Alpine Fresh plans resealable bag launch

Value-added packaging is one way the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association suggests the category can be grown, and Walter Yager, chief executive officer at Alspie Fresh agrees.

Yager said the Doral, Fla., company is working on a resealable bag for this season. He said consumers are looking for convenience and easy preparation when it comes to fresh produce and a resealable bag should encourage purchases because it makes home storage easier.

Other new asparagus bags are also in the works at Alpine Fresh, with details anticipated this fall.

Customized Brokers adds cold storage

Customized Brokers plans to add a cold storage facility next to its Miami warehouse this fall.

The tentative opening is set for September, said Nelly Yunta, vice president of Customized Brokers, a subsidiary of the Crowley Maritime Corp., Jacksonville, Fla.

Yunta declined to discuss specifics about the facility, saying the company plans to promote its special features when it opens for business. Fresh asparagus from Peru is expected to be among the first produce to be stored at the facility.

Gourmet Trading offers peeled white

White asparagus provides the perfect opportunity to give consumers added value, according to Julia Inestroza, marketing director for Gourmet Trading Co., Los Angeles.

“It differs from the other two colors of asparagus because it is grown underground resulting in a possibly bitter peel,” Inestroza said.

Peeling the white variety removes the potential bitterness, but the simple solution is not widely known.

“Often consumers try white asparagus but they do not peel it, resulting in a bitter taste. To solve this, Gourmet Trading launched peeled white asparagus,” said Inestroza, adding that the asparagus is peeled by hand at the packing sheds in Peru and then bagged.

The fresh, peeled white asparagus is ready to cook, making it as convenient as possible for consumers.