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Ready Pac goes Italian with Caprese Bistro Bowl Salad

Ready Pac has added a new item to its Bistro Bowl offerings: the Caprese Bistro Bowl Salad, a 210-calorie salad that includes mozzarella over ripened tomatoes with a tangy balsamic drizzle.redpak

Ready Pac expects its latest release to quickly become a customer favorite. The single-serve, complete meal is based on the latest restaurant trends.

According to Technomic, Caprese salads have been growing on menus for five years and are still running strong (37.1 percent increase in mentions on national restaurant menus since 2009). Ready Pac carefully crafted the Caprese to follow a classic Bistro-authentic recipe consisting of Arugula and Spring Mix, fresh mozzarella pearls, grape tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

“We have built a reputation for delivering inventive new flavors, but we also have a soft spot for the classics,” Tristan Simpson, vice president of corporate communications at Ready Pac, said in a press release. “We’re eager to provide consumers with a flavor that didn’t previously exist in this category. The Caprese Bistro Bowl Salad takes customers out of their busy week for a moment, which is fantastic because everyone deserves some time to slow down.”

The Caprese Bistro Bowl Salad has a recommended MSRP of $3.99, is currently available in Safeway and is slated for national distribution soon. Its new branding and packaging design is reminiscent of a trendy sidewalk café that emphasizes the fresh restaurant-inspired flavors found in each Bistro Bowl Salad and Bistro Bowl Wrap Kit.

To learn more about Ready Pac Bistro line, in addition to their extended range fresh-cut offerings, visit http://www.readypac.com/products/.

Market Basket rejects former CEO's request to return, looking to replace disgruntled employees

As Market Basket enters its third week of employee unrest — a result of the board of directors firing Arthur T. Demoulas, now-former chief executive officer — James Gooch and Felicia Thornton, current co-CEOs, have started a three-day job fair to replace employees who have not returned to work.

The Aug. 4 deadline for employees to return to work, which coincided with the first day of the job fair, has passed without any reported firings.

Market Basket employees held a protest outside of the job fair, which was limited to current Market Basket employees for the first two days. Gooch and Thornton released a statement saying they had set up an email address to allow people to apply online since they had heard interested applicants were concerned for their safety.

Over the weekend Demoulas, who has an offer on the table to purchase the company, stated that he would come back to his role as CEO so that the company can return to normal while a deal is being worked on.

"Arthur T. Demoulas and his side of the family have been working around the clock to pursue their offer to buy the 50.5 percent of shares in DSM they do not own for a full and fair price," Justine Griffin, a spokeswoman for Arthur T. Demoulas, said in a written statement. "As part of his proposal, Arthur T. has also offered to move immediately to return to work in advance of the completion of the stock purchase and work to bring back his full team to stabilize and begin to restore the business."

"These steps are critical at this point and are in the best interests of associates, customers, vendors and shareholders," she said in the statement. "Time is of the essence. Arthur T. is hopeful but resolution depends on the response of the other shareholders in order for an agreement to be reached."

He was willing to return as soon as Aug. 3, but the board rejected the offer. A rally, attended by employees as well as customers, took place Aug. 5 at 11 a.m. in Tewksbury, MA.

Sunkist heads to Sesame Street to 'eat brighter'

Sunkist Growers is showing that “C” truly stands for citrus as part of the Produce Marketing Association and Sesame Workshop ‘eat brighter!’ initiative.001PN0804

The collaboration, forged by the Partnership for a Healthier America, which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama, applies the strength and influence of the "Sesame Street" brand and characters like Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby to promote fruits and vegetables consumption with children ages 2 to 5, their parents and caregivers.

“Childhood obesity is a critical issue for our country, and fighting this epidemic requires strong partnerships with creativity and vision,” Kevin Fiori, Sunkist's vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “We are proud to be a supporting partner to PMA and Sesame Workshop in the ‘eat brighter!’ movement to help kids and families across North America eat more fruits and vegetables.”

The "eat brighter!" program has a simple goal: to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating among families by leveraging the power of the "Sesame Street" brand. Sunkist, a founding member of PMA, is developing themed packaging, advertising, social media content and customizable programs for retailers for the citrus cooperative’s 2014-15 growing season.

“Sesame Street is a brand parents trust and kids love, and we’re excited to be leveraging the power of the beloved characters to encourage families to eat more fresh citrus,” Joan Wickham, Sunkist's advertising and public relations manager, said in the release. “Full of antioxidants and essential nutrients, citrus is part of the super food family — making it a sweet treat that kids love and parents can feel good about.”

One of the most widely recognized names in the citrus category, Sunkist offers more than 40 varieties of premium-quality, fresh citrus year-round.

Sunrain Varieties announces major land investment

Sunrain Varieties LLC, a producer of fresh potato seed, recently purchased a 1,600-acre farm located in the Victor-Driggs, ID, area.

“This acreage will be used primarily for early generation seed production and we look forward to a great fall harvest,” Aron Derbidge, business manager at Sunrain, said in a press release. 

The company also plans construction of a world-class storage and grading facility on the property.

“With on-site sorting and sizing, Sunrain will be able to offer the trade pre-sized seed lots,” Derbidge said in the release. “Sunrain is continually striving to help our customers save time and money in the planting process so this addition makes good sense.”

Sunrain will be holding a new product showcase and open house Aug. 13 at its Idaho facility. Contact Rainey Carraballo at rcarraballo@potandon.com for more information or a facility tour.

Wawona Packing expands Listeria-related recall

Wawona Packing Co. of Cutler, CA, is expanding its July 19 voluntary recall of whole white and yellow peaches, white and yellow nectarines, plums and pluots due to the potential of the products being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The July 19 recall covered specific lots of products packed June 1-July 12, but Wawona has expanded the recall, as a precautionary step, to cover all products packed in the Wawona Packing Co. facility June 1-July 17 because the company’s experts have yet to identify with scientific certainty the source of Listeria monocytogenes in the facility.

Beginning on July 18, no products have been packed at the Wawona Packing facility in Cutler. Products packed on or after July 18 outside of the Wawona Packing Co. facility are not affected by this recall.

Wawona Packing shipped the recalled products directly to retailers and wholesalers who resell or further distribute the products. "Because we do not know the locations of the companies or stores that received the products from our direct customers, the company is issuing a nationwide recall," Wawona announced in a press release.

Wawona Packing has already notified its business customers of the expanded recall, and requested that they remove the additional recalled products from commerce. Wawona Packing is voluntarily recalling these products in consultation with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The July 19 recall was initiated based on internal company testing. The company shut down the packinglines, retrofitted equipment, sanitized the facility and is working with experts on Listeria in making further improvements to the food-safety program.

"Our packinglines in the Cutler, California facility will not reopen until we know, in consultation with experts, that they are safe," the company stated in the release.

“Wawona Packing believes in the highest standards of food safety," Brent Smittcamp, company president, said in the release. "We have been working around the clock to determine the source of the Listeria monocytogenes. We have brought in nationally known experts in food safety to investigate every part of our packing facility, and we are working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration."

Consumers can identify the recalled products by the information provided in the linked photographs. The recalled products include the following brands marketed to consumers: "Sweet 2 Eat," "Sweet 2 Eat Organic," "Mrs. Smittcamp’s," and are also packed in private labels.

These brands will be on the boxes or on the stickers placed on individual fruit. Anyone who has the recalled products in their possession should not consume them and should discard them. If consumers are seeking reimbursement, they should return to the store where they purchased the product to request a refund, providing proof of purchase or receipt if available.

Consumers with questions may contact Wawona Packing’s consumer information desk at 888/232-9912 or visit www.wawonapacking.com.