BC Hot House introduces slogan, celebrates 40th anniversary

To celebrate its 40th year in business, Langley, British Columbia-based BC Hot House Foods Inc. is updating its labels, bags, boxes, clamshells and other materials, president Mike Reed said.

The new packaging will draw attention to the 40th anniversary and highlight the company’s new slogan, “Big Taste,” Reed said.

“Big Taste” isn’t just marketing flim-flam. BC has made a concerted effort in recent years to take its quality up a notch.

The packaging changes for BC are the first in eight or nine years, Reed said.

BC plans to play up its 40th anniversary at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Produce Marketing Association trade shows this year and through trade advertising campaigns.


Mastronardi targets early summer for greenhouse completion

Construction of a new 72,000-square-foot facility at Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce Ltd. is right on schedule, marketing director Chris Veillon says.

“We’re on target for production in early summer,” Veillon said. “The roof’s on, the walls are slowly starting to come up.”

The facility will add 100 acres of production to Mastronardi’s total and allow the company to better serve all of its customers in Canada and the U.S., Veillon said.

Mastronardi plans to grow a full range of its greenhouse vegetable products in the new facility.

“We’re pretty excited,” Veillon said. “It’s a pretty significant investment for us.”


Mucci Farms to move nto new facility in March

Mucci Farms, Kingsville, Ontario, expects to move into its new office and open its new 65,000-square-foot addition by the end of March, said Joe Spano, vice president of sales and marketing.

Spano said the company is looking forward to the conveniences and efficiencies of its new, centralized location.

“We’ve been working in two buildings down the road from each other,” he said. “This consolidates all of our administration departments, and we have all the coolers and shipping under one roof.”

The new facility, which features LED lighting and other amenities, also has been built with high sustainability standards, Spano said.


Prime Time hires salesman

Mike Aiton, marketing director at Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., said the company has hired its first new salesman in eight or nine years.

Conner Melancon was promoted to salesman in January, after less than year working in the company’s Coachella packinghouse, Aiton said.

Melancon will handle sales across the board rather than focusing on a certain aspect of Prime Time’s business, Aiton said.


Village Farms tests heirloom tomato, increases mini-plum production

Eatontown, N.J.-based Village Farms LP is testing a two-count heirloom tomato pack, said Doug Kling, the company’s chief sales and marketing officer.

The Exquisite is a hybrid heirloom that has a shelf life comparable to beefsteak tomatoes and tastes great, Kling said.

The pack’s big coming-out party will be at the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association’s annual Fresh Summit convention this October.

“It will be very limited for the next six months,” Kling said. “We’re ramping up for PMA.”

Also in 2013, Village Farms is ramping up production of its new Heavenly Villagio mini plum tomato, which the company introduced at Fresh Summit 2012, said Helen Aquino, Village Farms’ marketing manager.

In addition, Darren Brown, a Vancouver chef, is featuring the Heavenly Villagio at his restaurant Oru this season, Aquino said.

Village Farms sells the variety in grab-and-go pouches, some of which are merchandised by retailers near checkout, Aquino said.


By Markets Editor Andy Nelson