I found the following new items on the trade show floor at the Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio on April 7.
PLANTATION PRODUCE: Marcelino Garza (from left), Patricia Garza, Lois Kim and Anwar Garza of Plantation Produce and PPK Farms, Mission, Texas, promote the company’s growing line of organic vegetables. Kim says PPK Farms, the growing arm of the business, has increased organic acreage to 20% of overall production, and plans to continue to convert more acreage.
NATURESWEET: Madison Stahly (left) and Olivia Storvik of San Antonio-based NatureSweet Ltd. show off the company’s newest product in the Brighthouse Organics lineup, an organic tomato-on-the-vine. Storvik says this the first time NatureSweet has shown the new product, with availability starting in June or July.
RIO: McAllen, Texas-based Rio Produce has a new 5-pound bag of jalapeños for foodservice, says salesman Adrian Quintanilla. Quintanilla says the bag also is perfect for club and restaurant supply retail stores because it includes retail packaging information.
FRONTERA: Albert Perez, president and CEO of Coconut Grove, Fla.-based Continental Fresh LLC, and Misty Ysasi, director of marketing and communications for Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce Ltd., talk about Frontera and Continental Fresh’s new joint marketing effort for mangoes under the Frontera Produce label. Frontera now offers mangoes year-round, sourcing from Mexico and Peru, with Continental Fresh sourcing from Brazil, Ecuador and Guatemala, Perez says.
TOMMY HANKA: Buyers have a longer season to source napa cabbage and bok choy from Texas, thanks to growing operations expanding at Tommy Hanka Farms, Mission, Texas. Tommy Hanka and Beth Arnold were on hand to talk about the company’s 6-month uninterrupted supplies at Viva Fresh. Hanka says the operation is now up to 1,000 acres from the Rio Grande Valley up to Houston.
PREMIUM GUAVA: Alberto Diaz (left) and Cesar Diaz of Spring Valley Fruits, Pharr, Texas, show off the company’s new 1-pound pouch bag for baby guavas. The bags are marketed with the Premium Guava brand.
SUNFED: Eduardo Herbst (from left), Craig Slate, Frank Camera and Matt Mandel were on hand to talk about Rio Rico, Ariz.-based SunFed’s Perfect Produce, Almost Famous and new avocado deal at Viva Fresh.
RFG: Rachelle Schulken (left) and Caitlin Merrill display Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based Renaissance Food Group’s new spiral vegetable noodles. The company previously offered vegetable noodles in a straight matchstick-style cut, Schulken says.
KINGDOM FRESH: This is the first season for organic grape tomatoes from Kingdom Fresh Produce Inc., Frisco, Texas, says salesman Brent Schwarz. Grown in Mexico, they’re available in 1-pound clamshells.
VAL VERDE: McAllen, Texas-based Val Verde Vegetable Co. brought back winter cauliflower this season, says Frank Schuster, president. The company plans to have it again next winter, due to exceptional consumer demand.
BLUE LABEL FARMS: Wylie, Texas-based Blue Label Farms has a new concept for living herbs: packed in a bag and standing upright in a box. The configuration gives stability and a small footprint for retailers to build displays, says grower Christina Higginbotham. The company started with organic basil, dill, cilantro, chives and parsley and is expanding to sage, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
DAVE’S: Leslie Simmons, vice president of Coral Gables, Fla.-based Dave’s Specialty Imports, says the company brought back pomegranate arils this season, with an extension of availability thanks to a new grower relationship in India.