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Ashley Nickle

GOLD COAST: Members of the Gold Coast Packing team discuss the new Sunny Superfood Salad being offered by the Santa Maria, Calif.-based company. The new blend contains kale, napa cabbage, green cabbage, broccoli stalk, carrots, watermelon radish and cilantro. For now the salad is available only for foodservice, but that could change depending on demand, marketing coordinator Crystal Chavez said.

packer
Ashley Nickle

BABE FARMS: Ande Manos, marketing and business development manager. shows off the new Purple Ninja radish from Santa Maria, Calif.-based Babe Farms. The company has been growing a smaller version of the Purple Ninja for several years but is now offering it in a larger size. The shape of the radish, which has a light purple flesh and darker purple skin, allows for higher yield for foodservice operators.

packer
Ashley Nickle

DEL MONTE: Senior director of key account sales in fresh-cut Melissa Athanasopulos and vice president of marketing Dennis Christou display the pineapple rings now available for foodservice operators from Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce. The rings come in 2-pound and 5-pound bags. The product can be sliced into quarters and added to salads and other dishes, and can be grilled.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

MONTEREY: Mike O’Brien, vice president of sales and marketing, displays the new 40-ounce foodservice pack of diced mushrooms that will be available from Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms beginning in January. The company debuted a smaller package for retail in October. The mushrooms are available seasoned and unseasoned and have a shelf life of more than a month thanks to a process that includes blanching them.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

MASTRONARDI: Dean Taylor, director of sales for Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce, shows off a new retail package of shishito peppers, which are also available for foodservice.


“(They’re) a very on-trend item at the moment, and we’re able to do them in the greenhouse 365 days a year, so it’s something that we can take the volatility out of the market and deliver a consistent product all year long,” Taylor said. 
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

TANIMURA & ANTLE: Tanimura & Antle representatives display the new baby iceberg lettuce available now from the Salinas, Calif., company. The product will be available for foodservice and retail customers, but Tanimura & Antle is debuting the baby iceberg in foodservice.


“Being a whole head grower-shipper (and) not a processor, this is our answer to the value-added items,” said director of marketing Kyla Oberman. “It’s petite, it requires very little handling — one chop and you have 100% usable product.”
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

TAYLOR FARMS: Gilbert Gamez Jr. (from left), Evan Giuliani and Thomas Wheelus talk about the new vegetable noodles and cauliflower pearls available from the foodservice division of Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms. Similar products have gained prominence as carb substitutes, but Taylor Farms aims to highlight more uses for them.


Giuliani, outside sales director for foodservice, said the company offered samples at the booth, including cauliflower cakes seared and garnished for a presentation that resembles scallops, vegetable noodles pickled and topped with braised short rib for a 3-to-1 plant-to-meat ratio, and a chopped salad with cauliflower pearls.

Ashley Nickle

B&W: Dave Verdrager, business development manager, displays a new salad mix from Fellsmere, Fla.-based B&W Quality Growers. The blend includes arugula, watercress, red kale and baby spinach. The product has been shipping for about a year and is in most major East Coast retailers and foodservice distributors, Verdrager said.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

MISIONERO: National foodservice salesman John Lukasko and sales representative Shane Moreno talk about the new lettuce blend from Gonzales, Calif.-based Misionero. The new blend has butter lettuce, little gem and frisee. The company also had its full organic lineup at the show.
 

Ashley Nickle

CAL GIANT: Tom Smith, director of foodservice for Watsonville-based California Giant Berry Farms, stands with the winner of the company’s first Chef Invitational competition, Sysco West Coast Florida executive chef Luis Reyes. The event encourages chefs to experiment with making berries central to various dishes. All the recipes collected from the competition will be used on the California Giant website, on blogs and on social media. The company has been looking to grow its foodservice business as berries have become year-round ingredients.

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Ashley Nickle

AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO: Members of the Avocados From Mexico team pose with PMA leaders after their Best of Show booth award presentation. The setup reflected the organization’s campaign around educating foodservice operators on how avocados of any ripeness can be used in various sauces. Senior brand manager for foodservice Stephanie Browder noted the booth had visual appeal, and included literature for retailers, operators and colleges and universities.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

MISSION: Members of the Mission Produce team discuss the new box for No. 2 fruit from the Oxnard, Calif.-based company. Mission has seen significant success with its new Emeralds in the Rough brand, which debuted at retail, and the company is expanding it to foodservice, with a new division dedicated to that segment. 


“What we felt was is that the brand had so much strength that we would try to tie it into foodservice and utilize that as our No. 2 brand across both channels,” said Brent Scattini, vice president of sales and marketing. The new box will be used in the next month or so.

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