Retailers should expect more greenhouse specialties

03/08/2012 11:29:00 AM
Susie Cable

All Artisan Series products are available in retail-ready clamshells. The Rosado pink tomato and Farmhouse Heritage tomato also are available in loose packs.

BC Hot House Foods Inc., Langley, British Columbia, is marketing its Blushers-brand sweet pink cherry tomato in a retail-ready 8-ounce clamshell, said Kevin Batt, director of sales.

The deep green calyxes are left on the pink tomatoes, creating a "visually stunning" product, Batt said.

Blushers, with their brix count of about 8.5, are sweeter than typical cherry tomatoes, Batt said.

Blushers are grown in Canada, but if demand exceeds volume, BC Hot House might consider adding production in Mexico.

The company also markets sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine, grape tomatoes and assorted cocktail tomatoes.

Its Tomatogems medley contains a variety of greenhouse-grown premium red and yellow cherry tomatoes.

Delta, British Columbia-based Village Farms International’s Heavenly Villagio Marzano, a mini San Marzano plum tomato, has been so successful that the company plans to increase production of it soon.

"We’ve had excellent response to Heavenly Villagio Marzano," said Doug Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

"We intend to ramp it up within the next six months."

Kling said the Heavenly Villagio Marzano’s flavor is the key to its success.

"The flavor is outstanding, with the right amount of acidity and sweetness," he said.

Village Farms launched the Heavenly Villagio Marzano last fall. The tomatoes are packed in 10 1-pound gusseted resealable handled bags.

Leamington, Ontario-based Nature Fresh Farms Inc.’s Amorosa cocktail tomatoes and Kiss-brand high-brix multicolored grape tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine should be in full production by mid-March, said Jay Colasanti, sales and marketing representative.

The company is expected to ship 1.6 million cartons of tomatoes on the vine.

Nature Fresh tested KISS grape tomatoes during the past two years, but this year the product is being launched in a bigger way, Colasanti said.

The tomatoes are consistent in size, flavor and sweetness.

Brix levels regularly test around 10, Colasanti said.

KISS-brand grape tomatoes are packed in single colors in 6-ounce packages or half dry-pints, or as rainbow packs in 12-ounce packages.

Other specialties Nature Fresh plans to market this season are baby eggplant and mini seedless cucumbers, Colasanti said.

 

In April, BC Hot House expects to ship TasteBuddies-brand red, yellow and orange miniature blocky sweet bell peppers, which will be packed in 1-pound bags.



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