Several companies spotlighted their product lines at booths at the La Mirada, Calif.-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s Southern California Expo July 19. Western Correspondent Tom Burfield talked with companies about their newest products.

Caldwell Fresh Foods

Companies introduce products at FPFC ExpoMaywood, Calif.-based Caldwell Fresh Foods introduced a new pico de gallo product. Made with fresh jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tomatoes and white onions, the condiment comes in 6-ounce containers with a 10-day shelf life, said salesman Carlos Martinez.

Dole Food Co.

Companies introduce products at FPFC ExpoDole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., offered a sneak preview of its Dole Gourmet Mix Pack — a 9-pound box of five red bananas and five mini bananas packed in pre-weighed bags. The package is more convenient than standard 40-pound boxes for smaller retailers who lack a large display area, said Bil Goldfield, communications manager. The pack saves labor and boosts profitability, the company says. Point-of-sale materials and ad slicks will be available soon, along with merchandising support.

The Giumarra Cos.

Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos. Is expanding its citrus deal, said Mimi Dorsey, West Coast marketing manager. The company showed some organic lemons from Lemon Drop Farms, Escondido, Calif. This is the first time the company has offered organic citrus, and plans are in the works to grow the program even further, she said.

Companies introduce products at FPFC ExpoHollandia Produce

Three varieties of Live Gourmet living lettuces now come in “source-reduced” clamshell containers, said Vince Choate, director of marketing for Hollandia Produce LLC, Carpinteria, Calif. The new containers eliminate some packaging and allow product to be packed six-down rather than five-down on the pallet. The container incorporates the best features of a square and a circle in “a perfect squircle” that allows closer nesting in 12-count and six-count shipping boxes, the company says. The container has a tamper-evident seal and quick-response code.

Interfresh Inc.

Interfresh Inc. Orange, Calif., is partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure this fall with its new Aspire! Label for navel oranges and clementines, said president Chris Puentes. For three months, starting in November, the company will donate $1 per carton to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fight breast cancer. The company will contribute a minimum of $25,000 to the cause, Puentes said. Category manager Doug Stewart, who came up with the idea, said the program may well continue beyond the three months.

Progressive Produce

Americas Keystone/Progressive brand grilling-size asparagus is new from Progressive Produce Corp., Commerce, Calif., said salesman Cory Stahl. “We’re trying to take back summer,” Stahl said, by offering consumers an alternative to the various summer fruit items and offering produce directors a way to “heat up incremental sales this summer.” The label features easy-grilling recipes for the new product, which is ideal for picnics and backyard barbecues, he said. The grilling-size asparagus comes in bunches of approximately 1-pound.

West Pak

Temecula, Calif.-based West Pak Avocado Inc. showed off its new 25-pound avocado box, complete with Produce Traceability Initiative labeling that enables product to be traced back to its source, said regional salesman Heath Shoup. The green-on-white box has a new look and feel, he said, and presents “more of a ‘wow!’ factor.” The company displayed its No. 1 box but also has revamped its box for its No. 2 product.

World Variety Produce

Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc. previewed two new additions to its organic grains line — Melissa’s certified organic red quinoa and Melissa’s certified organic farro. Both come in 6-ounce packages and will debut within the next month, said Robert Schueller, director of public relations. The products cross merchandise well with greens, like asparagus and broccoli, as well as with bell peppers, he said.