Fresh-cut/Value-added business updates - The Packer

Fresh-cut/Value-added business updates

03/08/2012 11:50:00 AM
Cynthia David


Five Crowns raises funds for charities

Brawley, Calif.-based Five Crown Marketing will use the packaging on corn grown by its partner, Tracy, Calif.-based Prima Bella Produce Inc., to raise money for charity.

In October, the company will sell its corn in pink trays to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and in November the package will feature a link to the website of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, said sales manager Daren Van Dyke.

Van Dyke said Five Crowns is considering several new corn packs. One may be geared to kids, since studies show that corn is the favorite vegetable of children under 12.

The market continues to grow for value-added corn, he said.

"I think there’s always going to be that consumer who doesn’t want to dig through the bulk bin," he said.

"With food safety concerns, and the demands being placed on value-added processors, the package gives them a sense of security."

The Prima Bella package offers complete traceback to the field, he said. During the off-season, the company’s contract growers in Mexico must meet the same strict requirements.

Many retailers carry bulk and packaged corn at the same time with great success, Van Dyke said.

"If they’re on a big bulk corn promotion for Memorial Day, they’ll promote packages along with it. So you can still give that consumer a deal."


Gourmet Trading offers white asparagus

Los Angeles, Calif.-based Gourmet Trading Co. hopes to expand the asparagus category with its new peeled white asparagus in a bag.

It should be in supermarkets across North America by Easter, said marketing director Julia Inestroza.

It’s being grown in Peru year-round, and is available in 9-ounce, 1-pound and 1.5-pound bags to appeal to retail and foodservice.

Gourmet Trading Co. is also seeing a growing demand for its 12-ounce trimmed, washed and bagged green asparagus spears.

"Interest is being driven not only from a food safety level but also from a shrink perspective," Inestroza said.

"Retailers who switch to a bagged program see a great reduction in shrink."

The Stepac Xtend technology film used in Gourmet Trading’s green and white program extends shelf life and offers lots of space to give consumers information about the product, she said.

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