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Retailers make a splash in 28th annual Idaho Potato Lover’s Display Contest
A sea of showstopping displays from coast to coast made for some tough judging in the 2019 Idaho Potato Lover’s Retail Display Contest, which gave out more than $150,000 in cash and prizes. “We had so many wonderful entries this year for both large and small displays,” said IPC Marketing Manager Jamie Bowen. “It’s always difficult to pick winners, but this year... Read more
First-ever U.S. marketing campaign for Chilean kiwifruit
Chilean Kiwifruit season has arrived, with nearly 11,000 tons of kiwifruit shipped to North America season to date. Having raised harvesting parameters significantly in recent years, the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee is now ready to embark on its inaugural marketing campaign for North America. Retail and social media promotions will be running from June through... Read more
Albertsons elevates Signature Select with new look and innovation
Albertsons Cos.’ Signature Select brand is amping up its presence across stores with the addition of more than 300 new products and updated branding in 2019, including new meal kits that serve warm in minutes and feature fresh veggies, beans and salsa. The redesigned products are long-time favorites from the Signature Kitchens, Signature Home, refreshe, and... Read more
Demand for PhycoTerra ramps up as growers see results
The success of some recent trials on several different crops has growers taking more notice of PhycoTerra, leading to a spike in demand for the innovative microalgae soil amendment produced by Heliae. Apples, strawberries and cherries have all shown remarkable results when treated with PhycoTerra, leading the Gilbert, AZ-based Heliae to further the commercialization... Read more
Eastern Produce Council enjoys the annual Jersey Fresh cookout
HILLSDALE, NJ — Under blue skies and near-perfect temperatures, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture hosted the Eastern Produce Council's dinner meeting Tuesday evening, May 21, the 32nd consecutive time that New Jersey has sponsored an EPC meeting. As usual, the meeting was held outdoors under a tent here at Demarest Farms — and thus is known as the Jersey... Read more
Kroger to pilot first-in-the-U.S. customer experience
The Kroger Co. and Loop, a circular e-commerce platform developed by TerraCycle, announced an exclusive grocery retail partnership agreement in the United States, advancing Kroger's zero-waste vision by reducing single-use plastics in the environment. Through this partnership, Kroger and Loop will pilot the new reusable packaging system, enabling customers in... Read more
Crunch Pak to market value-added fresh pears
Crunch Pak, a sliced apples specialist, is extending its expertise in the value-added space to a new to the world item — fresh sliced, peeled and diced pears. The value-added pears, available in seven-ounce and 32-ounce packages for foodservice customers initially, are made from Anjou and Bartlett varieties.  The company will introduce the fresh-cut pears... Read more
Colossal carrot drug bust
U.S. Customs & Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge intercepted a significant amount of methamphetamine in a commercial shipment worth $18.5 million this past weekend. “This is truly a huge, notable interception of hard narcotics accomplished by our frontline officers in the cargo environment,” said Port Director... Read more
Giant acquisition continues series of strategic investments
Giant Food Stores has entered into an agreement with Ferguson & Hassler to acquire its Quarryville, PA, store. The announcement follows a series of strategic investments that the company has recently made to its store fleet and family of brands, including the opening of the first Giant Heirloom Market in Philadelphia, where three additional locations are... Read more
Jersey Fresh continues to drive success in the Garden State
The story for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture in 2019 has been the comparatively cooperative weather the state has enjoyed this winter and spring. “It is no secret that 2018 was a challenging year, with New Jersey growers battling unprecedented rain and other weather-related externalities,” said Douglas Fisher, NJDA’s secretary. “This year, we are anticipating... Read more
The Southeast Produce Council has announced this year's SEPC Member Scholarship recipients. The SEPC awarded 56 scholarships ($112,000) in 2018, and it increased that to a record-breaking 62 scholarships ($124,000) in 2019 thanks to the dedication of its members. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who meet the application criteria of having a parent or grandparent... Read more
Florida Specialties founder Jim Joiner dies at 73
Jim Joiner, founder and former president of Florida Specialties, died unexpectedly on the evening of Thursday, May 16. He was 73. A successful farmer in Homestead, FL, Mr. Joiner grew his business into a notable produce company that was incorporated in 1986 and named Florida Specialties.  Along with the support of his wife, Susan, and several growers... Read more
California Giant significantly expands fresh blueberry program
California Giant has been building its year-round berry program over the past several years in response to customer demand for promotable volume of all four berry types. This year the company is very pleased to report it has met a milestone with fresh blueberries. Due to increased customer and consumer demand, over the past five years fresh California Giant... Read more
Kwik Lok unveils first sustainable bag closure
Kwik Lok Corp. has introduced Eco-Lok, a bag closure made with sustainable materials, the first step in the company’s drive to reduce its environmental impact. The new Eco-Lok product, used as a closure on consumer food products, is formulated with a plant-based biopolymer called NuPlastiQ, which requires up to 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce... Read more
Idaho-E. Oregon onion icon Owen Froerer dies at 87
Owen Froerer, lifelong farmer and patriarch of the Froerer family in Idaho-Eastern Oregon, passed away Wednesday, May 15, at age 87. Mr. Froerer, who remained active on the farm into this decade, was an icon in the Treasure Valley onion and asparagus industries as part of Froerer Farms, Ida-Spear Packing and Owyhee Produce. He was preceded in death by his parents... Read more
Natural Grocers {N}power customer loyalty program celebrates 1 million members
Natural Grocers' customer loyalty program {N}power is expected to surpass 1 million members early in the summer of 2019. The program launched in May 2015 and provides the organic and natural retailer's customers with digital coupons, personalized offers, rewards and other benefits. To celebrate the milestone, Natural Grocers announced the 1 Millionth {N}power... Read more
Pushing organic's upward trajectory further
New consumer data and analysis related to increased organic fresh produce sales from a pair of the industry’s leading trade organizations will be featured as part of an educational session at the fourth annual Organic Produce Summit.  Leaders from the Organic Trade Association and Produce Marketing Association will present highlights from newly conducted... Read more
BC Tree Fruits acquisition part of consolidation plan
BC Tree Fruits Cooperative purchased 85 acres of land in Kelowna, BC, with the purpose of building a new facility under the cooperative’s new One Roof plan. In conjunction with this purchase, BCTFC has an agreement in place to sell its property in Penticton, BC. Both transactions will be completed by May 31. “Today is an exciting day for all of us at the cooperative,”... Read more
Fresh Market expands Instacart partnership to all 161 stores
Fresh-focused specialty retailer The Fresh Market is making it even more convenient to make everyday eating extraordinary by offering personal shopping and home delivery service through Instacart, a North American leader in online grocery. "After successfully partnering with Instacart in several of our key markets, we found that our guests appreciated having... Read more
Lidl making major moves on the East Coast
As part of its ongoing expansion along the East Coast, Lidl US announced today plans to open 25 new stores in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia by spring of 2020. Lidl also announced it will hold a hiring event to fill around 100 new positions at its regional headquarters and distribution center... Read more