packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

THE OPPENHEIMER GROUP: Jason Fung, director of category development for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, shows off the firm’s strawberry and blueberry packs in the Ocean Spray label. “The Ocean Spray program for us has been a tremendous success,” says Fung. “We launched it last June and this will be the first full year of the berry program in the Ocean Spray label.” Fung says the strong branding efforts of Ocean Spray juices help fresh berries as well. “We represented Ocean Spray on the cranberry deal for nearly 20 years, so this was a natural progression for us,” he says. Oppy is sourcing strawberries from California, and blueberries from Florida and California, with production expected to move seasonally up the coasts. Oppy grows strawberries year-round in California, and has seasonal supplies from Florida and Mexico.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

GRIMMWAY FARMS: Lisa McNeece, vice president of foodservice and industrial sales for Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield, Calif., shows off an organic potato pack from the company’s Cal-Organic division. The organic potato program, with first shipments in early May, features white, gold, red and russet potatoes grown in the Bakersfield region and will run through October, she says.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

DRISCOLL’S: California strawberry volumes in May should be accelerate with the transition to Salinas and Watsonville, says Casey Rose, retail sales manager for Driscoll’s, Watsonville, Calif. Volume will help enable strong promotions for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day ads, he says. “If we have some favorable temperatures over the next four weeks there will be an upside to volume for strawberries, raspberries and blackberries as well,” Rose says. Driscoll’s also will see rising volume of blueberries from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. A shorter cherry crop in California’s Central Valley could open the door for more demand and more ad support for the berry category, he says.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

BC TREE FRUIT: The cherry season for BC Tree Fruits will begin in early July, says Andrew Sandre, account manager for the Kelowna, British Columbia, company. Crop size is expected to be 10 million to 12 million pounds, similar to a year ago. Fruit size may be a bit bigger, and shipments will continue through late August.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

RAINIER: Organic blueberry volume from Washington state will begin about the first week of June, says David Armenta (left), export domestic salesman at Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash., with Tyler Johnson, domestic salesman. Peak volume will begin the third week of June and go to the second or third week of July, Armenta says, and the season will wind down at the end of September. Rainier Fruit grows blueberries under netting, which reduces temperatures for the plants by about 10 degrees and extends the season.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

HOUWELINGS: Houweling’s Delights premium cherry-on-the-vine tomato pack is attracting growing interest after a soft launch in 2017, says David Bell, chief marketing officer for the Houwelings Group, Delta, British Columbia. “The (tomato) is a nice brilliant red with a solid truss presentation and a super sweet brix over 10,” he says. The tomato is grown in British Columbia and California. The pack, about 9 ounces, is typically priced $3.49-4.99 in Canada and the U.S., depending on the store banner, he says.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

NATUREFRESH: An expansion in acreage is in the works for NatureFresh Farms, says Ray Wowryk, director of business development for NatureFresh Farms (right), with Matt Quiring, retail accounts manager. With the 32 acres now being constructed, Wowryk says the Leamington, Ontario, company will put in lights to allow for winter production. With the added acreage, NatureFresh will have about 240 acres under glass, he says. “In parallel with our Ohio operation, we are going to have year-round production,” he says.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

DOUBLE DIAMOND: The new Gecko Grapes grape tomatoes and Panda Peppers mini peppers join the Croco Cukes cocktail cucumber program for Kingsville, Ontario-based Double Diamond Farms, says Eddie Condes, vice president of business development for the company. The kid-friendly packaging for the grape tomatoes, mini peppers and cocktail cucumbers program is available year-round in 2018, Condes says.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

MASTRONARDI PRODUCE: The Aloha pepper and the You Make Me Pasta kits were grabbing attention for Mastronardi Produce, says Rich Tiveron, salesman for the Kingsville, Ontario-based company. The red and yellow striped Aloha pepper is grown in Mastronardi’s Coldwater, Mich., facility on 18 acres. “A lot of retailers in the U.S. have come on board and it is doing really well,” he says. The company’s You Make Me Pasta kit is offered in four varieties and is finding repeat consumer sales as distribution expands. “Consumers are looking at it, buying it and coming back for more,” he says. The pasta kits received the CPMA Packaging Innovation Award at the show, which followed a similar award for the kits at the Viva Fresh Show several weeks prior in Austin, Texas.

packer
Tom Karst

The Packer's national editor Tom Karst collected these news items on the expo floor April 25-26 at the 2018 Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show in Vancouver.

FRESH EXPRESS: Fresh Express is finding strong interest in its new three-minute saute kits, says Fabian Pereira, vice president of marketing international for Fresh Express. All four varieties of the saute kits, which are about 7 ounces, can be cooked in three minutes or less, he says, and can serve three if protein is added to the kit. Varieties of the salad include the Tuscan Kale, Terriyaki Bok Choy, Lemon Garlic Spinach and Bacon and Cider Greens.

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