RECENT HEADLINES

Haggen donating 1 million pounds of food to local food banks
Continuing a long history of giving back to the communities it serves, Haggen Pacific Southwest is donating more than 1 million pounds of food to local food banks from the 100 new stores the West Coast regional grocery chain is converting throughout California, Arizona and Nevada this spring. Haggen’s donation represents more than 833,333 meals to help feed the... Read more
Mann Packing introduces Golden Roasteez
Mann Packing, a leader in ready-to-use fresh vegetables, is introducing a new item for foodservice operators: Golden Roasteez fresh-cut golden beets. Mann’s Golden Roasteez are peeled and cubed fresh golden beets with all waste removed, ready for kitchen use — specifically roasting. The golden variety of beets does not bleed like red beets; and mechanized cutting... Read more
Allegiance, Foodtown name new president
Allegiance Retail Services LLC and Foodtown Inc. announced that John Derderian has been named the new president of the companies, effective June 1. Derderian, who is currently vice president of sales, marketing and member development for Allegiance, will succeed Michael Stolarz, who will remain as a senior executive advisor to Allegiance, its board of managers... Read more
Florida company launches single-ear corn pack
Next Level Fresh LLC, based in Belle Glade, FL, announced the launch of its “Fresh Life Harvest” whole ear sweet corn pack, complete with a chili pepper-lime seasoning. Developed by Next Level Fresh’s managing partner, Daniel Whittles, the whole ear sweet corn pack is one of the company’s initial products and enables sweet corn lovers to satisfy a craving for... Read more
New Apio salad kits to capitalize on federal dietary recommendations
New federal dietary guidelines recommending less meat and the ongoing consumer quest for healthy meal options are driving retail sales of alternative protein sources. Apio Inc. is at the forefront of the plant-based protein movement with three new single-serve Plant-Powered Protein Salad Kits — BBQ Ranch, Super Caesar and Yogurt Curry — available in June from... Read more
Instacart expanded delivery service to Miami, its 16th city, covering most of the metro area. Customers can order from Whole Foods Market, Costco, Winn-Dixie and BJ'S Wholesale Club as well as Petco stores and have everything delivered by Instacart in as little as one hour. Instacart customers do not need a Costco or BJ's membership to shop from those stores. "We... Read more
Dole celebrating National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day
It’s National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day, an official holiday dedicated to the proposition that getting more fresh fruits and vegetables is easy, delicious — and, based on U.S. obesity trends — entirely necessary. Starting today, the annual holiday will be celebrated every year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, at the start of the summer produce... Read more
Cal Giant BBQ's 56th year helping American Cancer Society
The annual Spring Lamb Barbecue celebrated its 56th anniversary on Saturday May 16 at the Crosetti Ranch in the foothills of Watsonville, CA. This event has supported the local chapter of the American Cancer Society since it began back in 1959, donating more than $1.5 million since that time. Supporters include produce companies, allied industry and community... Read more
The Redlands Christian Migrant Association has created a fund to assist a farm-working family that lost two young boys in an accidental drowning May 17. Noel Matias, 4, and his brother Alex, 3, were found in a canal Sunday near the labor camp where the family lived. The Matias family is seeking help for funeral expenses, including taking the boys’ bodies to... Read more
New Jersey hosts EPC's last meeting of the season
HILLSDALE, NJ — The Eastern Produce Council's May 19 meeting, sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, drew a big crowd, as always. This was the 28th consecutive year that New Jersey has sponsored an EPC meeting, and as in the last few years, this meeting was held outdoors under a tent here at Demarest Farms — and thus is known as the Jersey Fresh... Read more
Kingsburg Orchard executive returns to retail with move to Sendik’s
Sendik's Food Markets, a 12-store family-owned grocery chain serving the Milwaukee area, announced the hiring of produce industry veteran Dan Spain, who most recently worked as vice president of sales and marketing for Kingsburg Orchard As produce director for Sendik’s, Spain will use his wealth of experience to procure product, build grower relationships and... Read more
WASHINGTON — The Agricultural Marketing Service has certified the first company, SunOpta Inc., to label its food-grade soybeans and corn with a new, USDA non-GMO seal. News of the new label, which has yet to be announced by USDA, leaked last week when the Associated Press reported on a May 1 letter by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to employees explaining... Read more
A California appeals court recently handed Reedley, CA-based Gerawan Farming a favorable decision in its ongoing battle with the United Farm Workers, meaning the issues at hand may just end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. “This was a big win,” said Ron Barsamian of Barsamian & Moody, who was co-counsel on the case with David Schwarz of Irell & Manella,... Read more
Ocean Mist-Lakeside alliance extends organic offerings
Ocean Mist Farms and Lakeside Organic Gardens formed a strategic alliance to grow for one another and offer their customers wider organic product lines. The strategic alliance will add organic artichokes to the Lakeside Organic Gardens product line. For Ocean Mist, the company’s organic product line will expand to include beets, broccoli, cauliflower, celery,... Read more
NatureSweet teams with Weber Grills for Glorys of Grilling contest
NatureSweet Ltd., a leading grower of premium branded fresh tomatoes based in San Antonio, TX, will join forces once again with Weber Grills to host a summer grilling sweepstakes. Contestants are invited to visit NatureSweet Glorys of Grilling displays in participating retailers nationwide for money-saving coupons, great grilling ideas and instructions on how... Read more
Northwest cherries up to two weeks early
For the most part, Mother Nature has cherry picked just the kind of conditions that growers in the Pacific Northwest need to produce the quality cherry crop the region is known for. In 2015, these conditions will translate to good volume, impressive size and high quality. Some shift in the marketing window for Rainier cherries, whose popularity continues to... Read more
Bi-Lo rebranded as Southeastern Grocers
Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie, has officially changed its name to Southeastern Grocers, effective May 18. "This change symbolizes that regardless of whether we work for BI-LO, Harveys or Winn-Dixie, we are all part of a unified family with a common aim to do the best we can for all of our customers across the Southeast,” the... Read more
Kings Just Picked Promise produce returns for the summer
Kings Food Markets is bringing back its exclusive 24 Hour Just Picked Promise this summer, beginning May 22. The program is designed to bring Kings’ customers locally grown, farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs within 24 hours of being picked — giving shoppers the benefits of a local farm stand in the convenience of their neighborhood food markets. The... Read more
Potandon Produce and Johnny’s Fine Foods announce year four of trailer tour
The joint marketing partnership between Potandon Produce and Johnny’s Fine Foods has been renewed for the fourth consecutive year and the sampling team is gearing up to hit the road. Utilizing their custom made 1950s diner-style sampling trailer, the partners travel the winding roads of America, bringing food, fun and a host of incredible tastes to all types... Read more
The Food & Drug Administration is putting the final touches on its implementation strategy for the new food-safety program, and produce companies should be doing the same, James Gorny, vice president of food safety and technology at the Produce Marketing Association, said at the recent Food Safety Summit in Baltimore. The Food Safety Modernization Act rule... Read more