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Produce growers gear up for a Star-Spangled July Fourth
Americans, as always, will be celebrating this July Fourth with a bang. And from icy cold slices of watermelon to homemade potato salad, cole slaw, green salad, clambakes filled with steaming potatoes and onions, sweet corn-on-the-cob and blueberry and strawberry adorned flag cakes — produce is a definite part of the celebration. With competition in the supermarket... Read more
Registration now open for Southern Innovations 2018
The Southeast Produce Council is kickin' up some dust as preparations are underway for its second annual Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, set for Sept. 6-8 in Nashville, TN. Within those three days, SEPC members will be captivated by the abundant opportunities to experience the council's four pillars: Networking, Innovation, Community and... Read more
Northwest Cherries growers touting health benefits of cherries
“You get out of Northwest cherries what you put in.” That insight for retailers was provided by James Michael, vice president of marketing for the Northwest Cherries Growers, headquartered in Yakama, WA. “Every which way we measure the category, Northwest cherries lead the pack in returns on category attention and shelf space,” he said. “Cherries are still a... Read more
Meijer rolls out new fresh protein salads
As the weather warms and outdoor celebrations start to take shape, Meijer has added five new, fresh, protein-based salads, including two new vegetarian salads, in all stores across its six-state footprint. Taking into account recent flavor trends, the Meijer test kitchen chefs created the protein-based salads to make summertime meal prep and entertaining a breeze. Brussels... Read more
NatureFresh Farms puts flavor first
Seeing is believing. That is why NatureFresh Farms is taking its greenhouse on the road — so consumers can see how NatureFresh Farms tomatoes, cucumbers and Bell peppers are grown, and why they are a higher quality than many commodity items on the market. The Leamington, ON-based grower hired a Greenhouse Education Team to staff a 38-foot mobile greenhouse on... Read more
Oppy organics swing into season
Oppy’s organic offerings are ramping up for summer, with a bright assortment of popular brands and fresh favorites poised to deliver value. Extending its Ocean Spray Family-Farmer Owned berry line to include organics for the first time, and growing more in-demand colored Bell peppers in the OriginO label than last year, the leading fresh produce sales, marketing... Read more
Metro completes major acquisition
Metro has completed the acquisition of The Jean Coutu Group Inc. With this acquisition, the Jean Coutu Group becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Metro. “We are very proud to have acquired Quebec’s top player in the pharmacy sector. The combined entity will develop the full potential of our two banners, Jean Coutu and Brunet, in order to strengthen our market... Read more
A variety of changes at North Bay
Nick Osmulski is taking the reins as president of North Bay Produce Inc. this June. He replaces Mark Girardin, who is retiring. Osmulski said 65-year-old Girardin has been with the firm since it was launched in 1984. Osmulski added that he is pleased that Girardin will remain in an advisory role and working on special projects at North Bay.Many of the North... Read more
Michigan apple shippers discuss industry future
The apple industry has gone to great lengths to broaden consumer appeal by breeding new varieties. Some in the industry see this as a blessing. Others suggest it creates a complex production and marketing situation worthy of lengthy consideration. “Five to seven years ago, retailers were excited about new varieties,” said Scott Swindeman vice president of the... Read more
2018 New Jersey produce industry outlook
The 2018 produce season is under way and should be highlighted by good quantities of high-quality produce. A mild winter was followed by a cool and wet spring, which did not allow most of our farmers to get their tilling and planting started early this season. Early weather delayed spring plant growth and did not allow over-wintered and spring-planted produce... Read more
Mark Cassius joins Market Fresh
Market Fresh Produce has hired produce veteran Mark Cassius. Cassius brings over 25 years of produce experience to the company, with a background including serving as executive vice president of sales and marketing at EuroFresh Farms, chief innovation officer at SunFed and executive vice president and general manager at Ciruli Bros. In his new role at Market... Read more
NMB offers a plethora of promotional opportunities
Anchored by a national display contest in July, the National Mango Board has many different paths in which to promote what is often called the world’s most popular fruit. “We are excited to provide resources and support our retail partners throughout the summer,” said NMB Retail Program Manager Tammy Wiard. “We have several programs, both national and custom,... Read more
Growing organic produce ingredient sales at OPS
The sixth and final educational session at Organic Produce Summit 2018 will focus on the growing organic ingredient industry and the opportunities for producers and retailers to capitalize on new consumer products. “Organic Ingredients—Creating New Opportunities in Fresh Produce” will feature leaders from global organic fresh produce ingredient supply chain companies... Read more
$200M Kroger merger to revolutionize mealtime
The Kroger Co. and Home Chef, a private meal kit company, announced a merger agreement that will significantly accelerate availability of meal kits and position the combined company to lead the way in revolutionizing how families shop for, prep, and cook their meals. The initial transaction price is $200 million and future earnout payments of up to $500 million... Read more
North Carolina consumers going loco for local
When June rolls around, North Carolina’s crops really start to rock. This is the time North Carolina becomes one of the most important produce providing states on the East Coast. G.W. Stanley, domestic marketing manager for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, said the department is working with retailers in North Carolina — both large chains and independents... Read more
Produce industry veteran Steve Lutz joins PMA
Produce industry veteran Steve Lutz will expand Produce Marketing Association’s West Coast presence when he joins the association’s staff next month as regional vice president — U.S. and Canada West. In this newly created senior-level position, Lutz will engage with members in the region to help them make the most of PMA’s year-round value, to grow their respective... Read more
Ahold Delhaize's new division
Ahold Delhaize USA announced the creation of a new entity, Peapod Digital Labs, which will drive digital and eCommerce innovation, technology and experience to meet the changing needs of customers of its local brands, regardless of when, where and how consumers choose to shop. JJ Fleeman has been named as president of Peapod Digital Labs and chief ecommerce officer. "We... Read more
170 million pounds of Peruvian avocados coming this summer
As the world’s insatiable appetite for avocados continues to skyrocket, the Peruvian Avocado Commission is thrilled to be kicking off it’s 2018 season with many exciting retail and consumer focused marketing initiatives. Beginning in June and in celebration of World Avocado Month, Avocados From Peru is the exclusive sponsor of various exciting activations in... Read more
Retailer's produce managers are Tops
Tops Friendly Markets, a full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont, announced its 2018 Produce Managers of the Year. Nominees from each district were evaluated on several criteria, including sales growth, overall department conditions, and development of associates, customer interaction, merchandising, shrink and profitability.... Read more
Avocados from Peru and California Walnuts join forces on superfoods promotion
Avocados From Peru is joining forces with California Walnuts to promote two of the world’s most potent superfoods through the first-ever in-store tasting collaboration between two nutrient-rich powerhouse foods. The in-store tastings will be held at Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart in the United States, and Costco in Europe with the World Avocado Organization.  “We... Read more