(Sept. 19) C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. has expanded its Fresh ’n Easy line of packaged vegetables with QuickSteam bags and bowls.

The microwave products are ready in three minutes or less, contain no more than 110 calories, contain no trans-fat and have a shelf life of 17 days.

“It’s all in line with the consumer trends for health and convenience,” said Bud Floyd, vice president of produce marketing for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson.

Floyd said his company tested 32 sauces with 1,500 consumers before picking seven flavors to include in its proprietary vegetable bowls: Alfredo, blue cheese, garlic butter, southwestern, Asian citrus, creamy tomato basil and sharp cheddar.

Floyd said that unlike many competing products, C.H. Robinson shredded the flavored toppings and packaged them with the vegetables rather than putting the sauce in a separate packet. He said that step makes the product more convenient for the consumer and makes it more visually appealing.

The bowl, he said, also is intended to save the consumer time compared to products packed in bags.

“There are less steps involved,” he said.

The QuickSteam line, however, does offer vegetables packed in bags without sauce. Offerings include broccoli florets; broccoli and baby carrots; broccoli, baby carrots and cauliflower; and broccoli, carrot chips and snap peas.

The products range from 11 ounces to 15 ounces. Suggested retail prices range from $3.89 to $4.49, Floyd said.

Floyd said the new products will be rolled out in October and will be on display during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention Oct. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla.

C.H. Robinson launches QuickSteam products
QuickSteam bags and bowls are now part of C.H. Robinson Worldwide's Fresh ’n Easy line. The company tested 32 sauces with 1,500 consumers before picking seven flavors to include in its proprietary vegetable bowls, says Bud Floyd, vice president of produce marketing for C.H. Robinson.