Growers Express bumps up acreage

Salinas, Calif.-based Growers Express, which markets brussels sprouts under the Green Giant banner, has increased its acreage for 2014 by nearly 50%, said James de Lorimier, account and commodity manager.

“It has spread proportionately across our growing regions in California and Mexico,” he said, although he did not have precise numbers.

The company grows brussels sprouts primarily in Mexico,from December through June, de Lorimier said.

The jump in acreage is a response to growing demand for sprouts, he said.

“We feel we’ve developed a good expertise in the category and have set a standard with the Green Giant brand that’s recognized internationally,” de Lorimier said.


Ippolito increases production

Salinas, Calif.-based Ippolito International LP is expanding its brussels sprouts production this year, said Butch Corda, general manager.

“We have new acreage, and new varieties we’ve been experimenting with look very promising,” he said.

Company acreage for its year-round Brussels sprouts program will go up by 10% to 15%, Corda said.

It’s a necessary move “to get the volume we want to satisfy our customer base,” he said.


Ocean Mist Farms offers trio of packs

Castroville, Calif.-based Ocean Mist Farms unveiled three brussels sprout products in 2013: SuperShreds Superfood Brussels Sprouts, Quick Cook Sprouts and Baby Sprouts.

All of the items are grown in California or Mexico, have year-round availability, feature packages with gusseted bottoms and have a suggested retail price of $2.49 to $3.49, marketing director Kori Tuggle said.

The products, unveiled at the Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 Fresh Summit Expo in New Orleans, are extensions of the company’s value-added brussels sprouts line. They were honored as PMA Impact Award finalists.

The company began shipping the products in December, Tuggle said.

“The line expansion is designed to meet growing consumer demand-as retail sales for the brussels sprout category has continued to increase the last three to four years,” Tuggle said.

Ocean Mist’s marks its 90th anniversary in business in 2014.


Pacific International Marketing expands plant

Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific International Marketing has expanded its processing plant, which enables the company to diversify its packing capabilities, said Henry Dill, sales manager.

“We’re doing a number of special packs for retailers who come to us with vegetable configurations, where they can get assurance of price point,” said.

Brussels sprouts are among the requests, he said.

“We do a couple of different small packs for brussels sprouts,” Dill said.


World Variety Produce promotes baby sprouts

Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce, which markets specialty produce under the Melissa’s label, is focusing on a new line of baby brussels sprouts, said Robert Schueller, director of public relations.

The product, packed in a 10-ounce clamshell, is not a miniature variety but a brussels sprout that’s picked early. That enables raw consumption, for example, in salads, according to a news release. Availability is year-round.

“We started offering it in bulk and now have it in a package,” Schueller said, noting the clamshells is tamper-proof and breathable.

The product has national distribution, he said.