Northward bound

Produce growers and companies are geared up for CPMA with promotions  and products for the Canadian market.

CAproduceThere may still be snow on the ground, but Canada is gearing up for spring. To kick off the growing season, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 Convention and Trade Show will be returning to Toronto, from April 17-19 at the Direct Energy Centre.
The Canadian market is growing and industry observers are expecting a bigger-than-ever show. Growers are bringing their A-game and attendees can expect to see more Canadian-exclusive marketing opportunities and product offerings than ever before.
Here is a preview of what to expect from a handful of exhibitors.

Ruby Fresh
Booth #101

Ruby Fresh, growers and shippers of fresh pomegranates and packaged pomegranate arils, are releasing a new family of products: Ruby Fresh Salad Jewels. Available in three varieties—Sparkling Spring Mix, Gleaming Mediterranean Medley, and Brilliant Southern Blend—Salad Jewels are taking salad to a whole new level of elegance, say company officials.

Attendees can also check out the Firebaugh, Calif.-based company’s plastic packages of pomegranate arils. With no rind to remove, they are ready to use in salads and recipes or to enjoy straight out of the pack, say company officials.

Fresherized Foods
Booth #123

What happens when Wholly Guacamole heads to Canada for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association tradeshow? It packs small. Fresherized Foods, home to Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa products will be featuring their line of 100 Calorie Snack Pack sizes.

“The Classic Snack Packs are our No. 2 SKU in the U.S. We believe Canada will love them just as much,” says Jay Alley, vice president of sales.

The Wholly Guacamole 100 Calorie Snack Packs come in 2-ounce individual packets. They are perfect for snacking paired with veggies, lunch boxes of all types and single servings perfect for topping burgers, sandwiches and anywhere folks use mayo or ranch, say officials for the Saginaw, Texas-based company. All Wholly Guacamole products are all natural, with no preservatives, are gluten free and Kosher certified.

Del Monte Fresh Produce
Booth #311

Del Monte Fresh Produce is expanding its presence in North America by opening its first Canadian facility, located in Toronto. The facility will be the first in the country to have capabilities of processing and distributing the entire line of Del Monte fresh cut fruit and protein salads, says Dionysios Christou, vice president marketing, N.A. “This state-of-the-art facility will also offer ripening, cold storage, sorting, repacking, pick-up and delivery services for bananas, avocados, melons, tomatoes and our Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple, as well as provide a full range of other Del Monte Fresh products,” he adds.

In addition to its full range of whole produce, Del Monte Fresh Produce will now offer its full line of fresh cut products to Eastern Canada. Del Monte fresh-cut products are pre-cut and conveniently packaged so retailers do not have to do any of the work. They are available in a variety of packaging types and can be tailored for a retailer.

Grimmway Farms
Booth #323

Grimmway Farms is bringing innovation to tables across Canada with the introduction of its microwaveable carrots and its kid-friendly carrots with dip products.

The Simply Delicious Carrot Creations are steamed carrots flavored with a butter, brown sugar and cinnamon sauce or a savory garlic herb sauce. “This product was created for the time-starved families who are looking to find a quick, healthy side dish that is ready in less than five minutes,” says Bob Borda, vice president of marketing for the Bakersfield, Calif.-based company. “We continue to receive positive feedback on this product as we develop distribution across our US retail partners.”

Packaging is an area of innovation for Grimmway Farms, specifically with its bags of carrots with ranch dressing packs. “Although a similar product is available in a rigid container, we made a concerted effort to remove packaging by creating a carrot with dip in a flexible poly bag. This new 2.5-ounce carrot with ranch dressing is packed in a convenient 5-pack pouch that retails for the same $2.99 price per five-pack,” says Borda.

Rainier Fruit Co.
Booth #422

Rainier Fruit Co. will be spotlighting its late-season Rainier-branded Honeycrisp. The apple variety is widely regarded as the most difficult apple to grow, store and pack, and consumers pay top-of-the-market for the apple variety and demand an excellent eating experience, says Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing. “The Rainier difference becomes even more evident on Honeycrisp sold February to May,” she says.

The Selah, Wash.-based company will also display its new packaging. Created specifically for the grower’s organic apple and pear varieties, the packaging is designed to assist consumers with organic product identification. Organic growth continues to surge and Rainier Fruit is well positioned to meet the growing demand with the most extensive organic mix available of apples, pears, cherries and blueberries, says Wolter.

Dole Fresh Fruit
Booth #601

Dole Fresh Fruit has a busy 2013 planned in Canada. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company kicked off the year with a month-long Yonanas promotion, but the big promotion of the year is Peel the Love. The initiative stresses the fun, irreverence and universally beloved aspects of bananas, says Bil Goldfield, communications manager. It will include banana recipes, serving, pairing and entertaining suggestions and an expanded social media presence.

A highlight of the program is the Peel the Love Summer Food Truck Tour, sponsored by Dole Fresh Fruit with partners Blue Diamond and Dole Packaged Foods, which will bring joint messages, recipes and samples directly to consumers, retailers and tastemakers to select markets across the country.

“In addition to their well-documented nutritional benefits, including new studies establishing them as an important energy source, bananas are also a lot of fun,” says Goldfield. “Our Peel the Love initiative seeks to remind consumers of the simple pleasures of the fruit.”

Dole Fresh Vegetables
Booth #601
Dole Fresh Vegetables, based in Monterey, Calif., is rolling out a year-long campaign to inspire Canadian salad lovers. Let Inspiration Grow features new salad products, recipes and excitement designed to be shared with family, friends and the communities that make them uniquely Canadian, says Carrieann Arias, director of marketing, Canada.

A highlight of the initiative is the launch of Dole Savvy Salad, a line of complete, ready-to-eat salad kits developed exclusively for Canada that includes blends, dressings, toppings and a fork in a single-serve clamshell. The first three varieties are now available: Sunflower Ranch, Four Cheese Caesar and Herb Italienne. “We’re looking to appeal to Canadians with a passion for experimenting with unique new salad varieties, colors, flavors and textures to create a world of healthy new possibilities,” says Arias.

Booth #638

Limoneira has its eyes set on Canada. The UNLEASH campaign links up with chefs and mixologists, nutritionists and green cleaning, beauty and lifestyle experts around the world, and will soon include experts in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to celebrate CPMA.

The UNLEASH campaign takes advantage of today’s technology, while being fun, informative and easy, says John Carter, director of global sales for the Santa Paula, Calif.-based company. “Everyone knows that lemons are a great recipe ingredient and enhancer, but they also have many uses in the areas of health, lifestyle, beauty and cleaning. Lemons are one of the most versatile items in the produce department.”

In this marketing campaign these applications are represented by fun icon images in conjunction with consumer QR codes on the new UNLEASH packaging that links to its web site lemon shopper pages. “With consumers, ever increasing focus on natural products, we would like them to think about lemons when they’re in the cleaning, health, beauty and household aisles,” says Alex Teague, chief operating officer, “and we want to help drive more lemon sales for our retail partners.”

Chelan Fresh Marketing 
Booth #738

For Chelan Fresh Marketing, this summer will be all about the ruby—the Orondo Ruby cherry. New last year, the high-sugar, high-acid cherry with a blush color offers an exceptional eating experience, says Mac Riggan, director of marketing.

Additionally, the Chelan, Wash.-based company’s grower partners purchased a 50% stake in four closely associated Chilean apple and cherry producers. The new entity will be called Chilean South Apples (CHISA) and the venture will increase Chelan Fresh’s value to its customer base, says Riggan. “It will allow Chelan Fresh to supply Honeycrisp longer into the year and possibly cherries in the winter months.”

The company will also be maintaining its focus on kids through a continued relationship with both Disney and the NFL Fuel Up and Play 60 program, says Riggan.

Well-Pict Berries
Booth #806

Well-Pict Berries is transitioning from its Florida and Southern California fields to harvesting its Watsonville and Salinas, California fields. The Watsonville, Calif.-based grower’s proprietary berries are known for their taste, color, aroma and size, and the first harvest from each plant is recognized for its superior size, say company officials.

“The Central Coast of California offers superior weather conditions, ideal for producing the largest and freshest strawberries and raspberries that have become synonymous with the Well-Pict name,” says Dan Crowley, sales manager. “We let the weather tell us when and where the best growing conditions are available and we take full advantage, guaranteeing the optimal product for our consumers.”

Classic Salads
Booth #940

Classic Salads is welcoming the arrival of its two newest organic clamshell salads: Baby Kale and Super Mix. Both products contain rich dark leaves with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins A, C and K, calcium and potassium.

Organically grown in the U.S., Baby Kale is the popular Lacinato variety, harvested at a young age for bite-size salad usage. The Super Mix is a blend of Baby Kale, Baby Spinach, Baby Chards and Beet Tops, available in 5- and 10-ounce clamshell packaging to be merchandised alongside the many existing varieties of Classic Salads organic clamshells. Both varieties are packaged in Canadian compliant bilingual packaging.

“Both are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and they are perfect for today’s healthy active consumers who are eating more nutritious diets,” says John Burge, vice president of sales and marketing, for the Watsonville, Calif.-based company.

CF Fresh 
Booth #1128

This year marks CF Fresh’s 20th anniversary as a certified organic fresh produce supplier to the North American market. In celebration of this milestone, the Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based company has officially changed its name as of April 1, to Viva Tierra Organic; the Viva Tierra Organic brand has been the company’s primary brand for many years.

“Changing the name of the company to better reflect its organic focus and brand identity is a natural outgrowth of the high esteem in which the industry holds both the company and the Viva Tierra Organic brand,” says Addie Pobst, import coordinator.

In addition to the name change, the company is spotlighting its year-round organic apple and pear program, developed through decades-long working relationships with organic growers in the U.S., Chile and Argentina. Sourcing from producers in both the northern and southern hemisphere enables Viva Tierra Organic to supply its customers with a full spectrum of certified organic apples and pears in every season.

“We are quite proud and excited to take this step on our 20th anniversary to celebrate the longevity of our Viva Tierra Organic brand,” says Luis Acuña, president and CEO. “We remain committed to offering our customers and consumers the best mix of organic produce into the future.”

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