Mastronardi Produce, headquartered in Leamington, ON, recently launched its new fresh tomato soup kit under its popular “Sunset” label.
Joe Sbrocchi, vice president of sales and marketing for the company, said that the item received an overwhelmingly positive response at the recent Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit event.
“The ‘Straight from the Vine, Not from the Can’ trademarked concept received a lot of attention that we are excited to share with consumers as this fall season approaches,” said Mr. Sbrocchi. “This ready-to-make meal solution contains two-and-a-half pounds of tomatoes, one season pack and one crouton pack. It takes 20 minutes to prepare in six easy steps and serves four.”
Another new product about which the company is excited is the “Sunset” “Delano” flavor tomato on the vine. Mr. Sbrocchi said that the bright-red tomatoes have more flavor than the traditional tomato on the vine. The one-pound format is packed on a recyclable tray and is flow-wrapped to protect the fruit.
Mastronardi Produce will feature its line of greenhouse produce — including the new items — Nov. 7-9 at the New York Produce Show & Conference in New York City. The company will occupy Booths 524 and 625. Mastronardi Produce exhibited at the inaugural show in 2010 and found it to be very productive. “This quick and affordable show draws a high volume of key retailers, wholesalers and foodservice industry contacts,” said Mr. Sbrocchi. “The two halls can make this show a bit fragmented, but with only one show day, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase some great products to key buyers over a short period of time.
“Having a produce show in November is a bit tricky to showcase various products as we are transitioning from our northern production into that of Mexico and Central America,” he continued. “However, with our strong relationships and consistent growing conditions at all of our ‘Sunset’ farms, we do manage to effectively display a wide variety of products.”
He added that he feels having the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit show just prior to the New York show is advantageous when the company launches new products because it gives it the ability to discuss concepts and ideas that it plans to take to the marketplace with retailers.
Mastronardi Produce-Sunset has an extensive farm-to-shelf traceability program that enables it to identify its source-point growers in just a few minutes. “All ‘Sunset’ labels contain the details necessary for U.S. Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency compliancy,” said Mr. Sbrocchi. “This allows us to trace back to the farm whether via the [reduced space symbology] encoded databar or a standard UPC including company prefix and commodity details.”
Mastronardi Produce announced that its key account salesperson, Peppe Bonfiglio, won the PMA Foundation 5K Race for Talent at the PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta this year. The company participates in the race every year. Mr. Sbrocchi said, “We are proud to say that we don’t only sell healthy produce, we live healthy lifestyles. We congratulate Peppe on this great accomplishment.”
The company is also excited about its new greenhouse project in Cold Water, MI. It is currently under construction and scheduled to be operational in early 2012. Phase one of the project will produce tomatoes year-round in the state-of-the-art facility.
Mastronardi Produce began growing vegetables in Leamington in the 1920s. “We pioneered the building of commercial greenhouses in North America in the 1940s,” said Mr. Sbrocchi. “Family-owned and employee-managed for more than 60 years, Mastronardi is proud of its ability to produce consistently flavorful gourmet greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for top retailers across North America. We have developed our nationally recognized ‘Sunset’ brand of produce into a household name with quality products like the ‘Campari,’ ‘One Sweets,’ ‘Kumato,’ ‘Zima,’ and most recently the ‘Delano.’”