California Summer Fruit Business Updates - The Packer

California Summer Fruit Business Updates

05/07/2013 02:59:00 PM
Mike Hornick & Vicky Boyd

Family Tree Farms promotes staff

Parker Anderson has moved up to account manager at Family Tree Farms Inc., Reedley, Calif., after working summers there while attending Fresno Pacific University, director of marketing Don Goforth said.

Anderson graduated with a degree in business administration.

 

Flavor Tree Fruit returns Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs, a large, sweet stemless cherry, should be back on the market this season after a one-year absence, said Mo Cameron, global sales manager for The Flavor Tree Fruit Co. LLC, Hanford, Calif.

The size and quality wasn’t up to the high standard set for the specialty cherry last year, so the fruit marketer decided to forgo the season, he said.

The cherry is known for its nearly black skin, deep purple interior, crunchy texture and brix levels of 18-24.

They are packed in 1-pound clamshells, and limited quantities should be available beginning in mid-May.

 

Primavera Marketing adds packing line

Primavera Marketing Inc. has a new packing line for cherries at its Linden, Calif., facility that it expected to be up and running May 1.

“We’ve had all our cherry lines under one roof, but we did a new building for this one,” said Rich Sambado, sales manager. “The new cherry line will allow us to process more fruit on a daily basis.”

Besides cherries, Primavera packs apples and walnuts in Linden and maintains cold storage.

 

Rivermaid Trading fills new positions

Lodi, Calif.-based Rivermaid Trading Co. has created three new positions to handle additional volume generated from its 2012 acquisition of Dinuba, Calif.-based Wespak Sales Co.

Dave Parker, a stone fruit industry veteran who most recently was director of marketing for Scattaglia Growers & Shippers LLC, Traver, Calif., was named marketing adviser.

Brad Gostanian, who spent 11 years in sales at Cutler, Calif.-based Wawona Packing Co., filled a new sales position.

Mike Isola, who most recently spent eight years in sales at Stockton, Calif.-based Grower Direct, filled another sales slot.

In addition, Rivermaid Trading Co. was named one of three companies that will exclusively market Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International’s proprietary apricot and plum varieties.

 

Stemilt to increase use of social media

Stemilt Growers LLC, Wenatchee, Wash., plans to ramp up Facebook and accompanying e-mail campaigns with the start of the California cherry season, and the campaigns should gain momentum as harvest moves into the Northwest, marketing director Roger Pepperl said.

Postings will provide fans with information about the family farmers behind Stemilt, cherry production and harvest, and nutritional information as well as new cherry recipes.

The company’s Facebook page already has more than 21,000 fans, and Pepperl said he expects continued growth.

Stemilt also unveiled a new blog, The Stem, and plans to increase the number of bloggers it uses to interact with consumers.

Stemilt has a heavy presence in California’s south San Joaquin Valley as well as production in the central and northern parts of the state and state-of-the-art packing and cooling facilities near Stockton, Calif.

 

Sunkist Growers: Not your mom’s grapefruit

Sunkist Growers is promoting the health and beauty benefits of grapefruit in a brochure dubbed “It’s not your mother’s grapefruit.”

It’s available online at http://tinyurl.com/akshx6m and suggests eating half a grapefruit three times daily before meals as a path to weight loss.

The fiber and water content prompt better appetite control, according to the brochure. Sunkist also cites a study in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry that found one grapefruit per day helped lower LDL cholesterol by 15.5%.

Grapefruit’s antioxidant effects also have benefits for skin, the brochure claims.

A chart lists the months different varieties are available, calling attention to choices your mother may not have had available.

“We’re talking to a newer audience that is able to use grapefruit for weight control,” said Leland Wong, director of marketing for Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist. “When I was a kid, there was only white grapefruit. Over the last five years, the red and super red are taking over. As a result, a lot of younger people are looking at grapefruit as a tasty way to fill their citrus needs.”

The brochure’s recipes include grapefruit avocado salad, citrus bruschetta, and a grapefruit salsa.

 

Sun World offers high graphic bins

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International Inc. plans to roll out new high-graphic table grape display bins this season that highlight the healthful benefits of grapes, said Natalie Erlendson, marketing manager.

The firm also plans to upgrade its standard polyethylene slider bag to a slider bag made of clearer polypropylene film.

The change is in response to consumer surveys that found bag cloudiness was one of the top five consumer turn-offs.

All of Sun World’s Superior Seedless, Midnight Beauty, Scarlotta Seedless, AutumnCrisp, flames and crimsons will be packed in the new bags.

“We’re really putting a big marketing focus on these elements because we think they will help to drive the purchase of an impulse item like grapes,” Erlendson said. “We want merchandising displays and packaging to can really capture shoppers’ attention in store and generate incremental sales that attention.”

Sun World also plans to begin adding item-level traceability to all of its bagged grapes, a process it expects to take a few years to complete.

By scanning a quick-response code on the bags with their smartphones, consumers will be taken to a mobile website with information about the variety, when and where they were packed, table grape care and storage, and grape nutrition. The site also will have recipes.

 

Zaninovich & Sons to use pouch bags

Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons Inc., Richgrove, Calif., plans to pack all of its proprietary Sweet Sunshine green grapes this season in high-graphic pouch bags with handles.

A couple of retailers also use accompanying display bins for Sweet Sunshine grapes, said Chance Kirk, director of retail and foodservice sales.

The grower-shipper also plans to test-market a bicolor 2-pound clamshell for cherries featuring half dark red and half rainier.



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