Church Brothers Farms Expands Market Offerings
SALINAS, CA - Expansion is one of those industry terms that seems to ring nicely throughout the supply chain. Expanding to the beat of its drum, Church Brothers Farms recently announced an increase in production and market availability on two of its newer products. This move is only one piece of the company’s continued focus on innovation and convenience.
“Our whole leaf and specialty salad programs are about providing our customers with convenient items that are prepped and ready to use,” said Rick Russo, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are committed to providing fresh produce items that are easy to handle in the kitchen and are excited to offer Ready Leaf™ and Urban Blend to a wider market.”
Ready Leaf is a hybrid green leaf lettuce variety with Romaine and Iceberg properties. Triple washed and ready to use, a typical leaf is 4 inches to 6 inches long and 3 inches to 5 inches wide, a little smaller than traditional green leaf varieties. Ready Leaf has a 17-day shelf-life and is available year-round due to growing regions in both the United States and Mexico, as stated in a press release.
Reintroduced with new branding, packaging, and production capacity, Ready Leaf has one of the highest leaf counts per pound in the industry at 55–60 leaves per pound. A higher leaf count translates into more servings per pound and cost savings, as Ernst van Eeghen, Vice President of Business Development, said.
“Ready Leaf was developed to frame a burger bun or sandwich with just the right amount of green frill, crunch, and sweet flavor,” van Eeghen added. “With consistent sizing, there is less labor needed which means lower cost and 100 percent yield.”
Church Brothers Farms pioneered the smaller whole leaf concept in 2008 with the introduction of Teen Green™, and continues to improve product quality with new varieties, farming, and harvest practices, processing methods and package optimization. In 2019 the company opened a whole leaf lettuce processing line in San Luis, Mexico, more than doubling production. In addition, Urban Blend is now available to a wider market, expanding the specialty salad offerings from Church Brothers Farms.
Urban Blend is a mix of baby red chard, wild arugula, and baby kale. The bold texture and flavor of the blend stand up well to any dressing base; and its array of colors and shapes enhances plate appearance.
“Easy to use in the kitchen, Urban Blend allows for a range of applications and pairings, delivering more bite, crunch, and flavor,” van Eeghen said.
Sounds like a new lettuce market opportunity is opening up at retail! Keep an eye out for game-changing expansions like this as we at AndNowUKnow continue to report.