Church Brothers Farms' Jennifer Wagner Sanchez Discusses New 4 Count Clamshell Little Gem Lettuce for Retail
SALINAS, CA - After a recent product-quake in the foodservice market, Church Brothers Farms is back to do some further shaking up, this time on the retail side, as it continues to add to its extensive line of leafy greens. Jennifer Wagner Sanchez, Director of Marketing, takes a moment to tell me about the portfolio expansion, new packaging, and how the move will better position the company’s buy-side partners.
“We recently launched our Little Gem lettuce in a new, custom-designed clamshell for retail, which provides a variety of merchandising options while highlighting and protecting the Gems,” Jennifer explains. “Our innovation around Little Gems was inspired by the desire to add variety and creativity for consumers while offering our buy-side partners a product that will expand the specialty leafy green category.”
Church Brothers Little Gems are a hand-selected gem lettuce variety described with a romaine’s crunch and a butter lettuce’s soft frill, currently available nation-wide. The new 4 count clamshell is stackable, making it easy for retailers to merchandise on-shelf or in the well. The new clamshell is 100 percent recyclable and made with over 70 percent post-consumer material, custom-designed to fit and protect the Little Gems while giving consumers better visibility of the eye-catching product.
“The Little Gems retail pack offers a leafier head that provides individuals and families a full pack for multiple usage occasions. Church Brothers selected the best tasting, highest-quality gem variety available in the market while ensuring versatility for shoppers, whether in whole leaves, chopped, halved, or quartered. The flavor, texture, visual appeal, and versatility are unmatched by any other item in the leafy green category,” Jennifer shares.
Far from an aftershock, the announcement is a continued shakeup from Church Brothers’ research and development (R&D) core, which only just announced the launch of its SweetHearts Little Gems for foodservice in February.
“The SweetHearts Little Gems are true heart trim, offering chefs time, labor, and cost savings, as their prep-time is minimal and yield is maximized compared to other leafy greens,” Jennifer notes. “They are hand-trimmed down to the heart of the lettuce in the field, leaving the sweetest, crunchiest, and best-tasting part of the gems, and are the perfect platform to inspire creativity for chefs. The SweetHearts are the only Little Gems hearts available in the market for foodservice.”
It all comes down to a strategy of tracking down what is next, she adds, as the company is continuously looking to expand its offerings through its retail and foodservice partners.
“We have an outstanding R&D team that is always working to answer the question: what’s next? The products we bring to market are convenient, versatile, help minimize labor and prep-time, taste delicious, and create a draw for consumers,” Jennifer says.
The SweetHearts Little Gems for foodservice are available in a 60 count carton, rounding out the entire line’s offering no matter what side of the buy-side you are on.
“Our Little Gem line is appealing to both foodservice and retail because of the wide variety of ways you can use the leaves. Whether in foodservice or in retail, we want to provide consumers a unique product that will satisfy their desire for flavor, texture, and versatility along with an impressive plate appearance,” Jennifer concludes.
While we continue to keep our ear to the ground, it is clear that Church Brothers Farms is among those that will be sure it’s rocking.