NatureFresh™ Farms' Matt Quiring and Kara Badder Talk April Launch of Tomberry Tomatoes
LEAMINGTON, ONTARIO - Some tomatoes are already pretty small to begin with—a fact that makes them the perfect add-on ingredient for any dish or snack needing a fresh and healthy twist. But now, thanks to the innovation team at NatureFresh™ Farms, tomatoes just got a heckuva lot smaller. NatureFresh Farms is debuting a new teeny tiny tomato, the Tomberry®, that is sure to kick start a produce-centric snacking craze.
I caught up with the team at NatureFresh Farms to learn more about the grower’s newest tomato line and the innovation behind it.
“Convenient, versatile, and defined as the ‘World’s Smallest Tomato’, you can pop the Tomberry in your mouth as an on-the-go snack, toss a handful in a salad or on a pizza, or even get creative and throw some in a soup for a burst of flavor with every spoonful,” Matt Quiring, Executive Retail Sales Accounts Manager, tells me. “We have discovered through our in-house sensory taste panels that the flavor of this tomato is quite unique. Kids love them because they are not overly acidic and really do look and taste like candy, and even people who generally dislike tomatoes eat these by the handful! It will definitely be exciting for us to watch as this brand-new variety hits the market!”
A complement to its TOMZ line, the Tomberry is unique and fun and bolsters the gigantic flavor associated with the TOMZ name despite its mega-miniature size. And with such a unique product gracing grocery shelves, I ask where the idea came from.
“Innovation is an integral part of the NatureFresh Farms identity, and one of the most cutting-edge programs at NatureFresh involves R&D with exciting new varieties taking place at our Discovery Center,” Kara Badder, Marketing Project Manager, says. “It’s an innovative space where flavor and science meet; it’s the future of fresh.”
While over 300 varieties have passed through the Discovery Center every growing season, Kara explains that after so many trials and tests take place, only a very small number of products make the cut and end up on grocery stores shelves, with the Tomberry being one of the latest to make it through.
“There is always potential to identify groundbreaking new products when conducting research and testing different ideas. One of the key functions of the Discovery Center is to find the next best product that is going to make a positive impact in the marketplace. But the Discovery Center is so much bigger than just finding a new tomato to sell—it’s about mixing state-of-the-art innovations, interactive experiences, and flavor exploration to change the way people look at produce,” Kara shares with me.
NatureFresh greenhouses in Leamington, Ontario, are growing the majority of the Tomberry acreage, but there is also a small test batch being grown at the NatureFresh greenhouse in Delta, Ohio, to see how the fruit performs under lights.
Slated to hit stores this April, the Tomberry is the next big—well, small, technically—fruit that retailers won’t want to skip having in their grocery aisles. For more on the latest innovations shaking things up in produce, stay up-to-date with AndNowUKnow.