C.H. Robinson launches line of tropicals

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. launched its Happy Chameleon brand for pineapples, mangoes and limes with an Oct. 28-29 event at a production facility in the Pital region of Costa Rica.

The company said the brand offers colorful attributes that “evoke positive mood associations among consumers towards tropical produce.”

The company’s pineapple program continues to focus on dual-country supply out of Mexico and Costa Rica that diversifies production and provides consistent supplies, said Jose Rossingnoli, strategic category manager.

C.H. Robinson offers pineapples that are branded at retail under the Tropicana and Happy Chameleon brands, he said.


Chestnut Hill Farms expands pineapples

Miami-based Chestnut Hill Farms is in a growth phase, and that includes its pineapple shipments, said Steve Benchimol, general manager.

“As a group, our farms are growing, meaning that we are now the third-largest pineapple importer in the U.S.,” he said.

The market is large enough to accommodate further growth, he said.

“We have had long-established contracts with U.S. retailers who need more product,” he said. “They’re growing and we want to grow with them.”

Benchimol said his company ships about 10 million cartons of pineapples per year.

He said his company is expecting to grow another 15% in the 2014 and 2015.


Del Monte adds bins, pineapple products

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce is adding choices to its product line, which includes pineapples, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.

“Del Monte Fresh Produce continues to add new offerings and innovative packaging options to our pineapple program,” he said.

The company recently introduced its 2 To Go Pack of Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapples, new merchandising bins and a pineapple spear multi-pack, which includes five single serve Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple spears, Christou said.

“We have also increased our acreage to ensure that our supply keeps up with the growing demand for Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapples,” he said. 


Kingston gives lineup Costa Rican bump

Diversification is the strategy for pineapple at Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Kingston Cos., said Ken Nabal, president of the company’s Kingston Fresh marketing arm.

“We’re going to look to diversify our portfolio a little and not rely as much on the program from Costa Rica,” he said.

The company is starting a small program near Veracruz, Mexico, to go with programs out of Ecuador and Panama, he said.

The Mexico program, which is expected to produce shipments from late February to mid-May, will supply customers along the U.S. West Coast and in the Southwest, “when shipping from Costa Rica becomes counterproductive,” Nabal said.


Turbana Corp. ships direct to West Coast

Miami-based Turbana Corp. is enjoying growth in its Fyffes pineapple program, said Alan Dolezal, vice president of sales with Turbana.

“This year, we have also initiated direct shipments to the West Coast, in addition to our two existing ports of entry — Freeport, Texas and Philadelphia,” he said.