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Ready Pac has launched a new ready-to-serve fresh-cut fruit products. The new items feature seasonal fruits rarely — if ever — seen in the fresh-cut produce category, including pears, oranges and kumquats.

"To my knowledge, Ready Pac is the only company that processes fresh-cut pears (not packed in juice or syrup)," Tristan Simpson, director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac, said in a press release. "We successfully introduced fresh pears into one fruit blend in the fall of 2011, and based on very positive results Ready Pac has introduced three new items featuring them. Ready Pac's motto is ‘Real. Fresh. Innovation,’ so we continually10 5oz-PearOrgFrtMix-Hi explore ways to push the boundaries of fresh-cut processing. For example, we were the first fresh-cut processor to incorporate fresh-cut fruit into bagged salad kits.”

Ready Pac’s new fresh-cut pear items include a 10.5-ounce and 32-ounce size pear-orange fruit mix, a colorful autumn medley that also includes cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, red grapes and apples.

The third item to feature pears is a pear and apple harvest platter. Perfect for holiday entertaining and football season parties, the large round platter presents green pear slices on one side and red apple slices on the other, along with grapes and seasonally available kumquats, caramel dip, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, as well as two whole wheat cracker packs. Ready Pac has also included kumquats, which provide an appetizing pop of orange color on a bed of red grapes, when they are available during the fall-winter season.

In addition to the new pear-based items, Ready Pac introduced a 10.5-ounce and 32-ounce size pineapple grape orange fresh-cut fruit medley. The tasty blends help retailers provide their shoppers with a variety of seasonally available, fresh-cut fruit items during the fall and winter. For consumers, the medleys are an excellent source of vitamin C and a convenient way to enjoy fresh fruit at home or on the go.

It has been said that the ideal fruit for fresh-cut processing is square-shaped and with an edible peel. Since Mother Nature didn’t design square fruit, fresh-cut processors have mainly worked with round or cylindrical fruits that are easy to peel or don’t need to be peeled. The new items Ready Pac launched for fall don’t fall into that “easy” category. Pears present a challenge because of their asymmetrical shapes, as do oranges, which can be tricky to peel without yield loss.

Like grapes, Ready Pac washes kumquats using its proprietary fresh-cut processing techniques and places them whole into the platters. The challenge with kumquats is sourcing adequate supply, so Ready Pac designed the new platters to be able to modify them when kumquats are not available.

“Working with challenging components and introducing exotic fruit into our fruit trays keeps Ready Pac on the cutting edge and helps our retail customers provide exciting fresh selections for their shoppers,” Mr. Simpson said in the release.