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Misionero introduces filet pack of Romaine and green leaf

by Rand Green | July 26, 2010
Misionero Vegetable Sales in Salinas, CA, is taking an opportunity at the Produce Marketing Association's foodservice expo in Monterey, CA, to showcase some recently launched products, most notably "our 10-pound filet pack on Romaine and green leaf," said Dan Canales, vice president of sales and marketing.

For more than 17 years, Misionero has been offering “our washed and trimmed” Romaine and green leaf, which is essentially the whole head, including the large outer leaves, the medium inner leaves and the small leaves at the center of the head — but already washed and trimmed, with no waste and 100 percent useable, Mr. Canales said.

The washed and trimmed product has worked well for foodservice operators who have multi-functional needs and can make good use of all of the various sized leaves. But “quite frankly, we have been competing with the filets out in the marketplace,” he said. “We finally had a realization that we had all of the efficiencies in place and the capabilities to also do filets,” and “instead of competing against another pack,” decided to “produce it ourselves” and offer customers a choice. “You can have it washed and trimmed, or you can have a filet pack.”

The leaves in the filet packs, rather than consisting of an assortment of sizes, are sorted by size, “and you don’t have the small inner leaves,” he said. “It has worked out very well. We have gotten some great reception from it.” Many customers “like the washed and trimmed because they do have that multi- usage at their operator level,” he said. “A lot of people like the filets because they have a one-dimensional use for that product.”

The addition of the fillet pack has also “extended out to some additional packs,” Mr. Canales said. One of them is a “cascade blend, which is … a combination of the little petite leaves on the inside of the Romaine and green leaf” combined with some radicchio.

That product, which is offered in two-pound bags packed three per case, will also be featured at Misionero’s booth at the foodservice expo.

“We are also going to be showing a chopped Cosmopolitan/Romaine blend.” Cosmopolitan lettuce is a proprietary seed variety exclusive to Misionero that combines the best features of Iceberg lettuce and Romaine, Mr. Canales explained. “It took over seven years to develop” and is a “non-GMO, naturally-bred variety.” Compared to chopped Romaine, the blend is a little sweeter and a little crunchier. “It is a point of differentiation,” he said. Also, “we have had very good success with our shelf life on that.”

Misionero has been offering the Cosmopolitan lettuce for several years in the washed and trimmed format, “but we are just starting to get into the actual chopping of it and putting it in two-pound bags,” he said.