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‘5 Star Peeled’ setting new standards for peeled gourmet onions

Newfield, NJ-based Dan Graiff Farms LLC, producers, processors and marketers of “Five Star Peeled” brand specialty gourmet onions, has a new peeling machine unlike others in the United States, according to David Rancht, sales manager for the company.

“We went to great expense to have a customized machine built in Europe to peel shallots, cipollini and pearl onions,” said Mr. Rancht. “We see these products as a growing entity with foodies today. People want to use these gourmet items more and more, but they want them in easy to use ways.”

The items come in five-pound clear jars and are packed four to a case, which is highly appealing to the foodservice sector. But Dan Graiff Farms is marketing strongly to the retail industry under its “Five Star Peeled” label in an effort to get the consumer more familiar with them.

“The products are already placed in many retail stores,” said Mr. Rancht. “The line is available for the retail sector in eight-ounce clear, reusable PET containers, packed six to a carton. The line was launched at the PMA Fresh Summit in 2011, and they are still picking up a lot of steam.”

Graiff Farms will have its “5 Star Peeled” brand of specialty gourmet onions on display at the upcoming Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention & Trade Show in Toronto April 17-19 at Booth 1309. Mr. Rancht and Jamie Graiff, a partner-owner in the company, will be at the expo to meet and greet current and prospective customers.

The company has been in business for three generations and is well known for the arugula and spinach that it produces. Its entry into the peeled onion category started about two years ago.

“We went to great expense to have this peeling machine produced,” said Mr. Rancht. “These specialty shallots and onions are a unique category, and now having them available peeled and ready to use presents an outstanding opportunity for retailers. And there is no competition from other producers because we are the only company that is offering the items.”

He added that the company is expecting a huge response from visitors to the CPMA expo because Canadian consumers eat more produce than those in the United States.

“Canadians eat twice as much fresh produce as do those in the U.S.,” he said. “And they have extensive knowledge of gourmet foods and specialty produce. At the CPMA expo we will be promoting the product and letting people know that there is special limited show pricing. We invite visitors by our booth to learn more about the promotional offer.”

Mr. Rancht noted that there are other far-reaching reasons why retailers and foodservice operators alike would benefit from visiting Graiff Farms exhibition booth at CPMA.

“Our rocket arugula is just a great-tasting arugula, and it is what the chefs of many fine restaurants prefer,” he said. “We grow for year-round supplies from our reciprocal farms in California and in Florida.”

Graiff Farms will also be launching a new product at CPMA.

“We will be introducing our new ‘5 Star’ three-pound pillow pack,” he said. “It’s perfect for use by foodservice operators, and it is also great for retailers who like a bulk mix in their retail departments.”