Duda to debut Dandy Simple Salad in Seconds

Duda Farm Fresh Foods will unveil its new Dandy Simple Salad in Seconds at the PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo in Booth No. 137.

Dandy Simple Salad in Seconds, available now for foodservice customers, is petite heads of red and green frisee lettuce or red and green butter lettuce packed in an eight-pound carton.Simple-Salad Shelfcard

The product features a variety pack of versatile petite lettuce heads with the textures that make culinary creations shine.  In addition, the mild flavors of the lettuce heads lend to a multitude of pairings with proteins, dressings and other toppings.  

“The beauty of the petite heads for foodservice operators is that it saves so much time; you just have to wash, rinse and make one cut and you’re ready to toss,” Rick Alcocer, senior vice president of fresh sales, said in a press release. “The leaves are the perfect size and shape for quick salads, wraps and lettuce cups.”

With nearly 90 years of growing experience, Duda Farm Fresh Foods is one of the large growers and processors of celery in the United States and around the world. Duda’s fresh-cut celery products are marketed under the "Dandy" brand and sold and served in retail and foodservice establishments throughout North America year-round.  But the company also grows and sells other items, such as lettuce, in different areas around the country to provide its customers with regional availability.

The company’s full line of foodservice items will be on display during the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo, including radishes and citrus. On July 25, Chef Todd Fisher will be making Tandoori spiced chicken breast salad with a tahini-cumin dressing featuring Dandy Simple Salad in Seconds with clementines and radishes at the new Strolling Chefs event at the conference. 

Fisher has more than 20 years experience as a culinary veteran, restaurateur and food consultant.  He’s worked with Duda for more than 10 years and specializes in culinary education and entertainment. Last year he won the chef demo recipe contest at the conference using Duda fresh celery and radishes.

WP Rawl gives facelift to Nature’s Greens Savory Selections

WP Rawl has revamped its Nature’s Greens Savory Selections line, which it first introduced in 2012. Savory Selections is a set of unique, ready-to-eat products that can be prepared in two convenient ways: as a stovetop sauté or in the microwave. The line is available at retailers nationwide.rawl

Stemming from consumer research as well as retailer demand, the company is launching three new blends of greens to replace existing flavors — Brussels sprouts and bok choy; chard and kale; and collard and kale — all with bacon sriracha sauce. Retailers across the country are now carrying the three new flavors.

Along with the flavor change, packaging also got a facelift. The new items come in high-impact quality packaging with a contemporary and bright design. They kept the convenience factor of the original items.

“Gone are the days when greens were prepared in one traditional way,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development, said in a press release. “Not only are consumers looking for healthy options, they are also looking for variety. We will continue developing quality products which consumers seek.”

All three new Nature’s Greens Savory Selections items are available in 10-ounce bags.

Cherry season not over yet — it's just beginning in Canada

The late season is just beginning for the Canadian fresh cherry producers who are in full production from Kelowna to Creston, BC.canche

“With Washington winding down, Canada provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to offer cherries well into August,” Tim Madden, U.S. sales director for Global Fruit, said in a press release.

“Our long growing season and cool nights allow for a slow harvest that should last into the third week of August this year," he said. "It gives retailers an opportunity to provide customers with the ‘Last Taste of Summer’ and bring them back into the produce department for added sales.”

Growers are harvesting high-quality Lapin, Skeena and Sweetheart varieties. Maturing after the initial heat of early July, the condition and flavor are excellent.

Canada provides a unique opportunity to offer fresh cherries through August. Keeping cherries on the display when other sources aren't available helps drive sales and sets a retailer apart from the competition. 

Being a leader in Canada’s fresh cherry production and marketing — with over 100,000 cases already shipped and an estimated 500,000 still to go — Global Fruit provides ample supplies to have cherries on display for the remainder of the season.

Things Go Better with Coke

Avocados from Mexico is banking on this well-known 1960s tagline still having validity today as the commodity group will launch a Hispanic-centric promotional tie in campaign with Coca Cola for most of the month of September.PENNANTS Green

Maggie Bezart Hall, vice president of trade and promotion for Avocados from Mexico, told The Produce News that the mostly in-store promotion is designed to capitalize on Hispanic celebrations during the month of September, which is when Mexico celebrates its own independence day.

The AFM team is currently promoting this campaign to supermarkets throughout the United States telling retailers to “get ready for a guacamoment this Fiestas Patrias,” which translates to “native holiday.”

“During this time of Hispanic celebration it is crucial to connect with Hispanic shoppers through true passion points around food and fun,” Hall said.PENNANTS RED

The AFM executive said the promotion will drive brand love and loyalty for both Coca Cola products and Avocados from Mexico by increasing purchasing opportunities at promotional prices. The tie-in merchandising partnership will begin Sunday, Aug. 30, and be the focus of AFM’s efforts for the following four weeks, concluding Sept. 26.

The offer itself will give consumers a coupon worth $1.50 off the purchase of two large 1.25-liter bottles of a Coca Cola product along with three Avocados from Mexico. It will be touted in stores in a variety of ways, including special display bins, shelf talkers, tear pads and signage. Consumers will also be able to receive the coupon on their smart phone.

Hall said that while the promotion is Hispanic-oriented and is being heavily promoted to ethnic supermarkets around the country, “it also is available for your mainline, general supermarkets.”

She noted that the signage, the coupons and all the point-of-sale material are available in both English and Spanish. The POS urges consumers to “comparte un guacamoment” or “share a guacamoment” by combining a Coke (or Coca Cola product) with guacamole.

The signage attractively pictures a bottle of Coca Cola with sliced avocados and a bowl of guacamole, making the same visual connection as is touted with the written word contained in the coupon.

Hall said response from retailers has been very good, with both ethnic and general supermarkets signing on to participate.

Though Avocados from Mexico is the leading supplier of avocados to the U.S. market throughout the year, the volume typically dips a bit in July and August before sharply rebounding in September. During this promotional period, it is expected that at least 80 percent of U.S. avocado consumption will be driven by Avocados from Mexico.

Kingston-Crown Jewels partnership extends shipping season

Kingston Fresh, based in Idaho Falls, ID, and Crown Jewels Produce of Fresno, CA, have joined forces to implement a program designed to expand Kingston’s product line and extend its shipping season of fruits and vegetables, including green, red and yellow Bell peppers, Italian and yellow squash, eggplant, melons and grapes.

The companies look to their combined experience exceeding 75 years to maximize the synergies of their new venture.

“Kingston Fresh has been a leading provider of fresh produce to both the foodservice and retail sectors for over 40 years," Nick Proia, vice president of business development for Kingston Fresh, said in a press release. "We are always exploring new ways to innovate and add value to our fresh produce programs, and couldn’t be more excited about consolidating efforts with another industry veteran, Crown Jewels Produce, to maximize efficiencies among our companies. Between us, we will be able to expand our list of offerings, and for the first time ever, offer year-round shipping for many programs.

“Combining Crown Jewels’ grower base and current programs in California, Mexico, Arizona, Peru, Chile and Spain with our current offerings will expand our ability to create year-round programs for all our customers, both foodservice and retail,” Proia added.

David O. Kingston, president of Kingston Fresh, said, “At Kingston Fresh, we are constantly seeking new, creative, and innovative ways to fulfill the needs and exceed the expectations of our customers, and this new venture does just that. I am extremely proud of the work our team is doing in this area and am excited to have a partner with similar goals.”