Nunes, Earthbound add to organic menu

04/22/2011 02:21:08 PM
Mike Hornick

Earthbound Farm and The Nunes Co. are adding to their organic vegetable offerings for spring.

Salinas, Calif.-based The Nunes Co. supplied organic cauliflower for the first time in April.

“We’re following that with some organic iceberg toward May,” said Doug Classen, sales manager.

“We’ve been expanding our organic program,” Classen said. “We’ve had a lot of good results with organic. We see that as growing in the marketplace.”

Long- and short-term indicators are up for organic produce. The business has been growing at a compound annual rate of about 14% over the past five years, according to a survey by the Organic Trade Association, Brattleboro, Vt.

In fresh-cut salads, organics were up 15.1% in February over the previous year compared to 1.5% for the whole category, according to The Nielsen Co.

“People are continuing to move toward organic,” said Samantha Cabaluna, director of communications for San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Earthbound Farm.

“People see organic as healthier and in produce, the price differential is much smaller, making the value proposition for consumers that much stronger.”

In line with the salad growth, Earthbound Farm has launched a organic Caesar salad kit in a bag. It comes with whole-grain croutons and shaved parmesan.

Earthbound is also touting a new four-pack of petite heirloom lettuces as an alternative to spring mix. Each pack contains two red and two green heads. The varieties include red and green oak, red and green romaine, lolla rossa and tango.

“These lettuces provide the flavor of some of the spring mix greens with the crunch and texture of bigger leaves,” Cabaluna said.

“We’ll be building production and distribution of this product throughout the year.”

Starting in May, Earthbound Farm will offer a revamped bag of washed and trimmed cilantro. Originally rolled out last fall as a 3-ounce bag, it will become a 2-ouncer with a resealable zipper. The change was based on customer feedback, Cabaluna said.



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