First West Coast Chilean fruit vessel of the season hits L.A. port

After a 12-day journey from Chile, the first West Coast break bulk vessel of the season, Ice River, arrived to the port of Los Angeles on Thursday, Jan. 9.  The ship unloaded 4,500 pallets of fresh grapes, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and blueberries that will be hitting retail shelves this week.IMG 2300-2

The entire SSA Marine operations team, including Kevin Nielsen, terminal manager, and Lacey Patalano, office administration, were excited to receive the Ice River vessel, and look forward to receiving weekly Chilean fresh fruit vessels now thru April. 

Steve Hattendorf, western region merchandiser for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, greeted the first West Coast vessel of the 2019-20 Chilean winter fruit season and toured the 14-acre facility in San Pedro, CA.

Winter has definitely arrived, but shoppers can get a taste of summer throughout the winter months, courtesy of Chile.  Cherries, blueberries, grapes and stone fruit (peaches, plums and nectarines) are now in-market, with merchandising support available to retailers through the U.S. and Canada. 

“Demos, digital coupons, kids cooking classes, and social media contests are just some of the programs we’re currently running with retailers big and small," said Karen Brux, managing director of the CFFA. "We’re also further supporting retail sales through our consumer campaign, which includes extensive social media promotions, as well as our new Super Fruit Bowl campaign that’s currently running with ESPN.”  Consumers can go to www.chileanfreshfruitbowl.com for a chance to win two tickets to the big game on Feb. 2.

The Chilean season is just starting to ramp up. Through Jan. 6, Chile had exported the following volumes to the U.S.: 4,386 tons of cherries; 30,194 tons of blueberries, 17,067 tons of grapes, 5,114 tons of nectarines, 5,419 tons of peaches and 2,276 tons of plums.

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse