view current print edition







Wholesum offering new tomatoes; organic strawberries

Several new organic products are being introduced by Wholesum Family Farms, Inc.

Ricardo Crisantes, Jr., chief commercial officer, noted that in the fresh organic tomato category, Kaleido, Darlings and cherry tomatoes on the vine are Wholesum’s top three varieties. These are shipped 12 months a year. Kaleido and Darling are grape tomatoes.

Wholesum-Ricardo-CrisantesRicardo Crisantes of Wholesum Family Farms Inc.“We position these as organically-grown and sweet and flavorful,” he said. “We bring the full flavor experience” and have had “good feedback” from customers and, on social media, from consumers.

Crisantes added, “We’re putting a lot of focus and development on packaging to showcase our three snacking tomato items.”

The Kaleido is a pack with compartments separating tomatoes of four colors: orange, yellow, red and brown.

Darling is a high-flavor grape tomato variety

“Our company will trial more varieties that will bring a great, flavorful experience. These will be juicy, with sweetness and some acid, with good texture. They’re crunchy with structure but not hard, but they are not soft and mealy, either.”

Other varieties being trialed by Wholesum, he added, are yellow and orange cherry tomatoes.

These specialty tomatoes are produced in Wholesum’s Imuris, Sonora, facility, which is about an hour south of Nogales, AZ.

Also in Imuris, Wholesum is producing a commercial trial of organic strawberries this winter. This harvest began before Christmas and will run into mid-March. In this small, first commercial trial, Wholesum will only have sufficient volume to distribute to customers in Arizona.

The first trial will produce about 200 to 300 cases per week; providing critical data to determine the firm’s commercial direction in the future. Early production trials a year ago, “saw very consistent size, color and flavor.”

Crisantes anticipates making additional new-product announcements this spring.

Wholesum’s office is located north of Nogales, in close proximity to the firm’s Arizona greenhouse in Amado.