Archive For The “News” Category
by Koppert Cress
It’s a cucumber! It’s a watermelon! It’s…it’s…Pepquiños! These unusual grape-sized veggies are back in town and better than ever!
The Pepquiño is a micro cucumber that looks like a tiny watermelon. It has a refreshingly tart cucumber / melon flavor and can be eaten whole with the skin, or sliced. They make an eye-catching cocktail garnish, an excellent pickle, or a wonderful accompaniment to a fresh fish crudo.
Your imagination is the limit!
Origin: South America
Flavor: Fresh cucumber with slightly sour flavor.
Use: Appetizers, snacks, salads or stir-fry. Can be eaten whole.
Availability: From Summer to Fall
Storage: Store for up to ten days at 36 to 40°F.
Packaging: Tamper-evident clamshell 8 oz. (approx. 9 pieces for 1 oz.)
The micro-cucumber that looks like a tiny watermelon!
“…the world’s smallest watermelon” – NY Daily News
“Small but perfectly formed Pepquiño “micro melons”, 20 times smaller than their full size counterparts” – Telegraph
“ … the world’s only bite-sized melon” – Slashfood
All natural, the Pepquiño is a very ancient species which makes it difficult to determine its precise origin. Our research shows that this ‘micro-cucumber’ was first found in South America and is actually closely related to the melon. Pepquiño can be eaten whole (with the skin), fried or pickled.
Cress and specialties are often used for decoration purposes, however, there are so many more options. All products in the Collection are selected for their tasteful characteristics as well. These are brought to the surface when eaten ‘as-is’, but there are a number of techniques by which they can be used in different ways. We present to you a number of examples on how to even better make use of the special characteristics of the cress and specialties.
Pepquino is found in retail stores in the Northeastern U.S., with lesser amounts found in Florida and other Eastern states, as well as several retailer in the mid-west and Seattle.
by Potatoes USA
The domestic marketing committee meeting of Potatoes USA began with a review of sales and marketing research. The volume and value of frozen potato product sales at retail for the past five years were up 2%; the volume of dehy is down 11% and value down 8%; and fresh refrigerated sales up 13% in volume and 19% in value.
For fresh spuds, the volume was down 6% but the value up 6% with russets contributing significantly to the decline, off 13% in volume and down 6% in value. This was countered by an increase in 7% in the volume and 14% in value of red sales; yellows were up 50% in both volume and value; and the volume of purple/blue sales were up 58% with the value up 46% for the five-year period.
Consumer attitudes and in-home usage of tubers continued to improve based on research conducted for Potatoes USA. Potatoes’ (including chips) share of home meal occasions was 26% for breakfast, 41% for lunch, 43% for dinner and 40% for snacks. The share of dinners that included potatoes increased 2 points and puts spuds ahead of all other foods with pasta just below at 40%, rice at 36% and poultry at 31%. The closest vegetable was bagged salad at 20% of dinner occasions. Spuds are also three of the top four dishes served at foodservice led by fries at #1, salads #2, mashed #3 and baked #4. Products that included the product accounted for 9% of all new food items launched at retail.
The marketing department staff provided detailed updates on the programs starting with the Consumer program which is inspiring Food Enthusiasts to prepare and eat more potatoes through print, digital, social media and retail print advertising. Influencers from bloggers to food writers to celebrity chefs are also being engaged to provide inspiring new ways to prepare potatoes. The Spud Nation food trucks operating in Denver and Washington DC are being promoted through social media via Twitter, Instagram, Yelp and Facebook. On the nutrition front, Potatoes USA is establishing that the one lifestyle benefit of potatoes is that they are vital to people performing at their very best. This spans from elite athletes to hardworking adults to busy parents. This message is being delivered by RDs for professional sports teams, writers for fitness and lifestyle magazines and bloggers at FitFluential and elsewhere.
The Retail program is focused on increasing sales of all products at retail through shipper outreach, retailer outreach and consumer ads at retail. New tools and insights for both shippers and retailers will be launched soon. The Ingredient program is making the potato the ingredient MVP and providing food developers and chefs with piping hot inspiration. The Foodservice program is inspiring culinary professionals to offer more potato dishes on their menus. This is done through advertising and media, experiential marketing and events, culinary innovation and public relations. The School Foodservice program is hitting its stride as it creates future potato enthusiast through delicious and healthy potato dishes on school cafeteria menus. Potatoes are very underrepresented at breakfast in schools and thus Potatoes USA, in conjunction with the School Nutrition Association, has launched a campaign including a recipe contest designed to change this. The Potatoes USA Salad Bar Challenge has already placed 264 salad bars in schools across the country. These bars are making a difference not only in kid’s lives but in the inclusion of potatoes in school foodservice.
by Mann Packing Co., Inc.
SALINAS, Calif. – Mann Packing announced a partnership with the California Walnut Board for two of its innovative Vegetable Slaw Blends: Power Blend and Kale Beet Blend.
The promotion includes $1.50 off per pack of slaw when any 7.5oz or larger package of California walnuts is purchased. The promotion will run for two weeks from the end of July through mid-August.
“Recognizing California walnuts’ versatility and variety of health benefits, a partnership featuring our slaw blends is a wonderful opportunity to boost summer sales,” said Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing at Mann’s. “Mann’s is committed to collaborating and creating a synergy with organizations like the California Walnut Board, and we look forward to working with them to complement each other’s strengths,” she added.
California Walnuts was established in 1948 and represents over 4,800 walnut growers and more than 90 walnut handlers in California. One of the Board’s key efforts is promoting the usage of walnuts across the U.S. through advertising, publicity and educational programs.
“Walnuts are a perfect ingredient for summer salads and we are delighted to partner with Mann Packing on this Summer Slaw promotion,” said Michelle Connelly, executive director of the California Walnut Board. “Additionally, the combination of these superfoods packs a delicious punch of nutrition.”
Additional promotions will be available at Safeway, Albertsons, Meijer, Wakefern, Raleys, Schnucks, and Giant Eagle, among others.
About Mann Packing
In the late 1930’s, when the United States was beginning to recover from the Great Depression, a young Stanford graduate came to California’s Salinas Valley seeking employment. H.W. “Cy” Mann began his career trimming fruit and lettuce for 40¢ an hour. In 1939, he opened a fresh carrot packing operation and a business was born. From day one, Mr. Mann built a reputation for honesty and integrity—one that remains with us today.
In 1976 Bill Ramsey and Don Nucci joined Mr. Mann as partners in the company. Today, the Nucci and Ramsey families lead the firm which now spans three generations. They are a majority women-owned and operated business, and one of the country’s leading suppliers of fresh vegetables, including its proprietary Broccolini® product and award-winning Stringless Sugar Snap Peas.
by Allen Lund Company
La Cañada Flintridge Calif. – Allen Lund Company (ALC) is hosting a Christmas in July Toy Drive from July 5-31 in support of Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdPLA) in Downtown, Los Angeles. ALC invites the La Cañada Flintridge community to donate toys to provide a Christmas for the severely under served families of Los Angeles.
The Christmas in July Toy Drive, sponsored by SVdPLA, will benefit a multitude of families. To date only 200 toys have been donated to provide 2,000 recipients with gifts. In December, families will receive a donated food basket as well as toys and shoes for the children.
“This is our fourth year working with SVdPLA and every year we’ve not only accomplished our goals of providing meals and toys for families, but continued to increase participation from donors,” said Nora Trueblood, Director of Marketing at Allen Lund Company. “With the help of the community, we can give families the gift of Christmas this holiday season.”
We are in need of new and unwrapped toys for children between the ages of 3-17. Sports equipment is also recommended, especially for older children.
For more information, please call (818) 949 – 4505
About Allen Lund Company:
Specializing as a national third-party transportation broker with nationwide offices and over 450 employees, the Allen Lund Company works with shippers and carriers across the nation to arrange dry, refrigerated (specializing in produce), and flatbed freight; additionally, the Allen Lund Company has a logistics and software division, ALC Logistics, and an International Division licensed by the FMC as an OTI-NVOCC #019872NF.
Established in 1976, the Allen Lund Company was selected as the 2015 Coca-Cola Challenger Carrier of the Year, 2016 Top IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, 2015 Top Private Company in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, 2015 Top 100+ Software and Technology Providers, 2015 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, a 2014 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, a 2014 Great Supply Chain Partner, and was placed in Transport Topics’ “2014 Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms.” The company managed over 310,000 shipments in 2015, and received the 2013 “Best in Cargo Security Award.” In 2011 the company received the TIA 3PL Samaritan Award, and the NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) named Allen Lund Company the 2010 Best Broker of the Year. More information is available at www.allenlund.com.
By Northwest Cherry Growers
YAKIMA, Wash. — This year’s crop of Northwest sweet cherries is arriving on grocery store shelves in full-force across the U.S., putting the classic Americana fruit front and center. Volume was good for the Fourth of July holiday and will be even better in the weeks ahead. Despite a late start due to one of coldest winters in the Pacific Northwest in decades, growers in the Northwest anticipate a record crop size lasting through August.
“A lot of risk and investment by our growers throughout the five states allow for different orchards to be picked at different times as the summer progresses,” said James Michael, with the Northwest Cherry Growers, a growers’ organization collectively representing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah. “Together with a cold-chain that typically starts in the orchards and a top-speed packing and distribution system, that means our growers are truly delivering their peak of the season onto grocery shelves all summer long.”
The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers, born at Washington State University in 1952 and celebrated each year on July 11 as National Rainier Cherry Day.
A beloved Independence Day treat for baking pies with less sugar or eating fresh from the stem, sweet cherries can also be enjoyed year-round by simply rinsing, packing and freezing them. To freeze cherries, select four to five pounds of firm, ripe cherries. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet, freezing until firm and then packing into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags being sure to remove excess air and cover tightly. Add frozen, pitted cherries to smoothies or juices, defrost and put in hot cereals, pies, turnovers, cobblers, or enjoy frozen as sweet late-night treat.
For more information on sweet Northwest Cherries, seasonal and preservation recipes, health information and more, visit www.nwcherries.com.
About Northwest Cherries and Washington State Fruit Commission
Washington State Fruit Commission is a growers’ organization funded by fruit assessments to increase awareness and consumption of regional stone fruits. The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of soft fruits from Northwest orchards. It began in 1947 and has since grown to include five states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. For more information, visit www.nwcherries.com or www.wastatefruit.com.
This photo is of my two precious sisters Judy and Trisha on the beach in May on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As you can see it is always a good time to celebrate our beloved America and its freedoms.
As a family, my sisters and my wife Vivian have been able to vacation there in recent years. We always marvel at God’s marvelous and beautiful creations. Watching the dolphins gliding effortlessly through the sea waters and the pelicans flying overhead in perfect formation.
As we celebrate our nation’s 241st anniversary, I continue to be so grateful I was born here and have lived in America all of my life with the exception of serving in the Navy four years. Having been to other parts of the world, I realize how fortunate we are to live in the United States. The poverty and suffering in so much of the world is almost beyond comprehension.
Our freedoms in American have come at great sacrifice. I think of a handful of young men I grew up with in a small Oklahoma town who died fighting in Vietnam. One of the most moving moments in my life was visiting The Wall in our nation’s capital and seeing their engraved names.
I think of my brave cousin Martin L. Johnson who fought in battle and was in three wars (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam) serving our country as a Marine and then in the Air Force. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 88. His beautiful wife Irene, 84, was a Marine and thankfully is still with us.
As we celebrate Independence, I pray for our country, and remain true to the principals of our Founding Fathers. Freedom comes at a great cost. But it is worth it. Wishing all of you the best celebration of Independence Day ever!
Washington, D.C. – On July 2nd, just in time for the 4th of July festivities, Avocados From Peru® (AFP) will treat baseball fans to a free topping of fresh Peruvian Avocado with the purchase of an Oriole dog during the Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays game in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Known as the ‘Avodog’, Peruvian Avocados add a flavorful twist to an American classic. Served with just a squeeze of lime or combined with other traditional hot dog toppings such as onions and tomatoes, freshly sliced or smashed Avocados From Peru make an ideal hot dog topping.
With nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals, no sodium or cholesterol, and gluten free, it’s no secret why Peruvian Avocados are America’s favorite nutrient dense superfood.
Adding this heart-healthy fruit as a hot dog topping has already proven to be enormously popular with baseball fans –who devoured hundreds of fresh Peruvian Avocados during a New York Mets baseball game in July of 2015.
“We look forward to seeing Avocados from Peru become an integral part of the all-American tradition of attending a major league baseball game,” said Xavier Equihua, President and CEO of AFP.
Much like baseball, the season for Peruvian Avocados runs from May to September, earning them the nickname of “Summer Avocados.”
With the season in full swing, AFP has partnered with Walmart to feature and offer free tastings of this superfood at their stores. Fans who cannot attend the baseball game on July 2nd will still have the opportunity to try the Avodog at a local Walmart. Over 900 Walmart stores on the East Coast will also be demoing this baseball fan favorite on July 2nd.
Orioles fans taking public transportation to the game may also see city buses wrapped in a full-color billboard featuring the picturesque landscape of Peru and of course, delicious Avocados From Peru®. Various radio stations in the Baltimore area will also be featuring the famous frank throughout the summer.
For more ideas on how to top the classic hotdog with Peruvian Avocados, head to the AFP website:www.avocadosfromperu.com.
About the Peruvian Avocado Commission
The Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC) is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was established in 2011 to increase the consumption/demand for Avocados from Peru through advertising, retail promotion and public relations. The PAC’s promotional activities are conducted under the guidelines of the federal promotion program for Hass avocados, which is under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Discount grocery retailer Aldi announced recently it would invest $3.4 billion to expand its U.S. store base to 2,500 by the year 2022.
The German grocer currently operates 1,600 stores in the United States and said earlier this year it would expand to 2,000 by the end of 2018 at a cost of $1.6 billion.
The $5 billion move would have Aldi as the third-largest U.S. food retailer by store count behind Walmart and Kroger.
“It should absolutely be more than scary to traditional grocers and retailers,” Mikey Vu of the consulting firm Bain & Co., was quoted as saying in a June 12 article in The Wall Street Journal. Vu said Aldi has improved its stores and products in recent years, and is attracting a larger mix of shoppers.
A point of differentiation by Aldi and other discounters, such as Lidl, which opened its first U.S. locations earlier this month, is their longstanding use of store brands to keep prices down, a common practice in Europe. U.S. consumers have traditionally been more brand loyal, but that is beginning to erode, especially with the millennial generation.
Millennials “are value-oriented and don’t hold the same stigmas about private-label items that older generations do,” Mike Paglia, director of the research firm Kantar Retail, was quoted as saying in the WSJ article.
“As we continue to expand and grow, our purchasing power continues to increase and allows us to bring products at better prices for consumers,” Scott Patton, Aldi’s head of corporate buying, said in an interview with CNBC.
Aldi said the new store openings would create 25,000 jobs over the next five years.
Aldi operates stores in 35 states, using a simple, cost-effective approach to grocery shopping to save shoppers on their grocery bills. The grocery chain’s website states shoppers have found that switching from national brands to ALDI exclusive brands can save them up to 50 percent on their weekly must-haves. More than 40 million customers each month shop with Aldi’s streamlined approach.
Leamington, ON – Increased demand for premium greenhouse grown products across the NatureFresh™ Farms product line has prompted one of Canada’s largest independent growers to break ground on a new 106,000 sq.ft Distribution Center in Leamington, ON. Construction is to be completed by mid-summer.
“The continued expansion of our operations & launch of new products is a direct result of the growth of the NatureFresh™ Farms brand”, said Peter Quiring, President. “Over the last few years, we have increased our production capacity to meet the demands of our retail partners. Our commitment to quality, regardless of season, is enabling NatureFresh™ Farms to be an integrated supplier 12 months a year. Expanding our production capabilities in Leamington shows our commitment to growing our business in Canada”, commented Quiring. Family owned & operated, NatureFresh™ employs more than 500 people across all of its greenhouses & distribution centers in both Canada & USA.
The state of the art distribution center will enable NatureFresh™ to increase production and specialty packaging on site. The addition of the new facility will compliment the existing 5 distribution centers that are currently operational across the company’s 130 acres in Leamington, ON. NatureFresh™ also opened a 60,000 sq.ft facility in Toledo, OH in Fall 2016 to service the new 45 acres of greenhouse tomato production in Delta, OH. Due to the success of its Ohio tomato program, the company has already outgrown the Toledo facility 6 months after opening the doors and will be expanding in the months to come.
After doubling its Organic Bell Pepper acreage in 2016, NatureFresh™ recently launched their new USDA Certified Organic TOV’s and Organic Red Grape Tomatoes.
“The increasing demand for organics prompted our team to bring two new items to market this year, both are being grown in Leamington, ON”, said Ray Wowryk, Director of Business Development. The Organic TOV’s are available in bulk format whereas the Organic Red Grape Tomatoes are available in Dry Pint formats.
Lastly, the company also unveiled its new Canadian grown TOMZ™ Snacking Tomatoes in March that are being packed in new top seal formats. NatureFresh™ grows its proprietary TOMZ™ brand snacking tomatoes in Delta, OH (winter production) and Leamington, ON (summer production).
About NatureFresh Farms–
NatureFresh Farms™ has grown to become one of the largest independent, vertically integrated greenhouse vegetable growers in North America with growing operations in Leamington, ON and Delta, OH.