Business updates: Foodservice - The Packer

Business updates: Foodservice

12/09/2011 11:49:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Chuck Olsen Co. sells for DiMare/Indio
The Chuck Olsen Co., Visalia, Calif., is now the sales agent for DiMare/Indio, Indio, Calif., said Jeff Olsen, vice president. 
That means the Chuck Olsen Co. should have about 600,000 more cartons of lemons, tangerines, murcotts, minneolas and grapefruit to offer this season.
The firm also plans to offer a consolidation service and plans to import Peruvian flame table grapes from late November through late December to bridge the gap between California and Chilean grapes.
The Chilean deal may start a little later than usual and have lighter volume than normal this year, Olsen said.
Freshway Foods tests produce vending 
Forget sugary snacks and soft drinks. Freshway Foods, Sidney, Ohio, planned to install in a school in Ohio a refrigerated vending machine that’s stocked exclusively with up to 18 fresh produce items, said Dan Purdy, vice president of sales and marketing.
Purdy expected testing of the new machine to begin in late November. 
The vending machine is the first in the U.S. that he is aware of that is stocked only with produce. Offerings include apples, carrots, cantaloupe, honeydew melons and seasonal items.
GreenGate Fresh doubles processing
GreenGate Fresh LLP, Salinas, Calif., has doubled its capacity to accommodate more business, said Jay Iverson, partner and vice president of sales and marketing.
The company, which serves foodservice accounts exclusively, also has added washing and bagging equipment for its processed lettuce, cabbage and romaine. 
Those items are major salad ingredients, and the company has chosen to focus on those core products, Iverson said.
“We’d rather be good at a couple of things instead of being average on a bunch.”
GreenGate also made modifications and expanded capacity at its Yuma, Ariz., facility during the summer in order to expand capacity.
Hollandia Produce uses fill-and-seal bag
Hollandia Produce LLC, Carpinteria, Calif., packages its upland cress in a form-fill-and-seal bag like the ones that salad mixes come in, said Vince Choate, director of marketing.
“We harvest our upland cress and form a bag around it,” he said.
The bag is available for foodservice as well as retail.
Naturipe’s single packs enter foodservice
Naturipe Berry Farms LLC, Naples, Fla., has chosen to launch its single-serve fresh blueberry packs in the foodservice sector, even though less than 5% of the company’s fresh blueberry sales go to foodservice operators.
Eventually, the single-serve packs will be available in several size options, but for now, Naturipe is marketing the berries in rigid, heat-sealed film packs that come in three-count, 1.5-ounce packs for retail and foodservice.
Customized pack sizes can be as small as three-quarters of an ounce for foodservice applications, such as pancake toppings, salad or yogurt parfait additions, and in larger restaurant packs of several pounds.
“By making the berries more convenient, there should be no problem getting to more than 5% (of foodservice sales) and quickly to 10% or more,” Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing, said in a news release.
West Pak Avocado rolls out new carton
West Pak Avocado Inc., Temecula, Calif., introduced a carton for all of its Mexican avocados packed at the company’s facility in Uruapan, said Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing.
“Our carton has been updated with new graphics and several design features to improve strength and to accommodate our new (Produce Traceability Initiative) labels that bring us into full compliance with our industry’s PTI Initiative,” he said.
The new design covers West Pak’s full line of avocados, including the West Pak No. 1 Grade label, organic avocados and the Dos Amigos No. 2 Grade label.
“We are sourcing avocados from Mexico and Chile and offer the full line of packs, grades and ripening levels for our foodservice customers,” Meyer said.

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