Ruby Fresh Pomegranates began shipments of Salad Jewels in the last week of February.

The new three-product line combines fresh pomegranate arils and nuts with cheese or bacon.

The varieties:

  • Brilliant Southern Blend with arils, bacon and pecans;
  • Sparkling Spring Mix with arils, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese; and
  • Gleaming Mediterranean Medley with arils, almonds and feta cheese.

“You mix it with lettuce or spring mix and add a dressing,” said David Anthony, salesman for Firebaugh, Calif.-based Ruby Fresh Pomegranates.

“We call it a salad enhancement kit.”

The company grows pomegranates and nuts.

“We introduced the concept at PMA (Fresh Summit) in October, and had a lot of good response from our trade partners,” Anthony said.

Those shipments began as domestic pomegranate supply was winding down. The next production region is South America.

Ruby Fresh has in recent years pursued year-round supply. It will have fresh arils in spring, Anthony said, but there may be a gap.

“In a perfect world we’d end in late March and start South America at the same time,” he said.

“But in reality it is likely to be a couple weeks. Argentina has the first South American pomegranates, and we’re hearing they had a crop failure. Quality is not what we want for our customers. So we’re waiting for the next growing region, Peru, which is two to three weeks later. I anticipate early April.”

Other Ruby Fresh arils products include 12- by 5-ounce, 12- by 8-ounce and 6- by 16-ounce punnets. The last is a club pack.

The company has plans to develop some single-serve packaging by summer, Anthony said.