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Honeybear Brands bringing Pazazz, TruEarth to PMA Fresh Summit

Honeybear Brands will introduce Pazazz, its latest apple creation that was seven years in the making, and will unveil TruEarth, a grower-wide commitment to sustainable farming, the highest standards and earth friendly practices, at this year's PMA Fresh Summit, Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, CA.

"This is a really big year for us," Don Roper, vice president of marketing at Honeybear Brands, based in Minneapolis, said in a press release.Honey-Cubbies4946A two-pound Honey Cubbies Honeycrisp bag. "We're bringing our largest-ever sampling of Pazazz, our incredible new variety, and we're talking a lot about TruEarth, our program to look after the land, our growers and our consumers, plus we've got some amazing new packaging to give retailers a timely boost with their apple sales."

Attendees of the show will get a sneak peek at Pazazz, not available until Jan. 1 in select markets through Honeybear partner retailers.

Painstakingly created from an open-pollinated Honeycrisp seedling, Pazazz generated rave consumer reviews at retailer taste testing thanks to its Honeycrisp-like crunch and unique sweet/tart flavor profile. Taste-tested at select retail in limited quantities over the past two winter seasons, Pazazz is also expected to generate late-harvest revenue for retailers, extending sales of quality apples into the winter months.

New packaging for retailers includes the all-new two-pound Honey Cubbies Honeycrisp bag, featuring the smiling and kid-friendly Honeybear.TruEarthLogo-01 Bright, colorful and appealing, the bag is designed for maximum point of purchase impact and as an easy buy for moms seeking a delicious, healthy snack purchase for their kids.

The introduction of TruEarth, Honeybear's grower-certification program developed in close partnership with the Institute of Pest Management North America, will also take place at PMA Fresh Summit.

TruEarth protocols guarantee retailers and customers the highest possible commercial growing standards, earth-friendly practices and a commitment to growing responsibly. Honeybear said the "TruEarth" label is a symbol for retailers seeking sustainably and responsibly grown premium fruit.

"We're a close collective of local family farms and growers across the country," Roper added in the press release. "Everything we do is about being a good steward of the land and helping our growers offer the best, responsibly grown fruit for their customers everywhere. TruEarth is really a program dedicated to protecting the quality and natural healthy qualities of apples for our kids and future generations to come."

HAB taking health professionals on educational journey at FNCE in Atlanta

As nutrition professionals prepared to gather at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, slated for Oct. 18-21 in Atlanta, the Hass Avocado Board is readying to share the latest from its nutrition research and marketing program with the thousands of attendees.ahapb

Recognizing that health professionals represent a critically important audience for avocado nutrition communications and education because of the role they play in consumers' overall health and related dietary guidance, conference-goers who visit with HAB will be taken on an educational journey, dubbed "The Green Brick Road — Journey to a Higher Avocado IQ." The experience will explore HAB's expanded body of knowledge about avocado nutrition.

"HAB has made significant investments in nutrition research, and FNCE provides a perfect opportunity to update food and nutrition professionals on the progress of our research program," Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board, said in a press release. "Educating these key influencers heightens awareness of avocados as a delicious, cholesterol-free source of naturally good fats, ultimately helping more consumers to 'love one today.' "

Continuing to encourage Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans is the crux of HAB's year-old "Love One Today" food and wellness education program. That's why the HAB booth will put particular focus this year on the fact that avocados pair well with other foods to maximize taste and may also help promote optimal nutrition, as suggested by HAB's most recent research on avocado consumption and nutrient intake.

Such research will include:

  • A study on 12 healthy men and women conducted by The Ohio State University and published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating fresh avocado with either tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced absorption of alpha- and beta-carotene (inactive forms of vitamin A) and conversion of these carotenoids to an active form of vitamin A.
  • The results of a study conducted at Loma Linda University on 26 healthy, overweight adults and published in Nutrition Journal, showed that when approximately one-half of a fresh avocado was added to a lunch consisting of a salad with Italian dressing, a baguette and cookies, participants felt more satisfied and had less desire to eat following the meal.
  • An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2001-08 including 17,567 U.S. adults ages 19 years and older) published in Nutrition Journal showed that, compared to people who didn't eat avocado, avocado consumers had better diet quality and nutrient intake levels; lower intakes of added sugars; lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences; higher "good cholesterol" levels; and lower metabolic syndrome risk.
  • A pilot study on 11 men conducted at the University of California-Los Angeles and published in the journal Food and Function showed that when fresh Hass avocado was added to a burger, some of the after-meal effects observed after eating the plain burger, specifically inflammation and narrowing blood vessels, were reduced within hours.

The HAB booth will offer fun, hands-on activities that reinforce the nutrition findings, including an interactive photo experience where guests can proclaim their favorite avocado pairings, daily fresh avocado recipe sampling and a market basket style guacamole making competition. In addition, HAB will stay in touch with attendees via @HassAvocados using the hashtag #LoveOneToday.

In 2010, HAB established a nutrition research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. The nutrition research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB's multi-year, science-based food and wellness education program to encourage Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans. For more information visit www.LoveOneToday.com/research.

Chiquita celebrates versatility of bananas with 'Cooking Lab' contest

With billions of oval blue Chiquita stickers annually and three generations of people singing the Chiquita jingle since 1944, one of the more iconic food brands in the world launched a national recipe contest.

The Chiquita Cooking Lab will celebrate the versatility of the banana by promoting new uses for the fruit, including health-focused recipes, creative snack ideas and kid-friendly combinations during a two-month contest that kicked off Sept. 29 and will run until Nov. 23.

Each week, those who wish to participate in the contest will discover a list of three predetermined ingredients to incorporate in their Cooking Lab creations via Chiquita's new FanFun App or at www.ChiquitaBananas.com/CookingLab. The interactive gaming app provides consumers a fun new way to interact with the Chiquita brand while being rewarded with branded merchandise.

The eight-week contest will name five first prize winners of Chiquita kitchen prize packs each week, and a grand prize winner of $4,000 each week. The grand prize winners will also have their recipes turned into a stop-motion video. All winning recipes will be shared on social networks and on Chiquita's website.

Chiquita is providing a fun and interactive way for consumers to incorporate the all-natural health benefits of the banana in their daily meal choices. In an effort to help educate and motivate consumers to make healthier choices, Chiquita's Cooking Lab contest will serve as a source of additional encouragement for Americans to become more conscious of what goes into their family recipes and more focused on incorporating healthy ingredients like bananas.

To learn more about the contest, contest rules and the Chiquita Fan Fun app, visit www.ChiquitaBananas.com/CookingLab.

IFCO contributes salad bars to Detroit-area schools

IFCO Systems, a leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions, is donating salad bars to five Romulus Community Schools, which are located southwest of Detroit. IFCO's donations are being made in coordination with the United Fresh Foundation's Let's Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools campaign, which works to increase children's access to and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"IFCO has a long and strong history of corporate social responsibility, particularly in the area of helping to make high quality fresh produce available to school kids," Dan Walsh, president of IFCO North America, said in a press release. "We proudly support organizations that promote initiatives affecting the everyday lives of people in the communities we serve, such as United Fresh's salad bar initiative, Forgotten Harvest, a food bank in the greater Detroit area, and related food safety initiatives."

Salad bars were implemented at the following schools at the start of the 2014-15 school year:

  • Romulus Middle School, 716 students
  • Cory Pre-School, 95 students
  • Wick Elementary School, 383 students
  • Romulus Elementary School, 414 students
  • Hale Creek Elementary School, 289 students

"The students, teachers, administrators and parents in Romulus deeply appreciate the donation of salad bars by IFCO. They will help support our goal of engraining good eating habits starting at a very young age with the hope they will last throughout our student's lives," Kathleen Norred, food service director at Romulus Community Schools, added in the press release.

The salad bars were arranged through a partnership with the United Fresh Foundation to support the organization's Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which is committed to increasing children's produce consumption by working with the produce industry, foundations and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools nationwide.

In January, the foundation announced a special Midwest focus to their campaign, aligning the initiative with their annual produce industry convention in Chicago. Let's Move Salad Bars to MIDWEST Schools, a special campaign under the umbrella of the national effort, is focused on supporting salad bars for schools in six Midwest states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"IFCO continues to be an excellent partner in our efforts to increase children's access to fresh fruits and vegetables," Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association. "This donation to the Romulus Community Schools is a perfect example of a public-private partnership to educate students in their formative years about the importance of eating fresh produce and establishing healthy eating habits."

Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools has facilitated the donation of salad bars to more than 3,500 schools, benefiting nearly 2 million students every day. Nationwide, salad bars are changing school food environments and helping students make the healthy choice, the easy choice.

Braga Fresh to ship 'Josie's Organics' line from T&A's Yuma facility

Braga Fresh Family Farms announced that beginning in November, its full line of "Josie's Organics" fresh vegetables will be cooled and shipped at Tanimura & Antle's cooling facility in Yuma, AZ.

In addition to providing even more convenience to both Braga Fresh and Tanimura & Antle customers by consolidating loads of "Josie's Organics" with Tanimura & Antle's quality conventional program for one-stop logistics and shipping,Mike-AntleMike Antle Braga Fresh is promoting Tanimura & Antle's renowned service and expertise to existing and new customers.

"Tanimura & Antle is one of the most respected leaders in the fresh produce industry," Rod Braga, president and chief executive officer of Braga Fresh Family Farms, based in Soledad, CA, said in a press release. "Like us, they're also third-generation farming families with the highest standards for quality and service, so we see this opportunity as a perfect fit for 'Josie's Organics,' our customers and Tanimura & Antle customers."

rod bragaRod Braga"Braga and Tanimura & Antle have always been innovative and committed to quality," Mike Antle, executive vice president and partner of Salinas, CA-based Tanimura & Antle, added in the press release. "Offering this added convenience is a way for both companies to demonstrate our commitment to premium service and helping our customers."

The "Josie's Organics" line of fresh vegetables, certified organic by CCOF and available year-round, includes broccoli, sweet baby broccoli, celery, celery hearts, cilantro, parsley, kale, chard, collards, romaine hearts, romaine, green leaf, red leaf, spinach, beets and radishes.