Wholly Guacamole took its products on the road with Guaclandia, a bus tour offering games, photo ops and guacamole samples. ( Courtesy Wholly Guacamole )

Brooks releases 2019 calendar

Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., has released its downloadable 2019 tropical fruit calendar, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing.

The calendar offers a month-by-month option as well a year-at-a-glance version.

“It’s a pretty popular download,” she said.

Each month is represented by an artistic version of a tropical fruit.

The calendar is available at new.brookstropicals.com.


Del Rey launches upgraded website

Fallbrook, Calif.-based Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. has a new website — delreyavocado.com — and a new saleswoman, said partner Bob Lucy.

The new website provides retail and foodservice buyers easy access to information they use on a daily basis, Lucy said.

“We did a total upgrade,” he said.

The site includes a product section that highlights varieties and specialty programs offered, an expanded organics section and a new section that focuses on the company’s commitment to Fair Trade Mexico.

Del Rey also has hired a new saleswoman, Caitlan Cunha, who previously served in the field department for another packer and who has extensive knowledge of the industry. Lucy said.


GreenFruit gets ripening space

Newport Beach, Calif.-based GreenFruit Avocados has announced the opening of its sister company, Fruitripe Cold Storage & Ripening Services, in Riverside, Calif.

Fruitripe provides GreenFruit Avocados with a 25,000-square-foot cold storage and ripening facility that will service product destined for retail and foodservice accounts, said vice president Brian Gomez.

GreenFruit Avocados also has hired retail veteran Kraig Loomis as sales and marketing manager, Gomez said.

Loomis has 18 years of experience, 16 of which were spent in retail, and he most recently served as sales manager for asparagus, wet vegetables and varietal berries at Progressive Produce Corp., Los Angeles.


Index Fresh hires VP of operations

Riverside, Calif.-based Index Fresh Inc. has hired Santiago Pacheco as vice president of operations, said Dana Thomas, president.

Pacheco, formerly with Earthbound Farm, San Juan Batista, Calif.; and Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale, Calif., is responsible for all operations in California, Texas and the outside facilities the company works with, Thomas said.

He also oversees food safety operations across all facilities.

Meanwhile, operation of the company’s new 60,000-square-foot facility in Pharr, Texas, is proceeding smoothly, Thomas said.

“We’re really pleased with the startup, and we’re really pleased with the people we have managing it,” he said.


Wholly Guacamole rolls out Snack Cups

Orange, Calif.-based MegaMex Foods, which markets the Wholly Guacamole brand, has introduced a line of Snack Cups that feature its signature guacamole made from hand-scooped hass avocados, said Diana Pusiri, senior brand manager.

The gluten-free, 2.8-ounce Snack Cups come in three flavors — Classic (mild), Spicy (hot) and Homestyle — and feature only high-quality ingredients with no preservatives or artificial flavors added, she said.

Suggested retail price is $1.99-2.79.

The company also conducted a multi-city Guaclandia Tour, “an experiential sampling event,” she said.

The one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit features a “photo-ready Instagram-able bus that will bring the nation’s love for avocado to life through interactive activities, engaging photo ops and unlimited samples of America’s No. 1 refrigerated guacamole,” according to a news release.

“It’s pretty much a sampling event, but with a bigger experience for consumers,” Pusiri said.

Guaclandia visited San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle and Chicago, with the tour extended to include an extra stop in Texas, Pusiri said.


Mission launches foodservice unit

Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce is launching a foodservice division to meet the unique demands of its foodservice customers, said Patrick Cortes, director of sales.

Bryan Garibay, foodservice sales manager, will lead the new division, and he will be supported by Jason Payne, who recently was hired by Mission as a salesman.

Avocados are becoming a much more integral part of the foodservice industry, Cortes said.

“As a result, we felt we needed, with our global reach and supply chain, an expertise so we would have the ability to have on-time, in-spec avocados at a moment’s notice for that sector of our business.”

The company also showed off new packaging for its Emeralds in the Rough line at the Produce Marketing Association’s foodservice conference in Monterey in late July.


Naturipe expands avocado acreage

New production from Naturipe Avocado Farms, Estero, Fla., will expand the company’s total acres under production in Mexico, Peru and Chile, said Joe Dugo, national sales director.

Naturipe will have approximately 40% more volume in 2018 than 2017, he said, and the company will continue to grow.

“From September through January, we will have fruit from both Mexico and Chile,” he said.

“For February through late May, we will exclusively have product from Mexico.”

He expects quality to be good.

“We have remained disciplined in our harvest practices to ensure we are picking once peak eating quality is achieved through the optimal dry matter,” he said.