Melissa's Picks for the 2018 Viva Fresh Produce Expo
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Has it really been four years since Viva Fresh cut its first ribbon? While it might seem hard to believe, the time is apparent in how the event, and its attendance list, continues to expand. It was a joy to return to San Antonio, Texas, and when we went wheels up to return home, you better believe I was already trying to decide what I could possibly name amongst all the standout items I saw. Here’s a brief taste of what resonated as I walked the show floor.
Del Monte Fresh Produce, N. America, Inc. Homestyle Hummus
Hummus fills a void that was left when the public realized how many spreads are good for the taste buds but bad for the body. It does not surprise me that Del Monte, always apprised of breaking and rising trends, has noticed this and looked to answer that call. If you swung by the versatile company’s booth and spotted a brunette asking for dippers with plans to hog all the hummus...it might have been me.
Ippolito Queen Victoria® Gourmet Belgian Leeks
Confession: prior to the kick off of my produce career, I would not touch onions or their cousins (except for garlic, of course) with a finger or a fork. But, my palate has widened as my fresh produce cohorts have furthered my education in the use of leeks and other bulbed veggies, and my friends at the Ippolito booth were no exception! Armed with the knowledge that leeks are a great accent, and can also take center stage on their own as a rising food trend, this item definitely left an impression.
Wonderful® Citrus Halos® Tree Retail Display
What could convey the visions of ‘fresh’ more than the perception of picking your own fruit from the orchards yourself? For retailers that might not want to plant any actual trees in their produce departments, Wonderful Citrus Halos Tree Retail Display comes close to answering that desire for fresh perception. Consumers certainly want to feel closer to the process, as our industry has found in the call for stories and transparency. So, harkening back to where these delightful citrus items came from rather than the usual retail display box makes perfect sense, don’t you agree?
Duda Farm Fresh Foods Dandy® Ready Radishes
Beyond the catchy name, which I can see parents using as a fun way to trick their kids into making the salad for dinner, these roots live up to their title. Not only are they in line with the value-added boost many 20- and 30-somethings seek in food prep, myself included, but they are beautiful in their red and white, zig-zagged (or striped) glory. I have a feeling this is an item your shoppers will want to use enough to make up a few new radish-infused options outside their usual culinary box.
Renaissance Food Group Garden Highway Fiesta Fruit Salad
How can I not zero in on a product labeled “fiesta” while browsing the zest of Viva Fresh? Of course, RFG’s Garden Highway Fiesta Fruit Salad stood out among the pack. With value-added being a key factor for busy millennials, or just those less inclined to chop like myself, plus a flavorful kick included with the pack, this is primed for success among fresh items in the produce aisle as well.
Needless to say, I'm excited to return to San Antonio. But while the show itself might be wrapped, the AndNowUKnow team is far from finished. Keep an eye out for more from the exciting three-day event in news to come!