Jordan Okumura's SEPC Southern Exposure Picks
ORLANDO, FL - I love the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure trade show. And I don’t even mind flying across the country—from California—for just one day on the show floor. The products consistently raise the bar and the buyer-to-supplier ratio keeps the conversations and opportunities flowing. What tantalizing items caught my eye this year? Although I hate to narrow it down, here are a handful of my favorites I hope you too, can enjoy.
SUNSET® Minzano® Pasta Kit
I can’t say it enough—convenience will always contribute to my decision making process at grocery. From a consumer perspective, SUNSET® has a way of remaining at the head of the pack and bringing incredibly delicious and innovative products to market. Take the SUNSET® Minzano® Pasta Kit. This product offers a dual chamber bowl, one side containing Minzano® tomatoes, the other containing pasta, as well as an expertly mixed spice pack…and can feed two in just 15 minutes.
Mann Packing Kale Beet Blend™
I love any product that can drop a “beet.” Pun intended. Mann’s new Kale Beet Blend offers not only golden beets, but a host of other exciting flavor profiles like kale, kohlrabi, and red cabbage—a combination of the company’s Power Blend and Broccoli Slaw. Blend, roast, toss in a salad, add crunch to tacos, take your stir fry up a notch…I just ask one thing: don’t limit yourself.
OPA by Litehouse™ Greek Style Yogurt Dressing
These refrigerated salad dressings (RSD) are more than meets the eye. Anything your consumers can imagine putting a sweet or savory touch on, deserves these dressings. In addition, the variety of flavor profiles can spark creativity on their own. With an original lineup of Avocado Cilantro, Strawberry Poppyseed, Roasted Garlic, Tzatziki Ranch and Curry, Litehouse is also adding new offerings to the program in May which include Feta Dill, Ranch, Blue Cheese, Caesar, and Jalapeño Ranch.
Monterey Mushrooms Organic Specialty Mushroom Package
If there is one word I can leave you with, let it be Umami. Hearty, robust, rich, savory—this word inspires a range of descriptors and can be found by pairing, preparing, and showcasing one of my favorite fresh produce items: mushrooms. Monterey Mushrooms organic specialty mushroom package includes king trumpet, beech, maitake, shiitake, oyster, and enoki mushrooms. And retailers need not balk at the range of varieties since the graphics offer usage ideas, facts, and simple how-to instructions for consumers.
Rockit™ Apple Launcher
Rockit™ apple tube packs really are their own merchandising solution. But this year the program is taking it up a notch. Grown by Borton Fruit and Chelan Fresh, this new and exciting miniature apple variety packs big flavor and a convenient size…and now can offer a destination of its own. The new display unit showcases both the fruit, packaging, and vibrant design of the Rockit™ program. With a petite stature, and distinctively fresh and aromatic crunch, it is always exciting to see how this program evolves.