MANN PACKING CO.
By closely monitoring its process, Mann Packing Co. gets the best products into consumers’ hands.
BY SETH MENDELSON
FOR THE MANN PACKING CO., it has always been about adapting to change. The Salinas, Calif.-based company, founded by H.W. Mann in 1939, has built its reputation on providing its retail customers, as well as consumers, with the right products at the right time—not
to mention maintaining a high level of quality.
The approach has worked well. Today, Mann offers more than 500
SKUs across more than 35 types of ready-to-eat fresh vegetables lines
and is one of the world’s largest suppliers of broccoli—its signature item
since its founding. The company also offers broccoli and carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, broccoli coleslaw and broccoli wokly, plus brocco-lini, a product proprietary to Mann’s.
In the early 1980s, the company diversified into leafy greens, taking
advantage of growing consumer interest in a number of different produce items at the time.
It did not stop there. Around 1990, Mann entered into the fresh cut
value-added vegetable business, including adding sugar snap peas to its
product assortment. Today, Mann accounts for more than 60 percent of
the sugar snap peas sold in the U.S. and around 90 percent of the sugar
snap peas sold in Canada.
“Our success is based on a real commitment to quality,” says Lorri
Koster, the chairman and CEO of the family-owned business and
an employee since 1990. “We have invested a lot of money, time and
resources to make sure that we offer the best quality products to our
retail partners and the consumer.”
Koster notes that the entire procedure—from picking the region, to
planting the seed, to the washing and drying process—is closely moni-
tored. “That way we get the best products into the consumer’s hands,”
she says. “It is the most important thing we do here.”
Now the company has
embarked on a “Fresh Vegetables
Made Easy” marketing program,
which is designed to show con-
sumers that they can make a
wide range of vegetables quickly
and conveniently. Most recently,
Mann has introduced Nourish
Bowls, an easy-to-prepare meal
that can be heated in the micro-
wave in three to four minutes.
Currently, Mann offers Nourish
Bowls in Monterey risotto,
sesame sriracha, smokehouse Brussels and southwest chipotle styles.
“It is all about making it easier for the consumer to eat vegetables,”
says Koster. “We spend a lot of time looking for ways to give consumers
more options when looking for vegetables.”
Working with retailers is another important aspect of what Mann
does. Koster says the company will customize its promotional pro-
grams for specific retailers and help them determine how many SKUs
of Mann products should be carried in the store.
“Our mission is to make produce
more convenient and accessible to
our consumers,” she notes. “I think
you will see more of this from us
in the future. We are very excited
about what lies ahead.”
Sustainability has long been
one of Mann’s core values. “We
have customized our harvesters to
limit the environmental impact through lower emissions, faster harvest
times and limited crews—all of which impact the environment—and
we are proud to say the electrical usage at our Salinas plant is the same
as it was in 2001, despite a 50 percent increase in capacity,” adds Koster.
Furthermore, at Mann’s facilities, the wash water used is reclaimed into
industrial waste systems for use on golf courses and city landscaping,
and 90 percent of Mann’s facilities’ waste water is recycled.