Eco Farms Corp., Temecula, Calif., has hired John Patrick as a salesman. Patrick most recently was with Schoenmann Produce Co., Houston. ( Courtesy Eco Farms Corp. )

Del Rey expands facility in N.J.

Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc., Fallbrook, Calif., has expanded the Vineland, N.J., facility that it acquired about 18 months ago by 26,000 square feet, said partner Bob Lucy.

The company had stored fruit there for nearly 30 years before acquiring the facility, which serves as a distribution center that also does bagging and preconditioning.

“It’s been a nice addition for us,” Lucy said. “Now we can service more people with more bagging and more preconditioning.”

The company also has added the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check logo to its cartons of California avocados, he said.

The logo indicates that fruit is certified as a heart-healthy food that meets the Heart Association’s nutrition requirements.

 

Eco Farms hires salesman for East

John Patrick, most recently with Schoenmann Produce Co., Houston, has been hired as a salesman for Eco Farms Corp., Temecula, Calif., said Steve Taft, owner and president.

Patrick, who has an extensive background selling hass avocados, will work out of Charlotte, N.C.

The company also plans to test an organic coating called Edipeel for Avocados that, when sprayed on the fruit, is said to double the shelf life at retail. It’s a product of Apeel Sciences, Goleta, Calif.

Eco Farms has also added the American Hearts Association’s Heart-Check logo to its cartons.

 

HAB releases channel analysis

Sales of bagged avocados across all channels have increased one percentage point compared to sales of bulk product, according to an in-depth channel analysis conducted by the Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board.

The study, which looked at retail channels such as grocery stores, dollar stores, club stores and the Internet, was released in early March and compared figures for 2016 against 2015.

The analysis indicated that bulk sales still far outnumber bagged sales, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director.

About 87% of avocados in the U.S. are merchandised in bulk displays, while 13% are sold in bags.

Overall, purchases of bagged avocados in grocery stores increased by $9.5 million, while purchases of bulk product declined by $11 million.

Walmart, however, saw increases in the bagged and bulk categories, Escobedo said.

The channel analysis is at hassavocadoboard.com.

 

Henry Avocado building new packinghouse

Henry Avocado Corp., Escondido, Calif., is building a new packinghouse on the other side of town, said president Phil Henry.

The current location was a rural area when the facility was built in the 1920s, he said. But things are different today.

“The city of Escondido has grown, and there are houses around us,” Henry said.

“We’re planning to move late this summer or early fall, as soon as we finish the California harvest in our existing packinghouse,” he said.

The new 50,000-square-foot facility is in an industrial park on the west side of the city will have insulated panels throughout the cold storage area and space for a sizer.

Offices will be there as well.

The new site should be ready in time for the 2019 harvest.

 

Volume up 50% at McDaniel Fruit

Avocado volume at McDaniel Fruit Co. Inc., Fallbrook, Calif., should be at least 50% higher this season than last year, and the company is looking forward to the opportunity to “get aggressive with our customers and get some volume moving and some pricing that will take consumer interest in avocados even higher,” said president Rankin McDaniel.

The firm was especially hard hit by last year’s low crop volumes, he said. But this year, the situation is reversed with the heavier crop.

 

Mission adds ripening rooms

Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif., has added three state-of-the-art ripening rooms at its Oxnard location, providing 90 additional pallet spaces for ripening, said Robb Bertels, vice president of marketing.

The company also added bagging capacity at its facilities in Mexico as well as in its distribution center in New Jersey.

Over the past year, the company has opened ripening facilities in Calgary, Alberta, the Netherlands and China.

The firm has added the Mr. Avocado label in China and is looking to expand there and add another ripe center, Bertels said.

Mission Produce also has launched a product called Emeralds in the Rough, which are 2- and 3-pound bags of No. 2 Grade avocados.

No. 2 Grade avocados typically are sold to foodservice distributors and industrial users. They may have external scars and blemishes, but they do not affect the internal quality or taste of the fruit.

 
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