HMC is not new to the foodservice business, having introduced its Lunch Bunch — seedless red grapes portioned into 2- to 4-ounce bunches — in 1979.
The effort to develop single-serve packaged grape snacks started with a joint venture between HMC Group Marketing and Fresh Express in the mid-1990s. The group rolled out their product at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta to rave reviews, Kenfield said.
But the product never took off.
“We were just a decade-plus ahead of the time,” he said.
HMC reintroduced the concept of single-served packaged grapes in 2007.
In addition to Grape Escapes, HMC also offers destemmed, ready-to-eat seedless red grapes in 1-, 2- and 4-pound trays for foodservice.