The proprietary Rubilee pomegranate program continues to grow for DJ Forry Co. Inc., Pismo Beach, Calif., says Ray England, vice president of marketing. ( DJ Forry Co. Inc. )

Bari Produce adds acreage for grapes

Bari Produce LLC, Madera, Calif., has added acreage for some of its later table grape varieties, said Justin Bedwell, president.

The company has added 360 acres of red globe, scarlet royal and autumn king grapes as well as some autumn royals and vintage red table grapes.

“We’re expanding our program to fill any holes we have so we can supply our customers from July to December,” he said.


Grape commission rolls out fall promos

The Fresno-based California Table Grape Commission will kick off fall promotions with a September Instagram contest featuring chef and dietitian Ellie Krieger, said Jeff Cardinale, vice president of communications.

Fans will have a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of $500.  

California grapes also will star in season two of the PBS show “Ellie’s Real Good Food.”

Chef Aaron Sanchez will conduct a satellite media tour from his New Orleans restaurant Johnny Sanchez in October, create a series of recipe videos for the commission, and host a special meal at his restaurant for the winners of a California grape Facebook contest that wrapped up in August with more than 150,000 entries.


Kiwifruit committee plans campaign

The Sacramento-based California Kiwifruit Administrative Committee is planning a million-dollar kiwifruit marketing program in conjunction with the California Grown program, said Nick Matteis, manager.

It will have digital marketing pieces, feature a kiwifruit grower “in a rock star kind of light” and involve giveaways and recipe development, he said.

The campaign kicked off in early August and will run through Dec. 31. Some social media and digital marketing efforts will continue into 2018.


Volume increases at Crown Jewels

Pomegranate volume will be up slightly this season at Crown Jewels Produce Co. LLC, Fresno, Calif., said salesman Jeff Kramm.

The project involves about 20 acres of pomegranates that were replaced with an earlier variety than what was planted previously, he said. The fields were replanted about three years ago and should be ready for harvest in late August or early September.

Atomic Torosian, longtime managing partner for Crown Jewels Produce, died July 7 at the age of 67.


Dayka & Hackett offers Mega Kiwi

Reedley, Calif.-based Dayka & Hackett, which has marketed a proprietary kiwifruit variety called Mega Kiwi for a few years, will start receiving promotable volume this year for the first time, said saleswoman Kris Mortensen. It will be available from October until March.

The fruit is larger than traditional kiwifruit and has more sugars, 60% more antioxidants and twice the vitamin C, Mortensen said.

Dayka & Hackett expects to produce 40,000 to 50,000 boxes of Mega Kiwi this season and should double that number next year, she said.


Growth continues for DJ Forry Inc.

Early Rubilee proprietary pomegranates and Sweet Burst arils continue ito grow for DJ Forry Co. Inc., Pismo Beach, Calif., said Ray England, vice president of marketing.

The Rubilee, named after the “deep dark red” color of its arils, was scheduled to start Aug. 15 and should be up 10% in volume compared to last year, England said.


Flavor Tree expands gold kiwifruit

The Flavor Tree Fruit Co. LLC, Hanford, Calif., this season will start harvesting gold kiwifruit grown on 50 acres under a huge tent, said Maurice Cameron, president.

The company will harvest fruit from a similar 36-acre site for the third season. The interior of the tents is maintained at temperatures that mimic the environment of the kiwifruit growing regions in New Zealand.

Flavor Tree plans to ship about 50,000 cartons of gold kiwifruit this season.

Flavor Tree also will market about 1 million boxes of wonderful variety pomegranates from SunnyGem Produce LLC, Dinuba, Calif., this season starting around Oct. 10, Cameron said.


Simonian boosts organic volume

After “dabbling” in organics for the past few years, Simonian Fruit Co., Fowler, Calif., will have some “good promotable volumes” of organic wonderful variety pomegranates starting in October, said Jeff Simonian, sales manager.

The company started growing organic pomegranates about three years ago, he said. He expects a 70% increase this year.


SunnyGem to offer pomegranate juice

SunnyGem Produce LLC, Dinuba, Calif., has just completed a multi-million-dollar expansion, said Mitch Ritchie, who is in charge of fresh arils and juice sales.

“We’re putting in one of the largest arils lines in California,” he said.

The company also has installed a bottling line where it will produce 16- and 32-ounce bottles of fresh pomegranate juice.

The arils will be sold in 4.4- and 8-ounce packages that are being redesigned to match the new juice bottle.


Sun Pacific adds cara cara navels

Sun Pacific Shippers Inc., Pasadena, Calif., is adding Air Chief cara cara navel oranges to its product line this fall, increasing organic acreage and planning a strong marketing program for Cuties brand clementines, said Howard Nager, vice president of business development.

The company plans to reach more than a half-billion consumers through a number of promo strategies for Cuties.

The company also is dedicating acreage to organic citrus.

“All of our citrus, including Cuties, will be available organically beginning with the start of the 2018 season,” Nager said.


Sun World to show off new packaging

Sun World International LLC, Bakersfield, Calif., plans to unveil new packaging designs and point-of-sale materials this fall at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in New Orleans, said Natalie Erlendson, marketing manager.

Sun World launched its brand promise “Better Farms. Better Flavor.” at the start of the season, along with a new look and feel to its consumer website, Erlendson said.


Volume up by 25% at Western Fresh

Kiwifruit volume at Western Fresh Marketing Services Inc., Madera, Calif., will be up about 25% this season.

“We picked up a substantial new grower,” said Chris Kragie, who became part owner of the company in April and will continue to serve as import and sales manager.

All of the new fruit is the green hayward variety.


Halos plans new marketing program

Wonderful Halos from Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus Co. will dedicate $25 million toward a marketing campaign this season that promotes Halos as a good choice for the whole family, said Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing for Wonderful Halos.

“A big focus for us this season is the introduction of new, seasonal and everyday (point-of-sale materials) in stores to enhance our merchandising efforts with retailers,” he said.

Wonderful Halos also is focusing heavily on its digital presence by increasing digital spending to the highest in the brand’s history, he said.