NOGALES, Ariz. — Increased volume, especially in eggplant, green beans and cucumbers, will highlight the winter season at Ciruli Bros. LLC, said Chris Ciruli, chief operating officer.
The company has added an eggplant grower and should have nearly a half million cartons of regular eggplant, Ciruli said.
That figure jumps to 750,000 cartons when Italian, Hindu and Chinese specialty varieties are included.
In the specialty category, Ciruli Bros. will emphasize its new, 15-pound cartons rather than the traditional 1 1/9-bushel pack.
“Traditionally (specialty eggplant) has been packed in the bushel and a ninth,” Ciruli said.
“We came up with a very nice, retail-ready 15-pound box that we’re trying to push out.”
The company tested three boxes last year before settling on its current 15-pounder.
The firm also has tripled its green bean volume compared to last year and has added a cucumber deal.
Last season, Ciruli Bros. had a Caborca deal on fall and spring cucumbers.
“Now we have a Culiacan deal,” Ciruli said, which will enable the company to ship cucumbers from October until early June.
“We tried it out, we had very good quality, and there was a lot of demand from the customers,” Ciruli said.
Also new this year is a pickle program, which should start in late November from the company’s bean grower in Los Mochis.
Once again, the firm expects an early start to its mango deal. Shipments should begin sometime in February.
About 85% of the deal will be the company’s Champagne mangoes, which are ataulfo variety mangoes, but the firm will add some late-season kents in response to retailer requests.