Desert Produce business updates - The Packer

Desert Produce business updates

05/03/2013 10:39:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Prime Time upgrades packing facilities

Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., is upgrading its packinghouse, adding new bagging equipment for peppers and mini sweet peppers and upgrading and expanding lines “to make us more efficient and put up a nicer pack,” said Mike Aiton, director of marketing.

During the spring, the company grows bell peppers, mini sweet peppers, yellow, white and bicolor corn, seedless and seeded watermelons, hard squash, cucumbers, green beans and eggplant.

Stevco Inc. doubles scarlet royal volume

Los Angeles-based Stevco Inc. has doubled its production of scarlet royal table grapes this season, said president Dave Clyde.

“We went from 100,000 (packages) to a little over 200,000,” he said. “We’ve got a very good following overseas in the export market, and the domestic market is asking for the scarlet more and more.”

The company expects to ship up to 600,000 cartons of grapes out of the Coachella Valley this season.
Picking should start around May 20.

Sunkist campaign promotes grapefruit

This season, Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif., is promoting grapefruit with a marketing campaign called “Not Your Mother’s Grapefruit,” said Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations.

The campaign highlights how grapefruit can be used to help aid weight loss, explains why the fruit is considered a “super food” and offers recipe ideas that provide new ways to incorporate the fruit into consumers’ diets, she said.

A brochure on the topic is available at

The company also recently conducted a satellite media tour with women’s health expert Donnica Moore encouraging consumers to talk to their doctor about drug interactions before cutting nutritious foods like grapefruit out of their diet.

Sun World adds bins, upgrades grape bags

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International LLC, which has a Coachella Valley grape program, plans to roll out high-graphic table grape display bins this season, said Natalie Erlendson, marketing manager. The bins will highlight the health benefits of grapes.

Also this season, the company will upgrade its standard polyethylene slider bag to a slider bag made of clearer polypropylene film.
All of its Superior Seedless, Midnight Beauty, Scarlotta Seedless, AutumnCrisp, flames and crimsons will be packed in the new bags. Sun World will begin adding item-level traceability to all of its bagged grapes, Erlendson said.

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