For Foxy brand organics and The Nunes Co., it was a sprint to the finish in 2014 as several vegetable products were launched in the year’s final months.
Best known, perhaps, is organic BroccoLeaf, which uses a part of the broccoli plant typically unseen at retail — the leaf. Juicing is among the suggested uses. Initial shipments started in September.
BroccoLeaf was part of a wider rollout that reflects Foxy’s increasing commitment to organic.
Organic product introductions in late 2014 also included leeks, collard greens, dandelion greens, golden and red beets and red and green cabbage.
“Organics will see continued growth on two fronts,” said Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for Salinas, Calif.-based The Nunes Co.
“One, consumers continue to demand more of it. And you’ve got more and more players on the grower-shipper end of things getting involved, transitioning and dedicating land for organic production.”
“It’s probably double digit-growth from where we were a year ago,” he said.
The process is time consuming because it takes three years to convert conventionally farmed land to organic.
“We’re a bit different in that we’ve converted some of our prime, high-priced land to organic because we want the best,” Seeley said.
“We want to offer up the best for our consumers in terms of overall quality but also the amount of product to make sure that we’re maximizing our yields and our efficiencies.”
Desert-produced organic vegetables — like their conventional counterparts — were one to three weeks ahead of schedule when frosts hit the region just before New Year, Doug Classen, sales manager for The Nunes Co., said Jan. 6.
The cold snap’s arrival in the midst of an especially warm growing season raised the risk of shortages later in January, but the volume outlook remained unclear.
“Everybody is going to be affected in a different way,” Classen said.
“We’re looking at whether this is causing gaps and if epidermal peel and blister will show up on arrival.”