Obregon said he sees lots of room to grow for the avocado category.
“I think each association has learned to live with each other and learn what each’s strengths are,” he said.
“It’s a great group of people. I’m sure whoever they hire to replace me will continue the path of growth. There’s so much opportunity.”
Naturipe Farms garners Berry Quick acclaim
Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC has seen some early success with its new value-added product, Berry Quick, and Chile will play a role in its growth, said Brian Bocock, vice president of sales.
“We won an award for innovation on this item, and we will be offering that from Chile, starting in January,” Bocock said.
“It’s a ready-to-eat blueberry that’s packed in a trail sleeve. We started with it this summer with some retailers. Once we get it completely mastered, it will take off in sales.”
The target audience for the item is consumers who want a quick snack or serving for lunch, Bocock said.
“They’re fresh berries, they’re washed, cleaned and ready to eat,” he said.
Berry Quick Fresh Blueberry Snacks is the first of its kind to offer washed and ready-to-eat blueberries, he said, adding that the product is ideal for “on-the-go snacks” and are packed in sleeves designed to prevent crushing.
Oppenheimer Group to add value-added
Growth in the value-added category is in the plans of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group in its Chilean grape program, said Josh Leichter, the company’s Newark, Del.-based vice president of the East Coast and grape category director.
“We’re continuing to do more in value-added packaging and fixed-price programs and early season volumes and different certifications of products like Rainforest Alliance,” he said.
“We’re just continuing to refine and enhance what we bring to the program.”