The Packer staff writer Dawn Withers compiled these briefs at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s Northern California Expo on April 7 in Pleasanton.
Andrew & Williamson
Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, San Diego, is now offering a 2-pound value pack of roma tomatoes for retail customers. The retail pack will be sold under the company’s Baja Classic brand, said John King, vice president of sales. The tomatoes will be available by June in up to 12-count packs.
Bay Area Herbs & Specialties
Bay Area Herbs & Specialties, South San Francisco, Calif., has dragonfruit and horn fruit for foodservice and wholesale customers in a variety of carton packs, said salesman Gil Valenzuela. Other additions to the company’s produce offerings include fern fiddleheads and portobellini mushrooms.
Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, Calif., is expanding offerings of juice to include pomegranate juice. The 52-ounce bottles just launched in retail stores, said Will Mercer, regional sales director. The bottles retail for $9.99 and accompany the release of the company’s Asian ginger salad dressing, also available in retail stores in 14-ounce bottles.
Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif., has new bunched herbs for foodservice customers as of April. The company is offering bags of three pre-washed bunches of cilantro, parsley and Italian parsley, said Lindsay Martinez, director of marketing.
Christopher Ranch LLC, Gilroy, Calif., introduced a mild, green garlic, for foodservice customers. Marketer Patricia DeStasio said the green garlic is shipping in April and comes in 1-pound bags. The company is eliminating in April the jars of peeled garlic for retail and foodservice in favor of recycled plastic bags, DeStasio said.
Ciruli Bros. LLC, Rio Rico, Ariz., is shipping 5.5-pound cartons of its Champagne-brand ataulfo mangoes, said Chris Ciruli, chief operating officer. Mangoes are available now in limited distribution, Ciruli said, and have been out for about a month.
Fresh Express, Salinas, Calif., is changing packaging on its organic value-added salads to reduce plastic. The bags are a paper-plastic mix that uses 90% less plastic. Representatives of the company at the expo referred questions about the products to a Chiquita Brand International spokeswoman, who was unavailable April 7.Chiquita is Fresh Express’ parent company.
Gills Onions LLC, Oxnard, Calif., is selling sliced sweet onions in a new plastic container, said Nelia Alamo, director of sales and marketing. The onions will be available seasonally starting in May, Alamo said, and come in 6-ounce recyclable plastic containers.
Greenhouse Produce Co. LLC, Vero Beach, Fla., is partnering with a new grower to offer clamshell packs of organic mix roma tomatoes and beef tomatoes on-the-vine, said Glen Bezanson, who handles sales for the western U.S. The organic roma tomatoes start shipping in April from Mexico, Bezanson said, and come in 16 packs of 16-ounce clamshells. Beef tomatoes start shipping in May from Mexico in limited volume for retail.
Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield, Calif., is adding to its spring lineup with a seasonal release of 3-pound ready-to-eat bagged carrots, said Philip Gruszka, vice president of marketing. Gruszka said the pack adds to the company’s seasonal release timed for holidays and is out as of April 5. The 3-pound bags will be available in retail stores until late May.
National Raisin Co., Fowler, Calif., is offering four varieties of sour raisins, called Raisels. The lemon, apple, orange and peach raisins come in six 1.25-ounce boxes, said David Joseph, national sales manager, and are distributed in California with national distribution expected in three months.
OrganicGirl Produce, Salinas, Calif., has a half-and-half spinach-spring mix organic salad blend for retail, said Gavin Brem, who handles sales for the company. The new salad, out in retail stores for about a month, is available nationwide and comes in six-packs of 5-ounce clamshells.
The Produce Exchange
The Produce Exchange, Livermore, Calif., plans to market shrink-wrapped eggplant from California for the first time later this year, said Daniel O’Rourke, sales manager. The first season of shrink-wrapped eggplant is just ending out of Mexico, O’Rourke said, and the new packaging helps preserve the eggplant and prevents bruising. The eggplant comes in 18- to 20-count packs.
Renaissance Food Group
Renaissance Food Group LLC, Rancho Cordova, Calif., is launching a line of salsa under the Garden Highway brand. The company recently started selling several different salsa varieties — honeydew, pico de gallo, spicy corn, mango and tropical — in 16-ounce plastic containers, said Curtis Wong, director of category management.
Veg-Fresh Farms, Anaheim, Calif., will start offering 3-pound packs of roma tomatoes by June, said Adam Cancellieri, sales manager. The retail pack is meant to provide retailers with more choice beyond the common 5-pound packs of tomatoes, Cancellieri said.