Village Farms' Paige Stewart (left) and Krysten DeGiglio the company's tomatoes at Fresh Summit ( Courtesy Village Farms )

It was a close competition at the Village Farms booth at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, with a taste challenge between the Heavenly Villagio Marzano and the Lorabella Blossom in Orlando, Fla.

Fresh Summit participants who visited the Village Farms booth on the expo floor were asked to decide whether they preferred the “smooth” orange Lorabella Blossom tomato or the “sweet” red Heavenly Villagio Marzano. The results were almost identical, according to a news release.

The promotion shows that consumers are ready for new flavors in the tomato segment, according to Helen Aquino, director of brand marketing & communication for Village Farms.

The specialty tomato segment has grown in the past several years, Aquino said, because of that consumer acceptance, which is borne out by Nielsen data.

“It is wonderful to compliment the Nielsen consumption data we use with this rich qualitative taste challenge data that shows consumers are becoming more adventurous in their taste preferences, and delighting in our little orange snacking tomato Lorabella Blossom just as much as they have been with our Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato,” she said in the release.