8-MatthewsRidgeview-AutumnCampbell-SamanthaGilbert
Amy Sowder

MATTHEWS RIDGEVIEW FARMS: Wynne, Ark.-based Matthews Ridgeview Farms has a new four-count tray pack of sweet potatoes, says Autumn Campbell, sales, who talked to attendees with Matthews Ridgeview colleague Samantha Gilbert, logistics. “We want to be able to offer our customers more variety in packaging and keep up with our competitors. It’s convenient and you don’t have to buy a whole bag,” Campbell said.

9-Friedas-MattHubbardFrankAbbate
Amy Sowder

FRIEDA’S SPECIALTY PRODUCE: Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce account managers Matt Hubbard and Frank Abate offer samples of Stokes purple sweet potato dark chocolate coconut cups with the company’s signature potato within. Mandarinquats are in season now, along with the lemonade lemon, kumquats and Key limes.

10-GoodnessGardens-AllenLydickJimBates
Amy Sowder

GAIA FOOD GROUP: Allen Lydick and Jim Bates of Gaia Food Group, Gainesville, Ga., provide samples of their Veggie-Licious line of Goodness Gardens plant-based dips that are gluten-free and dairy-free, in flavors of zesty ranch, roasted red pepper, smokey chipotle, bold black bean and creamy blue. “It actually tastes good,” said Lydick with a laugh.

11-Oppy
Amy Sowder

OPPY: Randy Riley (from left) of Kroger visits with TJ Wilson, Angie Hanson and Caitlin Gerstenberger, all of The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia. Released about a month ago, the company is selling a new bottom-closure packaging format for Zespri sungold kiwi, which makes it recyclable, Wilson said.  “It lets us cut total packaging by 8%,” he said.

 

13-SouthernSpecialties-Jennifer Rigdon
Amy Sowder

SOUTHERN SPECIALTIES: Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Southern Specialties has some new items, says Jennifer Rigdon, business development manager, including a 16-ounce bag of cubed sweet potatoes, the same for butternut squash, petite and sweet mini peppers greenhouse and sweet baby broccoli, both grown in Guatemala, and green beans grown in the U.S.

 

14-Sambazon-Scott Tallon
Amy Sowder

SAMBAZON: San Clemente, Calif.-based Sambazon started shipping in January ready-to-eat acai bowls in three flavors: superberry, peanut butter power and berry bliss, says Scott Tallon, vice president of sales for the East. All three bowls come with a side of granola and are in 100% bio-compostable bowls and 100% recyclable packaging. Acai Bites, which are acai sorbet flavors dipped in chocolate coatings, started shipping in February. Lastly, organic pitaya, or red dragon fruit, cubes will ship starting in April.

15-Rainier
Amy Sowder

RAINIER FRUIT CO.: Soo Choi (front, center) and her colleagues talked to attendees and played Mardi Gras games at the expo. “There are exciting opportunities with jazz apples in the next few months, with availability and good supply,” said Aaron Deherrera, business development manager. “January through May is a big time for apples across the U.S., as far as consumer purchasing.”

16-LancasterFoodsMoonlight-Jason Chavez
Amy Sowder

LANCASTER FOOD/MOONLIGHT: Jason Chavez, director of business development for Reedley, Calif.-based Moonlight Cos., said his company handles summer fruit, such as tree fruit, table grapes, Mighty kiwi, pomegranates and citrus.

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