the sweetest varieties on the market..
SUNKIST GROWERS: Sherman Oaks, Calif.–based Sunkist Growers will be showcasing 3-pound bags of navel, minneola and mandarin oranges for the coming season under the Lil Snappers brand. “We had interest from the Quebec market last year but with the freeze and lack of smaller sizes it was difficult to secure product,” said Montreal-based senior account manager John LeMarquand. “This year looks promising with smaller sizes forecasted,” Marquand said.
Sunkist also plans to introduce a mixed gala/navel bag and a Pink Lady/cara cara bag in conjunction with Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers. “The smaller fruit size is geared to school children and people who want a smaller serving,” he said, “and the attractive bags become an impulse buy for certain shoppers.”
VEG PRO: Sherrington-based Veg Pro International Inc. has launched its Fresh Attitude Gourmet Trio in Metro supermarkets. Each clamshell contains two red and one green head of Quebec-grown salanova type lettuce. To use, cut leaves from the stalk and rinse lightly for a fresh, colorful salad in minutes. To maximize in-store rotation, Gourmet Trio is packed six per case.