For related coverage, see From the show floor: New York Produce show booths G-Z.

Packer staffers Pamela Riemenschneider, Chuck Robinson and Fred Wilkinson collected these news items Dec. 4 on the New York Produce Show exposition floor.

From the show floor: New York Produce Show booths A-FAMCO PRODUCE: Amco Produce, Leamington, Ontario, has begun shipping baby bell peppers in 1- and 3-pound bags, report Guido Policella (left), sales manager, and Mitch Amicone, salesman. There are six peppers per pack, and supply is year-round.

APIO: Sweet Kale vegetable salad kit is new from Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio Inc. Bob DeCosta, northeast regional sales manager, says the kits contains seven superfoods and no lettuce. The ingredient list includes broccoli slaw, brussels sprouts, chicory and green cabbage. It also has roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and poppyseed dressing. It is available in 12-ounce and 28-ounce packs. Apio also showed off its Just the Veggies party trays, which have no dip or dressing, just mini sweet peppers (recently added), baby carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, broccoli and sugar snap peas.

BALDOR: Red walnuts are new at Baldor Specialty Foods Inc., New York, says Alan Butzbach, quality assurance and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points director. Baldor has the exclusive East Coast rights to market the nuts for six months, he says. They are a cross between Persian walnuts, which are red skinned, and English walnuts. The flavor is slightly milder than English walnuts, he says. They come in 5-pound bulk and 7-ounce punnets.

BOOTH RANCHES: Longtime orange grower-shipper Booth Ranches LLC is making its first venture into a mandarin deal. A 10-week deal of harvesting and marketing w. murcotts should start in late January and last into March, says Neil Galone, vice president of sales and marketing for the Orange Cove, Calif., company.

From the show floor: New York Produce Show booths A-FB&amp W: B&amp W Quality Growers Inc., Fellsmere, Fla. is marketing a specialty blend meant to be a component for salads instead of a salad mix, says Andy Brown, vice president of marketing. The idea is to encourage chefs to be creative in using the product. He says the company"s specialty blend No. 1 has watercress, baby arugula and pea tendrils. A group of chefs helped develop the product, and other blends are planned.

CALAVO GROWERS: A new pack of fresh, ripe avocado halves has a shelf life from the date of manufacture of 60 days, says Rick Joyal, northeast region sales manager for Santa Paula, Calif-based Calavo Growers Inc. The peeled and pitted hass avocado halves are vaccuum-packed in plastic. A paperboard box protects the product but has avocado-shaped holes for showing the avocado. No preservatives are used in the product. The 2- to 3-ounce packs are packed six to a case.

COOSEMANS NEW YORK: It is tough to get fresher than grow your own. Coosemans New York Inc. has just begun offering growing baby pineapple plants for retail sales, says Alfie Badalamenti, vice president. It takes two or three months for the fruit to mature, getting 4 to 5 inches in size. The plant gets up to 3 feet tall, he says.

CORRIGAN: Gurnee, Ill.-based Corrigan Corporation of America has a new solution for warehouses and distribution centers designed to keep the atmosphere at just the right humidity without the puddles. The company"s new VaporPlus system emits "dry-fog" mist into a room, enabling warehouses to maintain the right relative humidity for a variety of uses, including fresh produce, says Larry Werner, sales and marketing director.

Werner says it"s a practical solution for warehouses because boxes and floors stay dry and produce stays fresh.

CRYSTAL VALLEY: Miami-based specialty produce supplier Crystal Valley Foods Inc. opened an office on the Los Angeles Terminal Market. The office opened in October, said Rick Durkin, director of business development. Durkin said the company decided to offer a West Coast option because of customer demand.

"We"re also getting more involved in the Mexican growing operations, and that"s another advantage of having an office in Los Angeles," he said. 

From the show floor: New York Produce Show booths A-FDECAS: Carver, Mass.-based Decas Cranberry Products Inc. is working on a new snack-size pack for flavored cranberries. The Fruit Face line features four flavored varieties of dried cranberries with half the sugar of traditional dried cranberries, which appeals to parents who want healthier snacks for their children, says Larry Woehl, senior director of national accounts and retail brokers. The packages include six single-serving packets of cranberries. Woehl said Meijer is testing the product and the company plans a national launch in February.

DEL MONTE: John McCann, Northeast region vice president of sales for Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., says the marketer has recently added hummus as a dip option with vegetable trays that feature baby carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets and grape tomatoes.

DISILVA FRUIT: Chelsea, Mass.-based DiSilva Fruit rolled out a new 3-count net bag for its organic lemons this summer.

Alden Guptill, director of operations, says the net bag offers more breathability for lemons, compared to an overwrapped tray, while helping retailers ensure proper ring-through on organics. The company highlighted its organic program at the show, which Guptill says is showing strong growth in the Northeast.

DUDA FARM FRESH FOODS: Jason Bedsole, vegetables and citrus sales manager for the eastern region of Oviedo, Fla.-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., shows off Duda"s line of holiday-themed packaging for celery introudced this fall. The line features packs of 30-count celery stalks, 18-count celery hearts and 8-ounce celery sticks.

From the show floor: New York Produce Show booths A-FEAST COAST FRESH: Ross Foca, president of Savage, Md.-based East Coast Fresh, says the company until recently known as East Coast Fresh Cuts is now the exclusive distributor of Betty Crocker brand fresh potatoes on the East Coast.

EUROFRESH FARMS: Jim D"Amato, regional sales manager for Willcox, Ariz.-based EuroFresh Farms, says the Redi-Bites punnets of grape tomato introduced this fall are stackable. Consumers pull up the label to open the package and may rinse them without taking the tomatoes out of the pack. RediBites are packed under the ArtiSuns Farms label. EuroFresh also showed off its new Redi Bites snacking cucumbers, which are about 3½ inches long, seedless and sold in an 8-ounce bag.

FOUR SEASONS PRODUCE: Paul Pogrebneak, senior business development manager for Ephrata, Pa.,-based Four Seasons Produce, says satsuma mandarins grown in California by Family Tree Farms are new for the company. The fruit will be packed in standard boxes for retail and also will be available with leaves still on the fruit as a merchandising option, he says.

From the show floor: New York Produce Show booths A-FFRESH EXPRESS: The Veggie Lovers line from Fresh Express has three additions, says Kevin Scrivanich, northeast director of sales for Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International and Fresh Express. Farmers Garden has butter and red-leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots and radishes. Spinach and Tomatoes has spinach, grape tomatoes, tango lettuce and carrots. Veggie Lovers has iceberg lettuce, carrots, romaine lettuce, pea pods, red cabbage and radishes.

FRESH SIDES: Consumers have options with the new microwaveable potato kits from Fresh From the Start, Riverhead, N.Y. Fresh Sides allow consumers to open the bag, add seasonings and re-seal prior to microwaving, says Daniel Dubinsky, senior vice president of sales and marketing. The line has six varieties of specialty potatoes, including fingerlings and sweet potatoes. Fingerling packs are 16 ounces and the rest are 24 ounces, and retail for about $2.99.

The company offers a YouTube page to guide consumers and give recipe ideas at