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Melissa's presents emerging trends and new items at PMA

ANAHEIM, CA -- Melissa's/World Variety Produce Inc. hosted a presentation to Los Angeles-area food bloggers on emerging trends and new items Oct. 27 during the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, here.

The Los Angeles-based specialty produce marketer offers more than 1,000 exotic produce items, including organic produce, soy items and specialty food items to retailers throughout the country under its well-known brand name, "Melissa's."

As Robert Schueller, director of public relations, showed during his presentation, Melissa's is bringing some new items to the market this season, including calamodin, an acidic, tart-flavored fruit that is a cross between a kumquat and Mandarin orange, and finger lime, also known as citrus caviar, which is a citrus fruit that grows up to three inches in length and has thin skin that can range from purplish-red to black with greenish color.

According to Mr. Schueller, the finger lime is "one of the most expensive fruits in the marketplace." However, he noted that this unique citrus fruit has been getting a lot of publicity among higher-end restaurants and even mixologists. "A lot of trends start through the chefs," Mr. Schueller added.

Other new items that Melissa's is offering are yuzu and garbanzo beans, which is the key ingredient of hummus. Mr. Schueller was especially excited about the potential of the garbanzo beans, stating that they "could be the next edamame."

In addition to these new items, Melissa's is also now offering steamed artichokes in a ready-to-go container, steamed and peeled baby red beets in a 32-ounce package that is vacuum sealed to preserve the flavor and texture, and organic baby yams and sweet potatoes in a petite baby-size package.