Posts Tagged “fresh produce”
New technology extending okra shelf life should help reduce waste and claims. Also, Shappire grapes from Peru are now arriving at U.S. Ports.
A company specializing in products to enhance the shelf life of fresh produce has a partnership with a company that grows specialty produce in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
The partnership initially is on a product from Hazel Technologies Inc. to extend the shelf life of okra grown by Agritrade Farms LLC. The postharvest technology, Hazel Okra, will be used on shipments of the vegetable from Honduras shipped to North America and Europe.
Okra is a difficult item to ship at peak quality, according to a news release, but trials with Hazel products and okra shipments have had positive results. The first commercial shipment of okra with the technology was in December.
Hazel Technologies has a line of packaging inserts designed for different items including tomatoes, melons, tree fruit, avocados and some specialty vegetables.
by Melissa’s Produce
Los Angeles, California – Melissa’s announces the first shipment of the season of fresh Peruvian Sweet Sapphire Grapes! The unusual two-inch tubular shape is not the only unique characteristic of this sweet table grape. Sweet Sapphires have a dark purple, almost black, skin that protects its translucent green and seedless fruit. With a sugar content that exceeds all other fresh grape varieties, the grape has an extremely sweet flavor balance reminiscent of a delicate dessert wine. Surprisingly, each grape is so firm it can be snapped in half and large enough to be stuffed!
Through natural cross-pollination, a tedious process done by hand over many generations of grape seasons, the variety offers both taste and versatility like no other. Serve Sweet Sapphire grapes stuffed as an interesting party platter finger food, as the base for a full-bodied reduction sauce or simply as a tasty sweet out-of-hand snack fruit. Available for a short time during the months of late January – March, Sweet Sapphires are great with cheese, crackers and wine.
Melissa’s Produce is the leading U.S. variety distributor of specialty and organic fresh produce. The company imports exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world.
Remote container management technology is being introduced by Sealand, providing exporters and importers the ability to monitor conditions of fruits and vegetables from inside the containers in which they are shipped.
SeaLand, Maersk Transport and Logistics division’s regional ocean carrier to the Americas, said in a news release the technology monitors temperature, humidity, oxygen levels and the location and ventilation of the containers in transit, whether on land or at sea.
“Moving fresh produce to and from markets in the Americas is an exciting and important business,” Sealand CEO Craig Mygatt said in the release. “Consumers today want access to fresh produce all year long. We’re making that possible whether it’s bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica and Panama to the U.S. or tropical and exotic fruits such as mangoes.
Porterville Citrus acquires packing operations of LoBue Citrus
Sunkist citrus shipments will increase this season, with a member of the cooperative acquiring another shipper.
Porterville Citrus of Terra Bella, CA is a Sunkist grower who has acquired the packing operations of LoBue Citrus of Lindsay, CA., according to a news release.
Under the terms, the LoBue family will continue to own and operate its 1,000-acre citrus farming operation.
“LoBue Citrus has a rich history in the industry, and we are pleased to be able to help them continue that legacy through our organization,” Jim Phillips, president of Porterville Citrus said. “The purchase also marks further growth for Porterville Citrus, positioning us for a strong season ahead.”
For the 2017-18 season, Porterville Citrus will integrate the LoBue Citrus packing facility in Lindsay into its operations and also add a large portion of the organization’s grower network. That will increase the navel orange, mandarin, lemon and specialty acreage of Porterville Citrus and the Sunkist cooperative as a whole”.
“It’s a great to start the season by adding more high quality volume to our mix,” Russ Hanlin, president and CEO of Sunkist Growers said.
Californa prune shipments are expected soar by nearly 100 percent this season. Meanwhile, a significant expansion involving two produce companies is taking place in North Carolina.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service believes the 2017 California prune harvest will total 105,000 tons, a 99 percent increase over 2016’s 52,851-ton crop.
This year, the industry is returning to a more normal size harvest. Harvest concluded about a month ago. Weather in recent years has created challenges for prune growers, but growers say the trees are rebounding this year. California is the world’s largest producer of prunes, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s supply and nearly of all the supply in the U.S.
by Polymer Logistics
Riverside, CA – Polymer Logistics supplied over 22 million Wood-Look crates in 2016, introducing the product to major retailers in both the US and Europe. The introductory year for these crates has proven very successful, with retailers registering substantial sales increases in their produce departments and a study in Italy indicating a 94% consumer preference for Wood-Look crates.
“2016 was the year of our Wood-Look crate solution,” says Gideon Feiner, Polymer Logistics CEO. In response to growing demand, Polymer Logistics opened two new wash plants in the U.S. in the same year, now totaling five in number. The company also appointed a well-known executive in the produce industry – Fred Heptinstall, as CEO of Polymer Logistics North America to support its expansion, with the company achieving growth of more than 35% in 2016. It continues to make investments and anticipates continued corporate growth in the high 20% in the years ahead.
To complement the success of the Wood-Look crates, Polymer Logistics developed an in-store Wood-Look display fixture to create a unified store appearance. The innovative modular Wood-Look display stand is featured at Fruit Logistica 2017 at Hall 21 / C-04. The easily assembled stand can be customized to meet the needs of specific locations and is fully compatible with 600×400 mm as well as 400×300 mm RPCs. The display stand can also accommodate a combination of various industrial style crates from other suppliers as well as cardboard containers to boost overall produce aisle appearance.
With fresh produce often placed at the front of stores, appealing displays draw in more foot traffic and boost overall store sales. The distinctive “fresh from the field” appearance provides a memorable shopping experience while delivering crucial benefits such as hygiene, as well as lower cost and environmental impact. Visitors to Fruit Logistica 2017 are encouraged to see how the new combination of Polymer Logistics eye-catching products can transform both store appearance and operation.
About Polymer Logistics:
Polymer Logistics is a leading provider of One-Touch/Retail Ready Reusable Packaging (RRP) solutions. Since 1994, it has been helping retailers worldwide simplify supply chain management by offering them precisely what they need in terms of logistics services and display products – from the factory to the retail floor. The strength of the brand comes from the Company’s consistent track record in helping clients cut overall costs by up to 60% while simultaneously increasing in-store product availability. Add to that an innovative and flexible approach, expertise in materials handling and logistics management, and a focused commitment to superb service. Polymer Logistics numbers 17 service centers and wash sites with dedicated local teams in the USA and Europe.
The United Fresh Start Foundation is launching a new community grants program to help advance the organization’s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
The new initiative will provide $25,000 in grants to local community organizations and groups that share the United Fresh Start Foundation’s commitment to increasing kids’ access to fresh produce, ensuring they develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. This effort extends the foundation’s work beyond the school day and will provide children with fresh fruit and vegetables after school, on weekends and during summer breaks.
“Food insecurity and obesity are major challenges for millions of children across the country,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We are proud of the work we have done in schools to increase fresh fruits and vegetables, but we know that many children need access when school is out. The program is designed to ensure kids have access throughout the day and the year.”
During a recent Produce Legends Dinner in New Orleans, the foundation announced the plans to launch the Community Grants Program. The foundation is committing $25,000 to the 2017 Community Grants Program. Grants will be available in various amounts up to $2,500. Applications will be accepted this spring and the recipients will be announced during the United Fresh Show this June in Chicago.
The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one core mission — to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Over 11 million wood-grain reusable plastic containers have been shipped by IFCO since entering the market in January.
More than 300 growers have placed orders that are destined for Wal-Mart stores with fresh produce, according to a news release.
“We are proud to partner with Wal-Mart and its fresh produce suppliers to provide them with innovative, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable reusable packaging that transitions easily to in-store display,” Daniel Walsh, president of IFCO North America, said in the release. “Surpassing the 11 million wood-grain RPC threshold so quickly is an impressive accomplishment made possible through strong collaboration between Wal-Mart, the grower community and IFCO.”
After reaching an agreement with Wal-Mart in October of 2015, IFCO designed the RPCs to the retailer’s specifications and also took into account feedback from growers.
“Wal-Mart chooses to use wood-grain RPCs to deliver produce for a variety of reasons,” Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president of produce, floral and global food sourcing for Wal-Mart USA, said in the release. “They have better ventilation, they’re ergonomically designed and very easy to use, and our customers really like the new wood-grain RPCs because they look more like a farmers market or roadside fruit stand, which provides a level of comfort during the shopping experience.”
IFCO Systems North America, Inc. designs, develops, and manufactures reusable plastic containers for fresh products, including fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, and bananas to grocery retailers in North America. IFCO Systems North America, Inc. was formerly known as PalEx, Inc. and changed its name to IFCO Systems North America, Inc. in March 2000. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Houston, Texas. As of March 22, 2000 IFCO Systems North America, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ifco SYSTEMS N.V.
IFCO offers the complete RPC solution, managing all aspects of container logistics: pool management, inventory, tracking, repair, sanitation and transportation.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Appearance. No matter how many times we’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, waiting to pass judgement on something until after we get past its outside has never been an easy task for people to accomplish. Whether it’s what we’re reading or who we’re meeting, people have a tendency to set expectations based on surface assessment. But does the same hold true for what we eat? According to a recent Harris Poll, about eight in ten Americans (81%) confirm that appearance (i.e., not blemished or misshapen in any way) is at least somewhat important to them when shopping for fresh produce (i.e., fruits and vegetables), with 43% saying it is very or extremely important.
When listed alongside other fresh produce descriptors, appearance proved to be more important than provenance (i.e., locally grown or sourced), the retailer’s food waste practices, and organic. However, the price and seasonality are more likely to be important to a purchaser than appearance.
“Whether ‘ugly’ or not, produce is on the rise, up 5% in U.S. dollar sales in the latest 52 weeks ending July 30, 2016,” said Jen Campuzano, Director Fresh Perishables at Nielsen. “Choosing healthier and more natural products has become a priority for households across the country. For some, this means transparency in labeling, opting for foods with basic ingredient lists or embracing fruits and vegetables, blemishes and all.”
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,025 U.S. adults aged 18+ and surveyed online between August 10 and 12, 2016.
Despite the weight Americans place on appearance, more than three in five adults (62%) say they would be at least somewhat comfortable eating “ugly produce,” that is, fruit or vegetables that may be misshapen but otherwise taste the same. Moreover, three quarters of adults (76%) would expect to pay less for “ugly produce,” while a fifth (20%) could see paying the same as usual.
Despite professed comfort with eating ugly produce, fewer than three in ten Americans (28%) recall buying “ugly produce” in the past year, compared to 51% who are sure they did not and 21% who are not sure either way. And of those who bought “ugly produce,” six in ten (61%) did so for the price discount.
While the primary reason Americans bought “ugly produce” was price, the runner up answer from more than a fifth (22%) of purchasers was that they wanted to reduce food waste. Americans estimate that, typically, 10% of the groceries they buy are wasted, that is, spoil or go bad before they can be eaten. Over eight in ten Americans (84%) are at least somewhat concerned about the issue of food waste, primarily because they would like to be less wasteful (62%).
So how do Americans believe we can reduce household food waste? Nearly half (46%) of adults believe better storage for fresh produce is the key to waste reduction, followed closely by more than 2 in 5 (42%) who advocate buying less food, more frequently. Another 38% believe the solution is better meal planning, while 35% say it would help if smaller package sizes were available in the grocery store.
Supermarkets remain a “powerhouse in fresh,” despite an ever-growing variety of food shopping outlets, especially fresh produce, which resides as a “supermarket stronghold” among 68 percent of shoppers.
According to Anne-Marie Roerink, who reviewed the results of the Food Marketing Institute’s second annual Power of Produce report, Supercenters (16 percent) are the second most popular outlet for fresh produce purchases, followed next by warehouse clubs (5 percent).
Highlights of this year’s produce shopper study found nearly 25 percent of shoppers switch outlets when purchasing fresh produce versus the bulk of groceries, primarily to full-service supermarkets, farmers’ markets/produce stands and specialty organic stores.
Roerink, principal of 210 Analytics, which prepared the “mega trends” produce study, warned that younger generations are drawn to alternative channels. She sees this as “a red flag for traditional retailers, as losing the produce basket may result in losing additional spending in center store.”
Ringing up a whopping $61 billion in annual sales, fresh produce is in hot demand with no signs of a slow down. Powered by a 4 percent growth rate, the category is a lucrative and influential element for grocery baskets, which average nearly $30 more with fresh produce than one without.
Beyond price, the most successful incremental produce purchase drivers, per the Power of Produce study, include:
- Eye-catching displays, which are extremely influential
- Produce cross-merchandised in other parts of the store
- Impulse through ideation, including recipes, serving ideas and sampling
- Education/information, especially nutrition call-outs that are relevant to the audience
Notably, consumers are placing increased value on transparency – how and where the crop was grown – as evidenced by how support for the local farmers/economy overtook perceived freshness as the top reason for buying locally-grown. This sentiment also applies double-digit sales gains for organic fresh produce and an expressed need for “free-from” products. Still, organic remains a niche segment to date, according to the Power of Produce consumer research study, reflecting 8 percent of total produce sales, with usage skewing to the more affluent shoppers and families with children.