ORLANDO, Fla. — Companies aimed to take convenience to the next level with the new products they showcased Oct. 19-20 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit.

Numerous organizations looked to provide full-meal solutions. Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms and Ontario, Calif.-based Five Star Gourmet Foods both showcased salads with chicken added, while Delray Beach, Fla.-based Pero Family Farms launched a line of organic plant protein salad blends.

Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio debuted a Ready to Wok stir fry kit line — yakisoba noodles included — and amped up its salad line by increasing the toppings-to-vegetables ratio.

Flavor proved to be another theme at the show, especially in the potato category.

Edmonton, Alberta-based Little Potato Co. presented new options including Tomato Basil and Roasted Red Pepper & Onion. Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Potandon Produce launched a shelf-stable microwavable line with flavors including Four Cheese Sauce, Mesquite Smoked Bacon, Roasted Garlic Butter and Three Chile Sauce.

Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE Produce offered Garden Herb, Chile Verde, Loaded Potato, Korean BBQ and Country Breakfast flavors in its Tasteful Selections Season & Savor line. Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Robinson Fresh debuted its Perfect Potatoes line, which includes Radiant Red potatoes with Zesto Pesto seasoning; Yummy Yellow potatoes with Steakhouse Sizzle seasoning; Perfect Pair red and yellow potatoes with Little Italy seasoning; and Marvelous Medley yellow, red and purple potatoes with Hawaiian Red Sea Salt seasoning.

Additional flavor showed up in other areas, too.

Santa Maria, Calif.-based Gold Coast Packing looked to elevate its riced vegetable products by adding sauce packs including Garlic Herb & Butter, Ginger Garlic and Spanish Rice. Los Angeles-based The Wonderful Co. debuted seasoned no-shells pistachio options, Chili Roasted and Honey Roasted.

Another conversation point on the show floor was sustainability. Watsonville, Calif.-based Sambrailo Packaging won a Best of Show award for its ReadyCycle product, which can be used for any commodity that is traditionally packaged in a clamshell. Wenatchee, Wash.-based Starr Ranch Growers debuted laminated paper bags for use with organic product, and those bags use 100% recycled paper. Coosemans D.C. spoke about switching numerous items from clamshells to pouch bags, significantly reducing the amount of plastic used.

Even the Fresh Summit badges were paper-only, the usual plastic sleeve eschewed.

As convenience was a major trend for new products, the use of video technologies was a trend for booths.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group had a hologram that provided 360-degree views of its apples. Wenatchee-based CMI Orchards used an interactive video display on the floor of its booth to let visitors view all angles of its various displays — also cutting down on paper for display bins for the show. Leamington, Ontario-based NatureFresh Farms and Plant City, Fla.-based Wish Farms used virtual reality headsets at the booth so visitors could tour different portions of their operations.

In the apple category, red-flesh varieties made several appearances. Chelan, Wash.-based Chelan Fresh debuted two red-flesh varieties, the red-skin Lucy Rose and yellow-skin Lucy Glo, most of which will ship as samples this season. Elgin, Minn.-based Honeybear Brands was also sampling some red-flesh varieties that were still in development. Wenatchee-based Stemilt Growers debuted an apple juice — It’s Red — that gets its color and tangy flavor from a 50-50 split of red-flesh apples and other Washington varieties.

 

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