About a year after Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. licensed some salads to Gold Coast Packing Inc. for sale to club stores and supermarkets, sales and package size are both up and the Santa Maria, Calif.-based shipper plans to add more kits to its offering.
San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant owns and operates 128 restaurants in 15 states. In Southern California they’re under the Souplantation banner; elsewhere, it’s Sweet Tomatoes. Last June the company licensed the Joan’s Broccoli Madness and Lemon Broccoli Madness salad kits to Gold Coast Packing.
“Our salad kit business is focused around Joan’s Broccoli Madness,” Brent Scattini, Gold Coast vice president of marketing and sales, said March 27. “We took over an existing product. It’s mainly geared toward the club store format. We’re gaining greater nationwide penetration. By the end of April we will probably be at about a 50% increase over where we were when we started the program.”
The initial distribution of the kits was to club stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Texas.
Moreover, the kit has been bumped up from 32 to 38 ounces. “We’ve increased the size to create a 16% greater value to the consumer,” Scattini said.
“We have a handful of similar salads that should be hitting the marketplace in the next two or three months,” he said. “They will be marketed under the same brand.”
Details of those were yet to be announced, but they will target club stores and, potentially, conventional retail. “We’re working on those concepts and selling them,” Scattini said.
Gold Coast grows, ships and processes fresh broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, spinach and other fresh vegetables.
“We’re coming off a couple successful years,” Scattini said. “That new product line is doing very well, and we have some private label programs we’re finding great success with.”