Archive For The “News” Category
From coast-to-coast apple growers are growing new apple varieties to increase sales.
For example there are New York apple growers looking to make a splash with the RubyFrost and SnapDragon varieties.
On the opposite side of the country there are growers and shippers pushing varieties for club stores such as Jazz and Envy.
The Honeycrisp is perhaps the best example of a meteoric rise in an apple variety, plus the initial success of the RubyFrost and Snap Dragon have been impressive.
While some of the new varieties have been seen as rising stars, the traditional favorites of consumers continue playing an important role such as in New York state with the world-famous mcintosh, as well as galas and empires.
While marketers heap praise on new varieties, not everyone is completely sold.
For example, Forrence Orchards Inc., of Peru, N.Y. has seen sales of its more traditional varieties such as McIntosh and Cortland adversely affected by the new varieties. At the same time Forrence Orchards also has invested in the Honeycrisp.
One of the more interesting aspects in all of these changes will be observing to see if consumers are willing to pay substantially higher prices for these new varieties which can easily be 50 percent or more. A generation ago the red delicious, golden delicious, golds and cortlands pretty much made up the choices in the apple section of local produce departments.
It is very costly to launch a new apple variety, including being labor intensive. The bottom line on whether it is worth the effort and cost ultimately depends on whether the consumer likes the product.
Even if the new variety proves popular with consumers, it also takes a lot of help from retailers through good placement in the produce department, promoting the product, and having reasonable pricing.
Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA offers its Piñata variety apple in bulk, organic bulk, 3-pound Lil Snapper conventional and organic kid-sized fruit and a value 5-pound pouch bag using an attractive display-ready carton. These efforts are backed by promotion with social media and in-store demonstrations.
Hess Bros. Fruit Co. of Leola, PA is launching a late season proprietary variety called Sweet Cheeks, expected to should be available at the end of January. The initial offering will only be a couple of truck loads.
by American Consolidation & Logistics
Miami, FL – A third Miami warehouse location for international produce importer, American Consolidation & Logistics (ACL) has been leased. The 93,799 sq. ft. facility located at 3200 NW 67th Avenue in the South Florida Logistics Center is one of the only controlled atmospheres for fumigation in the country. This multimillion-dollar deal gives ACL a prime location near Miami International Airport, where much of their imported produce arrives by plane.
The leasing project was handled by ComReal, led by Partner and Managing Member, Edward Redlich.
“Our new location near MIA is critical. We can provide our clients peace-of-mind by assuring that their produce is transported as quickly as possible to our specialty refrigeration units located inside our warehouse.” Said Jose Medina, CEO of American Consolidation and Logistics. “The quick work of finding this facility by Edward Redlich and his team of Chris Spear and Edison Vasquez was unbelievable. I’ve never worked with a Realtor more professional, diligent, and who conducts business with complete integrity like Ed does.”
In the Fall of 2016, Redlich and his team were retained by ACL to acquire a +/- 100,000 sq. ft. refrigerated warehouse facility. They began working on a comprehensive site selection of potential properties that would suit ACL’s needs including both existing warehouse buildings and vacant land for build-to-suit construction. The only building that already had the refrigeration systems installed and ready-to-go was Building #1 at South Florida Logistics Center, where ACL now operates. In addition to Miami International Airport, the property is also easily accessible to PortMiami via truck or railroad. American Consolidation & Logistics moved into their new warehouse on April 17, 2017. This is their third South Florida location along with their Opa-Locka headquarters and a warehouse in Pompano Beach.
ComReal Miami – Doral: The ComReal Industrial Team has been assisting companies with their South Florida real estate needs for over 30 years.
American Consolidation & Logistics: ACL specializes in handling imports of fresh fruits and vegetables, having a wealth of experience with produce.
By Hudson River Fruit Distributors
Hudson River Fruit Distributors is excited to announce its brand new, high graphic, apple display bin. The bin is the latest addition to Hudson River Fruits expanding packaging lineup that aims to utilize apples in many different ways, while bringing the farm fresh feel to your stores!
The bin displays a hi definition photo of one of the farms owned by Hudson River Fruit, and highlights the locally grown and family farmed aspects in the forefront. The side of the bin features a metal plaque “mounted” onto wooden planks, which contains a quote from co-founder and owner Harold Albinder, about the company, as well as, the history and tradition of Apples grown in New York State.
“We are very excited to launch this marketing tool to help our customers bring the farm to their stores this fall. The display bin can be used to display local loose apples, tote’s, poly bags or our 2LB Lil Chief bags.” Says Pat Ferrara, Sales Director at Hudson River Fruit Distributions, ” We are excited to share our story and products with customers at store level.”
About Hudson River Fruit
Hudson River Fruit is a 4th generation, family owned and operated apple grower, packer and shipper in New York. They have been in business for over 54 years and are widely recognized as an industry leading apple supplier. They grow over 21 different varieties and ship over 2 million boxes of fresh apples yearly.
Hudson River Fruit Distributors was established on July 12, 1963, by Isadore “Izzy” Albinder and his son Harold Albinder.
Izzy first entered the apple business back in 1932, after emmigrating from Russia. He saw an opportunity to broker apples, so he bought a pushcart and sold apples in the neighborhood streets of Brooklyn, New York. A time came that Izzy had trouble finding apples of high enough quality. He decided to venture up to the Hudson Valley, and began fostering relationships with apple growers, some of whom we still work with today
Organically grown table grape production continues to increase in popularity, according to growers in California who are experiencing significant increases in volume.
For example Anthony Vineyards of Bakersfield reports 80 percent of its San Joaquin Valley table grape crop now is organic, and is expected to eventually make up 100 percent of the company’s valley production. Anthony Vineyard began shipping organic grapes about 2005 after acquiring an organic ranch. The operation now has at least a dozen organic grape varieties.
Homegrown Organic Farms of Porterville is developing and growing its organic grape program. While the company grows and ships some traditional varieties it also handles new ones such as the as Ivory and Kelly. The newer varieties tend to size well and offer lots of crunch and flavor.
Top Brass Marketing Inc., of Bakersfield has about 15 percent of its grape acreage in organics with all of its varieties continuing to grow in popularity. experiencing double digit growth annually. Growing organically is a more complex process than growing conventionally, and yields typically are less, requiring growers to charge a premium for their fruit.
Farming operations each year seek to learn new ways of increasing yields and using new organic supplements to treat the fields for pests.
Sunview Marketing International of Delano is one of California’s largest grower-shippers of organic grapes, which are grown exclusively in the San Joaquin Valley. This seaon, the company is shipping Rosa Seedless, scarlet royal, Magenta, Timco and crimson red varieties and sugraone, Stella Bella, princess, Great Green, thompson and autumn king green varieties. There also are black grapes including summer royal and black seedless.
Environmental efforts that use less energy and often more cost efficient are common with organic growing. For example, Top Brass has five acres of solar panels to run its cold storage facilities and recently contracted to add Tesla batteries to enhance that renewable resource even more.
By The Mushroom Council
Sturgis, S.D. – The Mushroom Council took on a new frontier of burger lovers last week when it served The Blend to hundreds of bikers attending the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
“It’s the best burger I’ve had all week,” was the familiar refrain offered up by bikers who stepped off Sturgis’ Main Street drag to sample a 70/30 meat-mushroom blend on August 10th, at a fundraiser for the Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame. The event was hosted by Thunder Press magazine as part of its 25th anniversary celebration.
Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council, helped serve the blended burgers and interacted with attendees.
“I wanted to know first-hand how blended burgers would be accepted by meat eaters and burger fans who hold nothing back in their opinions,” said Minor. “It’s safe to say we’ve recruited hundreds of new Blenditarians – they gave it resounding accolades and came back for seconds. The event was an excellent demonstration of The Blend’s universal appeal.”
For recipes and inspiration, visit www.Blenditarian.com.
About The Mushroom Council
The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. For more information, visit mushroomcouncil.org.
International Paper’s North American Container business is putting Snoopy, Charlie Brown and other Peanuts characters on bulk bins.
Two product displays with the characters are available. Both are corrugated bulk bins, with one featuring Snoopy and watermelons and the other with Snoopy, Linus and Charlie Brown under the words “it’s the great pumpkin.”
“This powerful combination is a standout, drawing customer attention and increasing sales by making shopping a fun experience,” said Scott Dillon, director of marketing, said in a news release. “Peanuts has a multi-generational appeal, and this is a solid way to capture the consumer sentiment around this iconic brand.”
The bins are available at International Paper’s five bulk facilities.
Kroger, Fresh Encounters win Marsh stores at auction
Marsh Supermarkets, at one time a leading Midwest supermarket chain based in Indiana, has recently accepted bids at auction for 26 of its remaining 44 stores. The move follows the company’s closure of 19 locations and bankruptcy filing in May.
Cincinnati-based supermarket powerhouse Kroger will acquire 11 Marsh stores for $16 million, and Fresh Encounter Inc., based in Findlay, OH, will buy 15 Marsh locations for $8 million.
Kroger currently has 2,800 stores nationwide, while Fresh Encounter operates 21 stores under the Community Markets, Great Scott Community Markets, Sack ‘N Save Supermarket and Chief banners. Earlier this year, Fresh Encounter purchased Remke Markets’ 10 stores in the Cincinnati area.
The transactions are subject to bankruptcy court approval. One possible obstacle to the sale is an objection by CVS Health, which purchased the pharmacy accounts from Marsh in April. As part of the agreement, CVS stipulated that 37 stores where Marsh operated pharmacies could not operate as pharmacies for five years.
Kroger and Fresh Encounters have said in court documents that it would proceed with the acquisition only if the restriction is removed. Marsh has countered that the agreement only bars Marsh from operating pharmacies at the stores, and that the language is not enforceable under the bankruptcy code.
The sale of the remaining locations would bring to an end Marsh’s 86 years in business. Ermal Marsh opened the first Marsh store in 1931 in Muncie, IN. The company went public in 1953, when it operated 16 stores.
WENATCHEE, Wash. – As the grower/marketer with the rights to University of Minnesota’s newest apple brand, Rave™, Stemilt Growers is set to harvest the apple’s first commercial crop and introduce this special early season apple to consumers in select regions come late August.
Rave™ is the brand name for the apple cultivar MN55, which is a cross between Honeycrisp and an unreleased variety called MonArk. It was first developed through natural cross-pollination 20 years ago by David Bedford as part of the apple breeding program at the University of Minnesota. Bedford is also the breeder behind the popular Honeycrisp and its successor, SweeTango® apples.
Last fall, the University of Minnesota chose Rave™ as the brand name for the apple and then Stemilt got to work on designing a logo, PLU sticker, and packaging ahead of the apple’s introductory year. The company played off people’s common use of the word rave to praise things they like and messaging “the apple you’ll rave about.” Stemilt used fun, bold colors in order to attract shoppers to the brand, and will use #RaveApples to promote social buzz around Rave™ this season and beyond.
The parentage of the apple gives Rave™ the ability to fracture when bitten, just like Honeycrisp. Rave™ has its own special flavor that’s best described as “outrageously juicy with a refreshing snappy zing.” It will also have the unique position of harvesting and going to market before any other apple variety in Washington State, due to its ability to color and ripen during the summer heat.
“Rave™ not only allows retailers to get a jumpstart on apple season each year, but do so with an apple that is stunning to look at, and incredible to eat,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager.
While volume will be limited this season, volumes are predicted to grow quickly following this introductory year as new acreage comes into production, Stemilt will be sharing Rave™ with media and social media influencers this season. The company will look to build knowledge and excitement of Rave™ through a kick-off event, on its blog, The Stem, and via its social channels with #RaveApples.
Once it hits produce shelves, Rave™ will be another chapter in Stemilt’s story of bringing innovative products to market. The company successfully introduced its signature apple Piñata!® to the marketplace back in 2009, introduced Skylar Rae® brand cherries in 2016, and also supplies the West Coast with the popular SweeTango® apple.
“The apple category is changing quickly with so many options available to consumers today. That means that each new apple must have attributes that will make it stand out. Rave™ is an apple with star power, and we are excited to start sharing it this season,” said Shales.
Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits.
The ports of Manatee and Oakland are having record-setting years, with much of that success coming from produce imports.
Port of Manatee
The Port of Manatee’s container volume already has handled as volume in 10 has it has totaled in a record setting 12-month year..
The Florida-based port has moved 32,907 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) container units since October 1st, surpassing the full-year record of 30,431 TEUs, which was set in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.
A news release from Port Manatee points out the record-setting container volume represents a 47 percent increase over the first 10 months of the preceding fiscal year.
The increase is primarily attributed to Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. switching from breakbulk shipping to containers for imports of Central American pineapple and bananas, as well as to the success of World Direct’s weekly shipping service which transports refrigerated produce from Mexico.
“We are excited to have already set a new container record for Port Manatee and are further encouraged this favorable trend is anticipated to be sustained for a long time,” Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, said in the release.
The port’s tonnage also increased in the first 10 months of its fiscal year, topping last fiscal year’s numbers by 17 percent.
Port of Oakland
A record for import cargo in July has been set by The Port of Oakland.
The port handled 84,835 loaded 20-foot import containers in July, which tops the previous record of 84,023 containers set in March 2015.
A press release from the California port shows import volume through the first seven months of the year was also up 3.7 percent over the same time last year.
Looking ahead, Port of Oakland leaders believey they foresee a five-year period of record cargo volume beginning in 2018.
That prediction comes from the recently released Strategic Maritime Roadmap. The roadmap forecasts a record volume of 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018.
The roadmap also predicts greater volumes arriving on larger ships driven by Northern California’s robust freight market along with new distribution and freight transfer centers. The document predicts ships will be 35 percent larger within 15 years.
“We’re serving a thriving area and developing new services for our customers,” Oakland’s maritime director John Driscoll said. “The combination should be positive for everyone who relies on the port for their business or their job.”
Wal-Mart will build a distribution center for fresh produce and other perishable items with land acquired from Port Canaveral in Florida.