California Spring Vegetables business updates - The Packer

California Spring Vegetables business updates

03/01/2013 01:38:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Bonipak Produce hires marketing coordinator

Amber Wighton, a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, has joined Bonipak Produce Inc. as marketing coordinator.

Wighton was senior marketing director for Fresno, Calif.-based PureSense, which sold weather stations and software programs to help growers manage irrigation.

In her new role, Wighton will help family-owned Bonipak focus its marketing efforts, according to a news release.

In addition, Leann Bettencourt was promoted to account manager, where she’ll support some of the company’s major accounts.

D’Arrigo Bros. rolls out iceless rabe pack

D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California Inc., Salinas, Calif., has introduced iceless, washed, fresh-cut broccoli rabe in 2-pound bags for retail under the Andy Boy label, said Gabriela D’Arrigo, saleswoman.

The new product is the result of collaboration with Salinas-based Taylor Farms, which does the actual packaging, she said.

D’Arrigo Bros. has been working on a bagged product for about 12 years but waited to introduce it until the packaging was perfected, D’Arrigo said.

If held at the proper temperature, the bagged broccoli rabe has a 16- to 18-day shelf life and “still looks like it was just cut,” she said.

D’Arrigo Bros. plans to continue to offer iced broccoli rabe.

Deardorff plans to offer organic cauliflower

Oxnard, Calif.-based Deardorff Family Farms plans to introduce a field-wrapped organic cauliflower this spring, organic sales manager Paul Rabadan said.

The cauliflower will join a host of other organic cool-season crops the grower-shipper already offers.

Earthbound Farm brings whole leaf items

Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., has introduced three organic products that feature washed, whole lettuce leaves packed in 5-ounce, modified-atmosphere clamshells.

The three varieties are butter lettuce, heirloom lettuce and romaine hearts, according to a news release.

The whole leaves are designed for use in sandwiches, wraps and salads.

The clamshells, made from recycled bottles, have an upscale appearance and show off the product, according to the release.

Mann Packing Co. adds french beans

Salinas-based Mann Packing Co. has added 8-ounce and 32-ounce bags of french beans to its line of bagged, pre-washed, ready-to-use vegetables, marketing coordinator Elena Hernandez said.

French beans — sometimes referred to by their French name, haricot verts — are longer, more slender and lighter colored than typical green beans.

Mann Packing Co. also has hired Craig Grantham as director of trade marketing.

He comes to the grower-packer from Emeryville, Calif.-based Peet’s Coffee & Tea, where he was director of business and trade management. Grantham also has worked for Tetley USA and the Gillette Co.

“It’s always great to bring in someone so well rounded when it comes to trade marketing,” Hernandez said.

Misionero Vegetables names inventory chief

Misionero Vegetables, Gonzales, Calif., has hired Victor Rey as inventory control manager.

He previously worked for Earthbound Farm as sanitation program manager, said Dan Canales, vice president of sales and marketing.

Rey will be based in Gonzales.

Ocean Mist adds big artichoke cooking bag

Castroville, Calif.-based Ocean Mist Farms, which introduced a microwaveable bag of two artichokes at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2012, plans to introduce a microwaveable bag of a single, jumbo artichoke in late spring, said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development.

The artichokes in both products are cleaned, trimmed and ready to cook. Both come with a zippered microwaveable Steamfast bag that allows users to season their artichokes before cooking.

Ocean Mist Farms also has begun offering a shrink-wrap option for its bok choy and napa cabbage.

The packaging was created at the request of a customer and provides a clean, crisp product presentation that allows labeling with a UPC code for scanning.

In addition, the shrink wrap lengthens the recommended shelf life to 21 days, compared to 17 days for naked packed boy choy and napa cabbage.

Artisan Lettuce deemed heart healthy

The American Heart Association has certified Tanimura & Antle’s Artisan Lettuce as a heart-healthy food.

The designation will allow the Salinas, Calif.-based grower-shipper to use the association’s heart check mark logo on clamshells.

The logo identifies products that the association has certified as meeting its nutritional guidelines for that particular food, according to the association’s website.

To be certified, the food must be low in fat, cholesterol, sodium and processed sugars and provide at least 10% of the daily value of at least one of these nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein or dietary fiber.

Artisan Lettuce is low in fat, and a serving delivers 45% of the daily value of vitamin A, according to the release.

The heads are sold in four- and six-count clamshells.



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