GHQ FOCUS ON FRESH
foodservice customers’ restaurants with pre-cut salads in just three
days. With a cutting board, a few sharp knives and a bathtub, Ready
Pac Foods began providing pre-cut salads to other foodservice custom-
ers and eventually expanded its business to retailers.
Today, pre-cut salads are a produce staple, and that is not the only
RED SUN FARMS
example Ready Pac Foods has set. “In 1990, we were the first to intro-
duce European lettuce blends to the U.S. market and also developed the
‘pillow pack’ to keep them as fresh as possible,” says Tristan Simpson,
CMO. “In 2001, we invented the Triple Wash System for all of our
greens, which is now the industry standard.”
The Irwindale, Calif.-based company has also expanded its organic
offerings with its Organic Chopped Salad Kits, which launched in June
2016, its elev;te salad line, featuring organic, superfood varieties and
its branded organic salad blend clamshells.
With a mission to grow and promote
true greenhouse vegetables, Red Sun
Farms offers varieties of tomatoes,
cucumbers, peppers and eggplants.
By growing indoors in full climate-
controlled environments within pro-
tective barriers, the company pro-
duces fruits and vegetables from seeds that are genetically intact.
Red Sun Farms’ offerings include tomatoes that are high in nutritional value with an array of natural nutrients. Its bell peppers line is
available in red, orange and yellow, and is picked and processed with
the stem still attached, allowing the pepper to continue to absorb moisture and ripen for several days.
As a vertically-integrated company, the Kingsville, Ont., Canada-based Red Sun Farms maintains control over every aspect of the supply chain from seed selection, propagation and cultivation, to harvesting, packaging and shipping to partners across North America. The
company operates seven distribution centers and three state-of-the-art
growing facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“We pride ourselves on our unparalleled group of like-minded own-
ers, growers and service professionals who have a true passion for
growing innovative and flavorful greenhouse vegetables,” says Carlos
The Shuman family began growing and
shipping Vidalia onions in the 1980s.
Shuman Produce’s feature product, the
RealSweet Vidalia onion, is prized as the
superior domestic sweet onion, according
to company officials.
“By growing up and living in the
Vidalia onion region of Georgia, agriculture has always been a part of
my life and family roots,” says John Shuman, president of the Reidsville,
Shuman Produce has expanded its growing regions to Peru, Mexico,
Texas, Nevada and New Mexico in order to offer a year-round sweet
onion program. The company is also diversifying with the addition of
two products: sweet potatoes, grown in North Carolina and Mississippi;
and Georgia-grown broccoli, which will be harvested in April. “We are
exited about this diversification and look forward to the opportunities
these new products will bring to grow our business,” says Shuman.
VIDALIA ONION COMMITTEE
When it comes to sweet onions, consumers
often think of the Vidalia onion. The product
has become a consumer staple, leading total
category sales at 35 percent, according to officials at the Vidalia Onion Committee.
Because Vidalia onions are such a well-known brand, the start of the season has
become a springtime event for the produce
department. The Vidalia Onion Committee plans to launch a range of
marketing promotions throughout the year, focusing on the timeframe
when Vidalia onions are in season. The organization is currently preparing for its April 12 launch of this year’s crop, as well as a new campaign celebrating the origin of the Vidalia onion.
“We’re looking at creative ways to reach consumers through social
media and digital marketing to show the Vidalia onion is the sweet
onion category leader,” says Susan Waters, executive director of the
Vidalia, Ga.-based company. “Vidalia onions provide retailers an
advantage in that they are incredibly versatile and add flavor to a wide
variety of chef-inspired dishes from salads to side items, dressings, dips
and even desserts.”
Braga Fresh is a third-generation
farming family with more than 25
varieties of fresh vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, celery, collards, kale, beets, cilantro and more.
In 2016, the company introduced two organic chopped salad kits,
with organic dressings and toppings included, to its Josie’s Organics
line. The product’s six varieties—Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Baby
Spinach, Spring Mix, Half & Half and Power Greens—are available in
5-ounce clamshells, while the Baby Spinach and Spring Mix varieties
are also available in 16-ounce clamshells.
“Being a grower-owned company with a large organic land base and
state-of-the-art processing facility, Braga Fresh is able to continually
develop innovative items to meet the increasing consumer demand for
organics,” says Alisa Teglia, director of marketing and brand strategy for
the Soledad, Calif.-based company. “Braga Fresh is continually developing additional new organic and conventional products and product line