“Now we’re going back into them.”
In October, the grower-shipper will begin producing arils from its own fruit in a new facility.
“We’re working on some postharvest techniques and we want to go year-round with California product,” White said.
“We’re excited because we have so many pomegranates and we need to be as vertically integrated as possible.”
White said Trinity’s Juicy Gems retail pack will be available in a variety of sizes, including 4.4 and 5.3 ounces.
World Variety Produce sees aril growth
Robert Schueller, marketing director of Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce, said sales of packaged arils have grown about 11% a year since the company found an ideal package offering a 14-day shelf life.
“The Chilean season was fabulous,” Schueller said.
“This was the second season they’ve had the equipment to pack arils.”
Arils are the only form of pomegranate allowed into the U.S. from India, he said.
The company planned to start packing California arils from the wonderful variety in September.
“We pack wonderfuls mostly because you know you’re going to get a consistently sweet seed and get better pulp to seed ratio,” Schueller said.
“The early foothill doesn’t seem to get as sweet as other varieties, and it doesn’t get deep red.”
The company’s 5-ounce package contains the seeds of two pomegranates, he said, and retails for $3.99-4.99.
“It doesn’t have any preservatives, so there’s no difference in taste,” he said.
Youngstown Grape boosts organic
Reedley, Calif.-based Youngstown Grape Distributors Inc. plans to pack organic California pomegranates and arils again this year from late October through December.
About 30% of Youngstown’s pomegranate crop is now organic, said president Mike Forrest.
“We’ve been doing organics for three years, and the demand is growing steadily every year as we’ve increased our product offering,” said Forrest.
Youngstown sells most of its organic fruit to natural food stores, he said, adding that organic arils are only slightly more expensive than their conventional cousins.