ful Co. has positioned itself as the No. 1 fastest-growing
multibillion-dollar consumer packaged goods company,
as well as the No. 1 growth leader in produce in 2017,
according to IRI.”
The Boom in Better Snacking
With America’s fastest-growing snack brand in its stable
of healthful produce brands, The Wonderful Co. will continue its robust Wonderful Nut campaign this year. The
campaign includes digital, print in-store displays and a
Times Square billboard celebrating the healthfulness of
pistachios with images and messaging such as Fit Nut,
Mindful Nut and Skinny Nut.
As a result of the program, the company has seen a
40% increase in consumers’ health perception of Wonderful Pistachios.
“The Wonderful Co. is relentlessly focused on driving
healthier eating options,” Cooper says. “Over the past 10
years, we’ve invested more than $3 billion in capital and
$1 billion in marketing and brand building.”
“We’re always looking for innovation in snacking,” says
Emily Murracas, director of marketing for Mucci Farms
in Kingsville, Ontario. Mucci Farms’ new CuteCumber
Poppers, snack-sized cucumbers packaged with dip, won
the United Fresh Produce Innovation Award for Best New
Packaging at the 2018 United FreshMKT Expo.
“It’s smaller than a cocktail cucumber. It appeals to
kids, and you can just peel it open, rinse, serve and enjoy,”
Mucci Farms, which grows, ships and markets fresh
produce, is also known for its branded packaging. “We
have an in-house design team, and our packaging is sustainable and recyclable to complement the healthy product in it,” she says.
“Snacking is always top of mind,” says Lori Castillo,
marketing director for NatureSweet in San Antonio. The
greenhouse-tomato grower recently introduced Twilights, a uniquely colorful and richly flavorful snacking
tomato featuring a spectrum of green, brown, orange and
red hues. Twilights also hold up to heat well, making them
ideal for grilling.
Unquestionably, the rise in branded produce has provided a
vehicle for fruit and vegetable suppliers to move their products to the coveted center of the plate. This year’s United
FreshMKT Expo spotlighted scores of new plant-based
meals designed to satisfy and sustain a healthful lifestyle.
“We’ve transformed from a fresh produce company
to a fresh prepared meals company,” says Alan Hilow-
itz, director of corporate communications for Bonduelle
Fresh Americas, which acquired Irwindale, Calif.-based
Ready Pac Foods last year. “We want people to focus on
plants as the center of the plate rather than a side.”
Bonduelle recently launched Ready Pac Wrap Kits,
which contain everything (including a utensil) needed
to make a nutritious wrap in minutes. It also expanded
its Bistro Bowl line with a Roasted Corn and Pulled Pork
“The vision of our parent company is to be the world
reference—the name for plant-based foods that will help
consumers, not just with good health, but with well living,” Hilowitz says.
Building on the success of its Cauliflower Crumbles,
Green Giant Fresh of Salinas, Calif., has introduced a line
of vegetable-based bowls in tasty and nutritious varieties,
including a Pad Thai Bowl with carrot noodles and a “Fried
Rice” Bowl with cauliflower crumbles. All of the bowls are
360 calories or fewer and can be made in minutes.
Mann’s, now a part of the Coral Gables, Fla.-based
Del Monte Fresh Produce family, has expanded its Nourish Bowls line with Basil Pesto and Tomato Bolognese.
“They are the first-ever warm veggie meals to feature
plant-based protein, with vegan Chick’n in the pesto
Produce Fresh Business
We see kids grab a piece of produce
with their favorite character on it and
hug it as they walk through the store.”
—Devon Hoffer, Marketplace Foods
Stemilt is looking to create
excitement for its new
Rave apple this August
with a pop-up shop in
New York. “We rented
a storefront for a few
days, and we’re creating
a big social buzz,” says
Roger Pepperl, Stemilt’s
marketing director. The
pop-up shop will give out
free Rave apples, which
begin shipping in August.
“We want to tap into that
network of people who
share what they eat.”