New pear crop kicks off as 2016 Anjous wrap up
Looking at a start date in mid-August for its 2017 Northwest pear crop, Rainier Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA, will be shipping the last of its 2016 D’Anjous, according to Andy Tudor, Rainier vice president of business development. “We plan on shipping Bartletts, organic Bartlett and Starkrimson the week of Aug. 14, just as we are finishing last year’s D’Anjous,” he said in July. Rainier Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA, kicks off... Read more
Peri’s BBQ Bloomer onion a booming success
New-crop super colossal sweet onions and a portable grill giveaway are artfully combined in the Peri & Sons summertime promotion BBQ Bloomer Onion, which kicked off in June and runs through mid-September. According to Teri Gibson, director of marketing at Yerington, NV-based Peri & Sons, the super colossal sweet yellows are coming out of the San Joaquin Valley in California, and Nevada onions may be used in September if the needed size is attained. Display-ready... Read more
Northwest is an important market and sourcing region for Wada Farms
Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, offers a full line of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to customers throughout the United States, including the Northwest. The products are not only grown in Idaho but also sourced from all major growing regions throughout the country through a network of co-packers, according to customer needs and location. Wada Farms potato offerings include russet, red, white, gold and purple varieties, mini-potatoes, fingerlings... Read more
Avocados have become the tropical apple
Avocados are expanding their reach and Brooks Tropicals LLC, doing business in Homestead, FL, is doing its part to keep up with the rising consumer demand. “Sure, guacamole’s a must for any get-together, but avocados are appearing more and more at other times and places,” said Mary Ostlund, marketing director for the company. “Avocado toast is now the trending breakfast dish for millennials. The recipe is simple — mash, salt and spread.... Read more
The next big thing for avocado sales
The avocado industry is being targeted by the produce packaging and labeling company Sev-Rend Corp. Tony O’Driscoll, Sev-Rend’s vice president of sales and marketing, said his firm has been aggressively pursuing the avocado market for the past 24 months. Sev-Rend’s SR-film is used here as a half-wrap over its mesh packaging.He said a large majority of Sev-Rend’s avocado packers have a presence in both the U.S. and Mexico. “Having... Read more
Aggressive avocado promotion coming to retail
It’s been a long time since avocados were at a price point allowing for aggressive promotion at retail, but that should change in the next quarter. Gary Caloroso, who serves as regional business development manager for The Giumarra Cos. and director of marketing for its avocado division, Giumarra Agricom, told The Produce News that promotable volume is on the horizon. “We are encouraging retail folks to promote fourth quarter 2017 and first quarter... Read more
Avocado innovation on the way
The U.S. avocado industry has been in a demand-exceeds-supply situation a majority of the time for more than a year. Not only does that keep prices high but it tends to put a damper on new initiatives and innovation. Just filling orders is difficult enough without trying to launch new programs. But Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, expects the supply-demand curve to come into better balance this fall,... Read more
As the August sun began its descent into September, Delano, CA-based Columbine Vineyards began touting its proprietary varieties to its list of customers. The Milano, Holiday and Black Globe varieties are each late summer grapes adding an exclusive element to Columbine’s September lineup. The green seedless Milanos started being harvested in the middle of August, while the red seedless Holiday variety is expected to begin shipments by about the last week... Read more
Organic and conventional mushroom demand still growing
Kennett Square, PA-based Phillips Mushroom Farms, a leading producer and shipper of a wide range of both conventional and organic mushrooms, is always responsive to its customers’ requests for mushroom promotions, including during National Mushroom Month. Kevin Donovan, national sales manager for the company, told The Produce News that promotional activity at any time of the year is dependent on the current crop and customer demand, and demand continues on... Read more
Tomato market better than expected
With access and boots on the ground in many different districts, Bernardi & Associates focuses on purchasing the very best tomatoes every day for a wide variety of customers. On this particular day in late July, salesman Wade Ellis was in California’s San Joaquin Valley inspecting the mature green tomato crop, which was still in the early part of that deal. He was working out of Bernardi’s Turlock, one of about half-dozen offices the firm mans either... Read more
Demand continues to increase for mushroom-blended products
Giorgio Fresh Co., headquartered in Blanton, PA, is a major supporter of the Mushroom Council’s initiatives, and has been since the council’s inception. Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Brian Threlfall, said, “Giorgio values the opportunity to collaborate with the Mushroom Council throughout the year and especially during National Mushroom Month.” He added that there continues to be increasing demand for blended products... Read more
Although exports represent a smaller portion of their overall sales, those members of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee who do sell outside the United States are seeing increased market share thanks to expanding programs through government grants. Candi Fitch, executive director of the IEOOC, works with the Export Committee in securing those grants, and she explained how the program is growing. “The Export Committee has worked diligently over the... Read more
The 12 months that separated 2016’s and 2017’s Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association’s annual June convention in McCall, ID, might have been just another year for some people, but for the Tiffany Cruickshank, the organization’s president throughout that period, it was time punctuated with a lot of milestones. She was the youngest president to lead the organization, and while she was the second woman president in the history of the... Read more
Though they call themselves “old-school” in terms of some shed technology and in social media, Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, is looking at some significant changes in the next 12 months. President/GM Ray Burzota, Sales Manager Dan Phillips and Transportation Manager Dan Conklin didn’t share specifics in June 2017, but the three men did note that as a result of structural losses during the massive snowstorms in January and February,... Read more
In a thoughtful answer, Fiesta Farms President Marc Bybee said there are many angles from which to view the USA Onions promo theme of “Buy American,” but he honed in on the twin issues of quality and healthy products to address the matter succinctly. “The patriot in me hopes that buying American is important to all domestic customers and at a minimum it is a consideration,” Bybee said from his Nyssa, OR, office in early July. He continued,... Read more
Noting the unusual conditions leading into 2017’s Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion season, the team at Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, have doubled down on their commitment to providing customers with the great quality that is part of the Treasure Valley’s game plan. According to Champion Grower/Industry Relations Manager Dallas Jensen, the company’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by its well-established customer base. Jensen said the “Buy... Read more
Now in its fifth generation since founded by James Christopher Watson 105 years ago, J.C. Watson Packing Co. in Parma, ID, measures success by both longevity in the produce industry and by fruitful stewardship of the land it farms. James, a pharmacist from Iowa whose entrepreneurial spirit was boundless, became a driving force in the Treasure Valley in the early part of the 20th century, and today, as JCW President Jon Watson, grandson of James, and Jon’s... Read more
Running onions at both the Nyssa, OR, and Parma, ID, sheds keeps Fort Boise Produce moving product at a brisk pace, according to Sales Manager Ashley Robertson and Sales Agent Ryan Stewart. The Parma packingshed, built in 2004, hit the ground running with a multi-lane computerized sizer and color sorter to handle mostly mediums and jumbos, separating colors on the line. A wide range of consumer packs is available for retail, and a large portion of the company’s... Read more
As he continues to rely on personal responses and one-on-one communications, Herb Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, said working to “create our own presence” while maintaining consistency in service is the formula he follows for marketing and sales. And at the same time this longtime produce man uses his tried-and-true methods, he acknowledges a youthful influence from the newest generation of the Haun family to join the company, which for decades... Read more
When it comes to promoting Spanish Sweet onions from the Treasure Valley — and especially, of course, the Spanish Sweets from Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR — SRP General Manager Kay Riley is a staunch supporter. “I certainly support ‘Buy American,’” he said of the USA promotional theme. Riley, who’s been in the Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion business for three decades, said in July that imports from Canada and Mexico “have... Read more