Duda Farm Fresh Foods, headquartered in Oviedo, FL, introduced new and highly innovative packaging for its citrus line last year. The Meyer lemon one-pound smart bag is one of the packages the company introduced.
Nichole Towell, director of marketing for Duda Farm Fresh Foods, said that the company continues to grow its Meyer lemon program.
“We have updated the bag to include a text code to encourage consumers to engage with us at the point of purchase and beyond,” said Ms. Towell. “It is a high-graphic, self-display bag that gives consumers good visibility to the fruit, and it also provides recipes and other usage ideas. This new packaging clearly differentiates the Meyer lemons from conventional lemon varieties.”
The company’s California citrus lineup for this season is packed full of great products. Navel oranges will run from November through April, and Meyer lemons started in November and will run through March. Minneolas started in January and will move through April.
Duda Farm Fresh also offers California clementines. The movement started in November and extended to January.
“Mandarins started in January and will run until April,” said Ms. Towell. “Lemons enjoy a nice long season from November through September.”
The company’s Cara Cara Navels, also produced in California, started in late December and were expected to run through the end of January.
Fortunately, there are no current disease pressures on Duda Farm Fresh’s California citrus crop, but there are “ongoing efforts to avoid problems before they happen.
“So far, we’re free of problems, but it’s an issue that must be monitored continually,” noted Ms. Towell.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods has announced that Phillip Giannetto joined the company as field operations manager, and Brent Young has been hired to join the sales team as account manager. Both gentlemen bring a wealth of experience to the company.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is offering its customers merchandising and selling guides for the Meyer lemon, complete with point-of-sale items, advertising materials and consumer recipes.
“This program continues to be very effective in educating consumers and driving sales at retail,” said Ms. Towell. “We continue to find that consumers and food bloggers are especially excited about Meyer lemons, so we embrace the opportunity to engage with them beyond the store with our digital marketing efforts.”
This is Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ second season handling Cara Cara Navel oranges, and Ms. Towell said that the product quality is extremely nice.
“We are offering full cartons, half cartons and three-pound bags,” she said.
As with everyone in the produce industry, production costs continue to increase across the board at Duda Fresh Foods’ operations.
“These increases apply to fertilizer, chemical and fuel costs at the farm level, as well as cost increases within the packing facilities,” said Ms. Towell. “Packaging, fuel, electricity and insurance costs have all risen.”
Early last year, in a further effort to provide consumers with healthy and nutritious meal alternatives to their everyday favorites, Duda Farm Fresh Foods launched Fresh Family Meal Make-Over, a featured page on www.DudaFresh.com. To help consumers make responsible eating decisions for a healthier lifestyle, the site is updated each month with sound advice and recipes from Veronica Moister, nutritionist and personal trainer.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a grower-shipper-marketer of an extensive line of domestic and offshore fresh fruits as well as fresh and fresh-cut vegetables. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of A. Duda & Sons Inc., also headquartered in Oviedo.