Jessica's Picks: SEPC's Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo

Jessica's Picks: SEPC's Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo

NASHVILLE, TN - The siren call of barbecue and music with a country twang may have been what called me to Nashville, Tennessee, but what made the trip one to remember was the best-of-its-kind showcase of organic and foodservice innovations. This year’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo married two of the produce industry’s hottest trends, so it’s no wonder I had such a tough time narrowing the choices down to just these four picks.

Oppy and Ocean Spray® Family Farmer-Owned Brand Organic Berries

Tell me that you haven’t seen those Ocean Spray® commercials—I dare you. That iconic image of two farmers standing knee-deep in fruit is one that consumers will not soon forget, and, for Oppy, that means a major marketing opportunity. Data shows that berries are one of the fastest-growing categories in the organic sector, so with the Family Farmer-Owned Brand organic line, the marketer and brand found themselves to be a match made in berry retailing heaven. Nothing like an iconic brand and a rapidly growing category to make for a constantly ringing register.

Ippolito International Brussels Chips

Salty, crunchy, and addicting, I was fantasizing about falling face-first into a foodservice-sized bag of these samples long-after the Nashville skyline disappeared from view. Consumers have learned that Brussels sprouts are not just grandma’s side dish anymore and are affirming their newfound knowledge with their wallets. And by offering just the leaves of the Brussels, Ippolito found a way to tap further into those wallets by making a versatile product that hits the growing foodservice market and the snacking trend.

Mann Packing Caulilini™ SweetStem™

Like a beautiful bouquet I can pop in my mouth, Mann Packing’s proprietary, new Caulilini™ SweetStem™ is absolutely stunning—not to mention tasty. Now available for foodservice operators after over a year of extensive trials, Caulilini is a solution for chefs of all kinds wanting to add a show-stopping look and sweet, succulent flavor to anything from side dishes and crudité platters to an all-out entrée. It’s not often something this innovative hits the plate, and I, for one, will savor it.

GreenFruit Avocados 2 Ct. Foodservice Box

Those in foodservice know, avocados have a bit of a learning curve. How many times have you waited to use a not-yet-ripe avocado only to find out your fruit has gone from hard-as-a-rock to a pile of green mush in your hands? Here to eliminate guesswork is GreenFruit Avocados, with its new 2 Ct. box for size 48s avocados. In that size, foodservice customers can’t over-handle these gems, and with the accompanying avocado color chart, even the most avocado-clueless can see the ripeness stages and timeframe for optimal consumption. Foolproof!

Until next year, Southern Innovations!

Companies in this Story

GreenFruit Avocados

We specialize in packing, shipping & marketing GreenFruit Avocados worldwide direct to our clients. The advantage of our...

Ippolito International

Ippolito International is a second-generation farming company offering year-round supplies of premium quality Queen...

Mann Packing

Mann’s is a leading provider of innovative, pre-washed and ready to use fresh veggies. We are one of the largest suppliers...


For close to 160 years, Oppy has discovered and delivered the best of the world's harvest. Whether we’re partnering with...

Southeast Produce Council

We strive to be the premier produce resource in the Southeast by providing networking, innovative, community, and...