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Retail View: Back to the future with packaged produce
A young shopper surveying the retail produce landscape over the past decade would most likely conclude that packaged produce items have gained market share from bulk items and call it a trend. The observer a bit longer in the tooth might note the same thing, but determine that bulk might make a renaissance, as it has so many times before. This time might be... Read more
The Produce for Better Health Foundation announced that Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak will replace Elizabeth Pivonka as PBH president and chief executive officer, effective Feb. 21. "There is no mission more important than securing a place for produce on consumers' plate at every eating occasion, and I'm honored to be selected to lead the industry in achieving this... Read more
Fresh departments are the major drawing points in supermarkets today. Fresh is a leading reason consumers choose a specific store to do their regular grocery shopping. It is such an important rationale that most shoppers will bypass other supermarkets that are closer to their homes just for the superior quality and wholesome food of another store. Fresh produce... Read more
The World Avocado Organization, a Washington, DC-based non-profit that seeks to globally promote the consumption and benefits of avocados on behalf of its member organizations, held its first-ever membership meeting Feb. 7 at The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Germany, where more than 120 avocado producer, exporter and importer leaders from the United States, Peru,... Read more
CMI promotion shifts consumer focus to club apples
CMI Orchards will launch a spring retail promotion at the beginning of March. Featuring a lineup of some of the freshest apple flavors on the market, CMI’s Season of Flavor program includes Ambrosia, KIKU, Kanzi, Jazz and Pacific Rose. The promotion offers participating retailers incentives and prizes throughout the event for promoting the branded apples... Read more
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers has launched its annual winter cucumber program Always in Season on Feb. 17. This program signifies the ramp up of production for all varieties of Ontario greenhouse-grown seedless cucumbers and informs Ontario consumers of their availability during the cold winter months. The growing demand for Ontario greenhouse seedless... Read more
Giumarra's kiwiberries are kiwifruit's clean-shaven cousin
Giumarra Wenatchee is shipping New Zealand-grown kiwiberries now through the end of March. The fruit is offered in partnership with Seeka, one of New Zealand’s premier produce companies. Kiwiberries are the smaller, smooth-skinned relative of fuzzy green kiwifruit and can be eaten out of hand without peeling, making them a convenient snack for consumers.... Read more
SEPC to honor Sheila Carden at Southern Exposure
The Southeast Produce Council will honor Sheila Carden of the National Watermelon Promotion Board with the 2017 Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award at the council’s Southern Exposure 2017, set for March 9-11 at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. The award, the council’s highest honor, will be presented during the keynote luncheon... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Nogales, AZ-based Sandia Distributors Inc. for failure to pay $1.77 million to four growers for 527 lots of produce. As a result of these violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, Sandia Distributors Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until Jan. 14, 2019, at which time it may reapply for... Read more
Southeastern Grocers' unprecedented transformation
Understanding that customers are seeking fresh, healthy, affordable food, Southeastern Grocers, home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores, announced its largest-ever transformation of private label product, which will span approximately 3,000 items across all categories throughout each banner-specific store. “Not only are we transforming... Read more
Listeria risk prompts Veggie Noodle recall
Veggie Noodle Co. of Austin, TX, is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of butternut spirals due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled product was distributed to Whole Foods Markets and other retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.  The recalled product is packaged... Read more
Market Fresh Produce has made a capital investment in Scott Street Tomato House in Memphis, TN. Scott Street will now become the strategic supply partner for the Midwestern region. This strategic alliance between the two companies will take this relationship from vendor partner to capital investment partner, allowing both companies to combine resources and improve... Read more
Mexican trade changes murky, but Nogales industry launches long-term project
RIO RICO, AZ — In a preliminary January interview regarding the impact of Donald Trump on trade relations with Mexico, Lance Jungmeyer noted, “We still don’t know what direction he’ll take.” Jungmeyer is the president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Regarding recent reports about entering a 90-day consultation... Read more
Lidl's first wave of U.S. stores to hit East Coast this summer
Lidl, one of world’s largest retailers, will launch its expansion into the United States ahead of schedule and will open its first 20 U.S. stores in the summer of 2017. The first wave of stores will be located in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Within one year of opening, Lidl plans to establish up to 100 stores across the East Coast and will... Read more
Industry has mixed opinion on Mexico labor outlook
NOGALES, AZ — Regarding field labor availability in Mexico this year, “if anything, there will be a lot more labor if President Trump ships back 11 million illegal immigrants,” joked Miguel (Miky) Suarez, a partner and sales manager of MAS Melons & Grapes LLC. While his jest carried a grain of truth, he expects Mexico will not have labor... Read more
NewStar extends into culinary herb category
NewStar Fresh Foods, a leading shipper of iceless green onions based in Salinas, CA, announced the introduction of the company’s new line of culinary herbs under the NewStar Pick Me brand.  Grown for quality and peak flavor to meet the demands of the growing number of home chefs, the Pick Me line of products includes a wide variety of herbs packed... Read more
Even with twice the supply, SnapDragon is quick to sell out
Crunch Time Apple Growers’ SnapDragon apples have successfully ended their season with retail partners selling out of the last of the 2016 harvest.   Crunch Time’s marketing plan focused on raising consumer awareness of SnapDragon by making it available for consumers to taste. “We know that when we get this apple in consumers’ hands... Read more
The Quebec Produce Marketing Association, in partnership with the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, announced Coup de coeur pour les fruits du Chili, a new food guide featuring blueberries, grapes, plums, peaches, and nectarines from the farms and orchards of Chile. Julie DesGroseilliers, nutritionist and spokesperson for the “I Love” campaign, introduced... Read more
Mann's Kale Beet Blend delivers trending superfoods
Seeking to satisfy consumers’ increasing appetite for healthy food options, Mann Packing announced the debut of its new Kale Beet Blend, which offers a colorful twist on two of the line’s top sellers: Power Blend and Broccoli Cole Slaw. An eye-popping combination of kale, golden beets, kohlrabi and red cabbage, the product stands out on the shelf... Read more
Edmonton-based The Little Potato Co., which specializes in developing, growing and marketing creamer potato varieties, has chosen LINKFRESH ERP to improve internal processes. In an effort to keep up with the huge demand for its exclusive, smaller, tastier varieties of potato, The Little Potato Co. needed help to improve forecasting and planning and improve internal... Read more