News NGA Show 2017 expo No. 1 By Greg Johnson February 16, 2017 | 5:14 pm EST OPPY: The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, has a new grape variety this year called Sweet Celebration. TJ Wilson, business development (left), says it’s a large, red seedless variety that will be available in February and March. Oppy also offers green and gold kiwifruit year-round thanks to more grower partnerships, including in Italy, through its Zespri relationship, says Sarah Deaton, Zespri’s North American marketing manager. U.S. retail solutions specialist Garland Perkins also worked at the event. TWIST-EASE: Twist-Ease Inc., Crystal, Minn., is testing a new Click-N-Go tie pack system that’s easier to refill than existing ones and that hold twice as much product, says owner James Helseth. He says it should be available nationwide later this year. NOGALES PRODUCE: Specializing in Hispanic produce and grocery items, Nogales Produce Inc., Dallas, is shipping more fresh-cut and packaged items, says Tim Kacvinsky, (center) national sales and procurement manager. Jaine Lanae McDowell, sales manager, says the company ships produce items within Texas and to bordering states, but it ships grocery items nationwide. Salesman Manny De La Cruz also worked at the expo. PRO*ACT: Members of Pro*Act, Monterey, Calif., now offer a sous vide line of organic sweet potatoes, butternut squash and red beets, and conventional baby carrots, says Kelly Jacob, vice president of retail. Brian Haley, director of retail sales for member company Get Fresh Cos., Las Vegas, says they’re part of the company’s increasing business in convenience items. PACIFICPRO: Pacificpro Inc., Bellevue, Wash., which specializes in Northwest produce less-than-load sales, is expanding into California citrus this year, says vice president Marcus Hartmann (left). CEO Craig Hartmann says the company is also seeing growth in its online produce marketplace Produce Pipeline and its cross docking business, Cross Dock Express. RED SUN: Red Sun Farms, Kingsville, Ontario, updated its packaging to give bags a basket look, says Ray Mason, (right) senior account manager. Chris Mendes, salesman, says two new items, mini peppers and 1-pound greenhouse roma tomatoes, feature the look. WELL-PICT: Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Inc. is now shipping berries from Oxnard, Calif., and while Jim Grabowski, merchandising manager, says January’s rain caused some problems, February has given great growing conditions, so volumes are returning to normal levels. Julie Lucido (left) and Allison Allwine of Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., provide marketing services for Well-Pict. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LAS VEGAS — Greg Johnson, Editor of The Packer, compiled these news items at the National Grocers Association annual expo Feb. 13-14 in Las Vegas. See NGA Show 2017 expo No. 2 here.