view current print edition







Divine Flavor Mexican grapes to run into mid-July

For Mexican grape grower-shipper Divine Flavor, the highest weekly volume of the 2019 season was arriving in the last week of June and the first week of July.

Divine Flavor will be shipping Mexican grapes into mid-July, according to Michael DuPuis, the firm’s public relations coordinator in Nogales.

On June 25, he indicated the deal would end a week later than usual.

He expected the late Mexico finish will link up pretty well with the California grape deal.

On the vegetable side of the business, Divine Flavor will be shipping greenhouse organic vegetables, primarily provided by sister company Vivaorganica, through the summer. This volume will be heavy to tomatoes, featuring the Magnifico grape tomato and the firm’s Colorido Medley tomatoes.

Divine Flavor’s website describes the Colorido tomatoes as a “striking medley of many different heirloom varieties of cherry tomatoes in different shapes and colors. Their flavor can range from highly acidic to candy sweet. The more acidic tomatoes have a more concentrated tomato flavor, while the sweeter ones are just that — sweet. During the course of the season, over two dozen varieties are grown, each with its own particular flavor.”

DuPuis said the Magnifico is one of the sweetest grape tomatoes to hit the market. “We are letting people know that it’s a very good, perfect snack,” he said. Instead of shipping Magnifico’s in bulk, Divine Flavor is offering the specialty tomato in various clamshells and bags. Magnifico volume will be strongest in July and August.

Organic Tribelli mini-peppers are another popular Divine Flavor item.

Divine Flavor’s Tribelli mini-pepper volume will be up this year, as the firm has added some external growers to supplement supplies. “Those will hit the market in mid- to late August, running into mid-November or December. The mini-pepper deal is late this year,” he said.

This summer, DuPuis continued an internal corporate communications effort, “traveling around to each of our ranches to write stories related to our six-pillar campaign,” he said.

In June, the emphasis was on quality and packing. “Of all of our pillars, it is not viewed as the most ‘sexy’ pillar, but I do think from a retail perspective it is a very important/technical area which is often overlooked,” he said.

Throughout the season, Divine Flavor quality control teams are frequently visiting the ranches to make sure packing and harvesting teams are meeting the requirements expected by Divine Flavor’s clients.

Vivaorganica, a Divine Flavor grower that specializes in organic greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and mini peppers, is constantly meeting with personnel to review new presentations being requested of them.

“The most important factor is knowing the quality and packing specifications very well and communicating it with the entire staff,” said Divine Flavor Quality Control Supervisor Diego Coronel.

“Having the ability to understand the client’s needs and teach this with our staff is very crucial. We need to detect if there’s any problems or doubts right away before product is being sent to the customer,” Coronel added.