Increase profit & reduce fresh produce waste today!WATCH THE VIDEO
Fresh produce business management
Business management app for salad packer processor wholesaler
Business management app for salad packer processor wholesaler: manage entire salad packing process from raw salad materials to salad mixing, salad packing, and salad sales & logistics.
Mixed salad loose leaf salad lettuce packing
Use farmsoft to manage the entire mixed salad loose leaf lettuce packing operation for any loose leaf specialty products including spinach, baby kale, green coral, mignonette, butter lettuce, 4 leaf salads, baby cos, rocket, arugula, chives, basil, bunch dill, bunch kale curly, bunch kale deck, bunch mint, bunch silver-beet, bunch tarragon, bunch thyme, tuscan kale, chard, continental parsley, cochran iceberg, cochran cos, mizuna, chard, salad blends, organic salad packs, Asian mix, braising mix, frissee, organic raw, raddichio, Lollorosa, red romaine, spring mix, wild arugula.
Configure the ingredients for each loose leaf salad recipe, project the required materials, produce orders based on requirements (or schedule new harvests or new plantings) to ensure mixed salad loose leaf lettuce packing is accurate and easy to manage.
Salad Processing – Creating Spring Mix
- Post published:April 9, 2019
The spring mix harvesting process has been documented previously on the blog (see post HERE), and in this week’s blog, you get to see the salad processing step, showing what happens to those different types of lettuce varieties after they are harvested. The continuation of this process takes place with the same company, Babé Farms, at their processing facility (Fresh Venture Foods) in Santa Maria, California.
What Lettuce is in Spring Mix?
Although we are accustomed to the name “spring mix”, all companies use their own unique mixture to create their specific mix. For Babé Farms, they create multiple different types of lettuce mixtures. In the picture below, you can see how they dictate what types of lettuce are included into each mix.
Mixing, Washing & Packing Spring Mix
- Mixing the Spring Mix – This is a manual process, where the workers take the bins of harvested lettuce varieties and pour them out onto a conveyor line. Each bin is poured out throughout the line in order to be mixed in evenly with the other varieties of lettuce that are already laid out on the line.
- Conveyor – After all of the lettuce has been poured out and mixed manually, the lettuce mixture moves into the next room and proceeds on the conveyor line.
- Sorting – The lettuce passes through an optical sorting machine and then through a manual visual inspection. Any lettuce with issues, such as discoloration or the presence of foreign materials, is redirected from the line.
- Washing – The lettuce continues through a three part wash step step, where it is washed with sanitized water.
- Drying – The washed lettuce then goes into bins and workers take the bins and place the lettuce into spin-dryers, which act as a centrifuge, to dry the lettuce.
Harvesting and Packaging
The way vegetables are harvested and packaged significantly affects their shelf life.
A method of harvesting where the plant canopy is harvested and the root structure is left alone. The plant canopy will regrow in certain amount of time which is determined with the Variety Nutritional Formula. In the current versions of our Growing Systems, the time period ranges from 7 days to 22 days depending on the specific Variety. This method is primarily done for herbs (Basils, Mints, Thyme, Rosemary, etc.) and leafy greens (Lettuces, Kales, Spinaches, Mustards, etc.). Each Variety has a specific method for harvesting.
A method of harvesting where the fruit or vegetable is picked on a continuous basis. This is used, for example, in harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, etc.
Physiological Effects of Harvesting
Harvesting of fruits and vegetables increases their perishability through increased respiration rates, altered ethylene production rates, and increases in other biochemical reactions: discoloration and color, texture, aroma and flavor, nutritional quality The degree of processing and the quality of the equipment (i.e. blade sharpness), significantly affect the wounding response. Damage to cells near cut surfaces influences the shelf life and quality of the product. For example, lettuce cut by a sharp knife with a slicing motion has a storage life approximately twice that of lettuce cut with a chopping action. Shelf life of lettuce is less if a dull knife is used rather than a sharp knife. Strict temperature control is required to minimize the increased respiration rates of harvesting.
The Harvest Formula consists of the specifications for the Growing Room Atmosphere during Harvest Time and the Harvest Cutting methodology used. The Harvest Methodology will be specific to each Variety and may be automated or be manual.
Post-Harvesting Production Methods
Post harvest production methods are critical to extending shelf life. Cooling crops immediately after cutting removes sugars and other nutrients at the cut surfaces that favor microbial growth and tissue discoloration. Because of differences in composition, some crops such as cabbage are known as “dirty” products because they release substantially more organic nutrients with harvesting. For lettuce, discoloration of the cut surfaces is a major quality defect. Cutting stimulates enzymes involved in phenolic metabolism which in turn leads to the formation of undesirable brown pigments. To ensure packaged salad products with no brown edges, very low O2 (<0.5%) and high CO2 (>7%) atmospheres are used commercially. These conditions may lead to increases in acetaldehyde and ethanol concentrations, indicating a shift from aerobic to anaerobic or fermentative metabolism. These changes are greater in the iceberg lettuces than in romaine lettuces, and are correlated with the development of off-odors.
Harvesting: Leaf Size
Young leaf tissue will have higher respiration rates than mature fully developed leaves. 2 x 2 cm pieces from mature leaves have respiration rates almost double those of the intact leaves, but similar to rates of the small leaves. In the scientific literature, shredding mature leaves approximately doubled respiration rates. Different parts of a vegetable may have very different respiration rates as illustrated with data from broccoli. The respiration rates of iceberg and romaine lettuces cut as pieces (2-3 x 2-3 cm) are 20-40% higher than rates of the respective intact heads. The respiration rates of shredded lettuce and shredded cabbage are 200-300% greater than those of the intact heads and remain high throughout the storage period. Respiration rates and deterioration rates can be minimized by quickly cooling the product and storing at 5° C (41° F) or below. Selecting a Variety and a Nutritional Formula enables the maximum efficacy for leaf size respiration.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (Business management app for salad packer processor wholesaler: manage entire salad packing process from raw salad materials to salad mixing, salad packing, and salad sales & logistics.)
Although temperature is the principal controlling factor for respiration rates, modified atmospheres will also reduce metabolic rates. Controlled atmospheres of 1-2% O2 + 10% CO2 reduced respiration rates of minimally processed strawberries, peaches and honeydew by 25 to 50% at 5° C. These same atmospheres also reduced ethylene production and softening of the fruit tissues. Control of the wound response is the key to providing good quality. Low temperatures minimize differences in respiration and ethylene production rates between the cut and the intact product. Low temperatures are also essential to retard microbial spoilage on cut surfaces. Variety, production conditions, stage of maturity, piece size, and storage conditions all contribute to variations in fresh-cut product physiology. Although MAP maintains visual quality by retarding browning, off-odors increase and lettuce crispness decreases during storage of the salad products.
Packaging technology is indispensable for most fresh harvested crops. The selection of the plastic film packaging material strives to achieve equilibrium between the oxygen demand of the product (oxygen consumption by respiration) and the permeability of the film to oxygen and carbon dioxide transmission. In practice, films are often selected on the basis of the oxygen transmission rate (OTR expressed in units of ml/m2-day-atm). Several product factors need to be considered in selecting film packaging: the rate of respiration of the product and the specific cut, the quantity of product, and the desirable equilibrium concentrations of O2 and CO2. Plastic film characteristics that need to be considered include: 1) the permeability of a given thickness of the plastic film to O2, CO2 and water at a given temperature; 2) total surface area of the sealed package; and 3) the free volume inside the package.
With current packaging technology, it is possible to have product of good visual quality even at temperature-abuse conditions. Although product temperatures of 20° C (68° F) are unlikely, short periods near 10° C (50° F) can readily occur. The visual quality of the product is only slightly reduced by holding at 10° C (50° F), but atmosphere composition, production of fermentative volatiles and off-odor development are notably different from product stored at 0° C (32° F). These data underscore the potential of low temperature storage in conjunction with appropriate MAP conditions. In the case of lettuce, the atmospheres effective in retarding cut edge browning are very different from the atmospheres recommended for intact lettuce heads (lettuce develops the disorder brown stain when to CO2 >2%). Green bell peppers provide another example in which modified atmosphere conditions beneficial for the fresh-cut product differ substantially from those recommended for the intact product. As more research is conducted on Varieties the temperature and atmosphere requirements will be very determined for each Variety. A Variety with a specific respiration rate can be selected for a specific film or a film can be selected and the Variety with a specific respiration rate can be selected.
Many types of films are commercially available and used for fresh-cut packaging, including polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), blends of PE and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and co-extruded polymers or laminates of several plastics. Besides the permeability characteristics described above, films must also satisfy other requirements (Zagory, 1995). They must have strength and be resistant to tears and splits (oriented PP or polystryene), punctures (low density PE), stretching (oriented PP or polyethylene terephthalate), slip to work on bagging machines (acrylic coatings or stearate additives), have flex resistance, clarity and printability, and in some cases resealability (Ziploc or sticky seals). Consumer tactile appeal and ease of opening are also important considerations. Film selection is a compromise between the strengths and weakness of the different materials. Many currently used films are co-extrusion or laminates of several kinds of plastics, each providing a specific benefit. Recent advancements in controlling the chain length of plastic polymers have resulted in high OTR films with superior strength, good clarity and rapid sealing. Rapid sealing is extremely important for high volume form-fill-seal packaging equipment. Bags are usually checked periodically on the processing line for seal integrity (in a water filled pressurized chamber) or “leakers”. There can be considerable variability in O2 concentrations in well-sealed salad bags, perhaps due to slight variations in film permeability during the manufacturing process.
Other packaging options include rigid impermeable trays covered with a permeable film or membrane patch. Micro-perforated films provide very small holes (40 to 200 μm) and allow elevated levels of O2 in combination with intermediate CO2 With temperature fluctuations, the permeability of most common films changes very little in comparison to the dramatic increases in respiration rates (oxygen demand) at warmer temperatures. With lack of oxygen, anaerobic metabolism occurs resulting in off-odors and other quality problems. Anti-fog films capable of dispersing water droplets to avoid condensation, incorporation of antimicrobials in films, and use of time-temperature indicators on or incorporated into plastic films are also relevant.
The pack to order process for mixed salad loose leaf lettuce packing has never been easier with farmsoft. Mange traceability for mixed salad loose leaf lettuce packing, perform quality tests on incoming mixed salad loose leaf lettuce, and track quality back to the supplier from customer complaints/feedback.
Customers can use the portal to enter their mixed salad loose leaf lettuce orders online; give your customers a superior mixed salad loose leaf lettuce ordering experience. You can even collect customer feedback for mixed salad loose leaf lettuce products received by the customer in the mixed salad loose leaf lettuce portal.
Software solution to manage loose leaf lettuce > Reduce loose leaf lettuce waste, improve loose leaf lettuce traceability, ensure accurate & timely loose leaf lettuce orders.
A background of fresh salad / loose leaf packing technology in the USA Business management app for salad packer processor wholesaler: manage entire salad packing process from raw salad materials to salad mixing, salad packing, and salad sales & logistics.
There is currently no similar product on the market in the U. S. Existing products that come closest to this product are quite different in content, containing compacted shredded vegetables or iceberg lettuce instead of loose-leaf vegetables. They also differ in appearance, sold in a cloudy package instead of transparent packaging products that are made from environmentally friendly materials.
Fresh salad and loose leaf solutions have been successfully marketed in Switzerland since the 1980's, and were introduced in the early 1990's in France, where they have already taken one-third of the linear shelf space in the chain stores and supermarkets. (After only nine months of operation, the leading French company is currently under buyout negotiations for as much as four times its initial capitalization.)
The processing technology for Fresh salad and loose leaf , which was developed in Europe, falls in the realm of "trade secrets." Although there is no patent protection, the technology is proprietary and unique, based upon a combination of machines, including vegetable processing units as well as other food product processing units ;a specific design for some of the machines; and a particular set of quality control methods.
However ingenious, the process remains relatively simple at first glance: raw material is trimmed and cored by hand; selected raw material is then mechanically and automatically cut, washed, rinsed, spin-dried, weighed and packaged. In fact, this proprietary process know-how is necessary to assure the distinctive high quality of the product and avoid production problems that lead to a deterioration of quality.
Fresh salad and loose leaf has secured the source of know-how via a license option granted by the leading French company manufacturing Fresh salad and loose leaf -type products.
Experience in Europe shows that Fresh salad and loose leaf know-how can be mastered only after a one-year learning curve. This will give the management of Fresh salad and loose leaf the time to close at least one one-to-two-year contract with a major chain store company before the competition comes in.
It is anticipated that as soon as operations begin, an R&D program will be instituted, conducting continuous consumer research to determine changes in public preference and market trends as they occur. Again, Fresh salad and loose leaf -type product experience in Europe shows that continuous product development is a necessity to stay ahead of competition and grow.
The relative simplicity of the technology and its production capacity flexibility permit quick and inexpensive adaptation of the process to new products. Salad packing software from farmsoft delivers a loose leaf packing solution from order, salad processing, to fresh salad delivery.
New technologies for salad washing Business management app for salad packer processor wholesaler: manage entire salad packing process from raw salad materials to salad mixing, salad packing, and salad sales & logistics.
Food safety is the most important thing that everyone cares about. But during vegetable processing, cleaning is often accompanied by damage. How to achieve thorough cleaning while reducing damage is always a hot topic in the industry, according to sales manager Valencia Yu from Lueon Technologies.
Last year, Lueon Technologies, a leading manufacturer in China, launched their new Pulse Washer. The Pulse Washer has a variable controlled air injection system. “The quantity of air can be adjusted continuously, based on the type of product, to gain a stronger or softer turbulence in the washing water, enabling a thorough cleaning action without damaging the product. Furthermore, small stones, clay granules, and particles can be separated out and collected by the roller on top and the filter by side.”
“Normally, three connected Pulse Washers are enough for root vegetables like cucumber, onion, carrot, etc. For leafy vegetables, processors usually choose the two Pulse Washer plus two flume washers to ensure food safety,” Lueon’s sales manager explained. “We are developing rapidly these days and are now looking for distributors worldwide.”
Lueon’s processing lines and machines are operating in more than 210 plants to produce the fresh-cut lettuces and vegetables which are delivered and served daily to over 8,000 fast-food restaurants in China, namely: KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Dicos, ZKungfu, Hidilao (Hi Hotpot), etc.
For more information:
Lueon Technologies Co., Ltd.
Tel: +86 (0) 574 65606120
New salad products by Bonduelle
Summer is just around the corner, and most people rarely want a heavy meal on a hot day. Summer salads, on the other hand, are wonderfully refreshing and can be a varied accompaniment to a barbecue steak or a light meal. As well as Lollo Rossa, Radiccio and Rucola, Bonduelle has created a new "barbecue salad" [Grill-Salat] edition which is refined with red pak choi from Asia: this flavorsome Chinese cabbage has a lightly spicy taste which is ideal to go with a barbecue. The "barbecue salad" is available in stores from this month in a 180g bag for €1.99.
The "summer salad" [Sommer-Salat] will also be launched this year with a new recipe. Fine frisée, batavia lettuce, romaine lettuce and carrot strips meet sorrel: this wild vegetable captivates with a slightly bitter aroma and gives the salad a fresh flavor especially with the crunchy carrots and lettuce leaves. The summer salad is available in stores from June in a 150g bag for €1.99.
For more information:
Bonduelle Deutschland GmbH
New plastic-free packaging for salads developed
A plastic-free salad packaging solution has been developed by Sirane as part of a project working with some major brands in France.
(RE)SET Packaging are a consultancy company specialised in the circular economy, who looked worldwide for the most innovative providers of sustainable packaging working in the food sector. Carrefour and LSDH (owners of the Les Crudettes salad brand) signed up to an ambitious pact, with Carrefour promising to make all packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Sirane was among the innovative packaging suppliers shortlisted to work on potential solutions – and nine months on the plastic-free packaging solution is the first potential (RE)SET Packaging product launch on the horizon.
Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “In France alone, 290 million ready-to-eat salads are sold every year. They have always been sold in a plastic-packaging which cannot be recycled, meaning a huge amount of waste going into landfill.
“We’ve managed to perfect a coated paper which still gives the necessary shelf-life. The bags have some translucency – especially when in direct contact with the salad – and there is no need for the producers to use an anti-fog treatment.”
The planned launch date for the salad bags – which can be recycled as part of the paper recycling stream - is currently planned for early 2021.
The Carrefour Group has more than 5,000 stores in France, ranging from hypermarkets to local stores, while Les Crudettes is France’s most well-known ready-to-eat salad brand, producing more than 20,000 tonnes of salad every year.
The salad bags – which are a variant of our popular Earthfilm paper packaging range - will be used for Les Crudettes salads and Carrefour-branded salads.
In 2019, France announced plans to introduce a tax on packaging made from non-recycled plastic, which would result in such products costing up to 10% more.
And on January 1 this year France took its first steps towards phasing out single-use plastics. The ban started with plastic plates, cups and cotton buds, and plastic straws and cutlery will follow January 1, 2021, while 2022 is expected to see a ban on plastic tea bags and toys distributed free of charge in fast food restaurants.
France as a nation pledged to use only recycled plastics by 2025 – but some retailers and producers, including Carrefour, signed up to even more ambitious targets.
Similarly, the UK plans to introduce a plastics tax on all packaging that does not include at least 30 per cent recycled material by April 2022.
Earthfilm is a plastic-free packaging film which is recyclable in the paper stream. We can also supply it as a pre-formed pouch – the award-winning Earthpouch.
Sirane is an innovative food packaging development-to-manufacture company, with expertise in absorbency and material science. Specialisms include bags and pouches, absorbent products, shelf-life extension and dual-ovenable products. We also recently acquired a UK-based board manufacturer and converter.
We can also supply a high-speed low-cost pouch filling machine - the M7 - for anyone looking for the complete ‘food packaging pouch package’.
For more information
Tel: +44 1952 230055.
France: New world record for the largest fruit salad
Chécy, a French municipality of the Loiret department, has set the new world record for the largest fruit salad and will now appear in the Guinness book of records.
Apples, pears, strawberries, kiwis, grapes, watermelons, plums, oranges, grapefruit and bananas: 12.5 tons of fruits graciously donated by local businesses. More than 700 volunteers joined forces for 10 hours to peel and cut the 10 tons and 662 lbs of fruits that made up this salad. Spread around 24 tables by teams of ten, the participants raced against time, with 10 kg of fruits having to be cut per volunteer per hour. The fruits were then dumped into the large container of 530 cubic feet, installed for the occasion.
The giant fruit salad was sold the next day by trays of 1 kg sold for 5 euros [5.5 USD]. Thanks to partnerships with various sports clubs of the Loiret department, the salad will be sold in different establishments in the city of Orléans.
The record for the largest fruit salad had been held since last year by the city of Montreal in Canada, with 10 tons and 353 lbs.
New single serve salad line launched in Canada
Bonduelle Fresh Americas, formerly Ready Pac Foods, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bonduelle (BON.PA), today announced it is launching Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ salads in Canada. Each salad comes with leafy greens, seasoned meats, dressings and a variety of toppings such as cheese, veggies or crumbled bacon.
Currently, Bonduelle Fresh Americas holds more than a 70 percent share of the US$526mm single-serve salad market in the United States, the company says. As Canadian consumers are looking for healthier, convenient meal options, Bonduelle is aiming to significantly grow the existing CAD$24mm market for single-serve salads. Bonduelle Fresh Americas said the meal solutions are created specifically for Canadian consumers’ tastes, with proteins like chicken, turkey, ham and cheese.
“Our commitment to understanding and meeting consumer needs and demands puts us in a unique position to excel when it comes to product innovation,” said Mary Thompson, Bonduelle Fresh Americas CEO. “Canadian consumers want more high-protein food options and Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ salads will make healthier meal solutions with complete proteins attainable for all.”
“The acquisition of Ready Pac Foods in the U.S. in 2017 has not only strengthened Bonduelle as a leader in the plant-based foods industry and the fresh category, but also its ability to efficiently reach more customers and consumers around the world,” said Daniel Vielfaure, Bonduelle Group Deputy CEO. “This expansion into Canada affirms the company’s ambition to be the world leader in well-living through plant-based foods.”
Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ said their salads are high in protein, clean label and with no artificial flavors. The ready-to-eat bowls come with all the fixings separated – with the idea that everything stays fresh until consumers are ready to enjoy.
Furthermore, Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ salads use the Fresh Air Seal™, which the company says is a healthier, natural approach to keep fresh food fresher longer, extending the shelf life without preservatives.
Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ salads are available in five varieties: Caesar Salad with Chicken and Bacon, Greek Inspired with Chicken, Cobb Salad with Turkey and Bacon, Chef Inspired with Turkey and Ham, and Santa Fe Style. Consumers can find them now in the produce aisle of Loblaw stores – Loblaws, Zehrs, Provigo, Maxi & Cie and others – in Quebec and Ontario provinces, as well as in the Maritimes. For information about Bonduelle Fresh Picked™ salads, please visit www.bonduelle.ca.
Austria: Fresh salad from the field to the supermarket in 24 hours
Delicious salads belong in every summer barbecue party. But even on their own, fresh salads can be a complete meal on hot summer days. SPAR and the reliable vegetable growers from Tyrol ensure every day that the salads come fresh from the field to the shelf and onto the table. With Johanna Maiers spice mixes from the SPAR PREMIUM product line, each salad is given an individual taste.
Vegetable producer Anton Giner from Thaur supplies SPAR with fresh Tyrolean salads such as Lollo Bionda, Lollo Rosso and oak leaf lettuce.
"The baby leaf lettuce is our specialty," says Anton Giner, the proud owner of the vegetable garden, at the same time pointing to the other varieties grown in Thaur for SPAR Tirol. The classic butterhead lettuce cannot be missed, just like the popular mixed salads of Lollo Rosso, Lollo Bionda, red lettuce or the lettuce salad. The fruit and vegetable departments of SPAR are characterized by a wide selection, quality and freshness - and at an affordable price. SPAR customers like to purchase products grown in Tyrol - a beautiful way to express their own ties to home.
Summer is salad time in Tyrol
Salads are a light, vitamin-rich alternative on days when it is too hot to cook. They are low-calorie, quickly-prepared dishes and the options are endless. Whether you're looking for a mixed leaf salad with breakfast bacon, a watercress-rocket salad with pear, walnuts and parmesan or a baby leaf salad with mozzarella, Peaches and ham - salad should always be bought fresh and crisp. "And regional seasonal products for SPAR from Tyrol are not to be missed," says vegetable farmer Anton Giner.
"On the short transport routes to the Tyrolean SPAR supermarkets, all ingredients are fully preserved." Anton Giner junior is also helping with the salad harvest in Thaur.
Top Partnership: Family Giner and SPAR
In addition to salads, radishes, young onions, potatoes and organic pumpkins are also grown exclusively for SPAR on more than 13 hectares by vegetable farmer Anton Giner in Thaur. SPAR gives great value to natural and healthy food.
Advantages of regional products
Since its foundation in Kufstein more than 60 years ago, SPAR has been focusing on the strengths and advantages of local agriculture. SPAR now offers over 2,600 items from the Tyrol region, freshly delivered by 128 local producers and suppliers. All these partnerships, which have grown over many years, guarantee the farmer a fixed client and SPAR a reliable supplier of the best quality.
For further information: www.spar.at
Despite salad culture, new greens need to be introduced gradually
After a meeting in Berlin, Antonis Vezyroglou from Farm Vezyroglou, has started working together with Living Salads to sell exclusive varieties in Greece.
"We have a real salad culture here in Greece, so it is the perfect fit, however, the market here is still pretty traditional, so it takes a bit of time before consumers try something new. Saying that, the market has changed a lot over the last 10 to 15 years, when you could pretty much only find Romaine and Batavia lettuce, now we are seeing more variety, like head lettuce and baby leaves," explains Antonis.
The company has deliberately introduced new greens into the market to ease Greek consumers into the new products.
e started by introducing baby leaves into salad mixes, and we introduced a new line at Freskon, which will include baby kale, along with the 'Perivoli' living salad. Although consumers here want to be healthy, offering them a full bag of kale would be too much for them and they wouldn't really know what to do with it, which is why we have included baby kale into our salad mixes, something they are familiar with. We are targeting forward thinking consumers with our new line, who are bored of the traditional offering and would like to try something different. These same consumers are very aware of superfoods and want to add more to their diets," Antonis said.
Farm Vezyroglou produces around 3,000 tons of lettuce annually, across 70 hectares. For now, the company is active domestically and in neighbouring countries, but once the brand has been built up, they plan on expanding their exports further afield.
"The face of the company, a garden bunny, is on every salad packaging we offer. We feel that a mascot helps us build our brand, making it more recognisable, when you see the bunny, you know that it is a high quality product."
For more information:
Tel: +30 6974119610
Alexandre Novi, Exploitation Novi:
“Italy, Spain and the South of France govern the salad market”
The salad season in the French Provence is coming to an end. According to Alexandre Novi from Exploitation Novi, a French salad grower who focuses on export within Europe, it is remarkable that the export volumes of head lettuce seem to decrease. "Other varieties are taking its place, such as the red salad varieties and baby leaves.”
“The European salad production is more and more concentrated in the South of France, Italy and Spain. These three production areas govern the market. For us, it is very important to know which varieties our Italian and Spanish colleagues will produce in order to keep a strong position on the market. If they focus on one variety, the prices of this particular variety will become lower and we will face numerous difficulties exporting them. Right now the French export is coming to an end and the market is turning towards the Belgian and German production.”
Exploitation Novi offers a large range of different varieties. The grower produces lollo rossa, lollo bionda, oak leaf, oak leaf green, head lettuce and green Batavia. Alexandre: “We sell our salads in bulk or flow pack. Next season we plan to increase our export volumes and we are open to new European partnerships.”
As is the case for a lot of salad producers, fusarium is a big challenge. “We are always looking for new ways to avoid the problems by growing crops that are more resistant.” Regarding the future, “currently, research is being done to develop new varieties. We will see how the salad production develops over the coming years.”
Salad & loose leaf packing of mixed salad & lettuce
For more information:
Mob: +33 6 12 93 25 02
National salad month is celebrated with release of four new organic releases
Braga Fresh is celebrating National Salad Month in May with the release of four new Josie’s Organics value-added salads: Tropical Crunch Premium Salad Kit, a Caesar salad kit, a Classic Cole Slaw kit and a traditional Garden Salad blend.
The organic Tropical Crunch Premium Salad Kit in a 6.25-ounce package, features baby spinach with pumpkin seeds, chopped dates rolled in oat flour, dried mango, sliced almonds and a savory avocado lime dressing.
The organic Caesar salad in a 9-ounce bag contains crisp hearts of Romaine, butter croutons, Parmesan cheese, creamy Romano Caesar dressing and a flavor-packed herb seasoning.
The organic Classic Cole Slaw is a 9-ounce blend of red and green cabbage, carrots and a creamy dressing and the organic Garden salad is a blend of organic Iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and red cabbage in a 10-ounce package.
“Just in time for summer season, three of these salads are favorite flavors for organic shoppers while the Tropical Crunch Kit is a fresh take on a more gourmet, summer offering,” said Nicholas DaCosta, president Braga Fresh Foods. “By using the best ingredients with the most flavor, we elevate everyday salads into a satisfying meal option.”
All four Josie’s Organics salads are now available from Braga Fresh to customers nationwide.
US: Ready-to-eat salad bowls launched nationally
Dole Food Company is taking its line of ready-to-eat salad bowls national with the launch of Dole® FreshTakes™ Salad Bowls in supermarkets throughout the West following a successful debut in the Eastern U.S. in 2019.
To appeal to a spectrum of salad lovers, Dole is offering four flavor varieties with meat protein and two varieties without – the same classic and regional recipes that have performed well in the East.
“The ready-to-eat salad market is expanding as Americans increasingly want a fresh salad experience that is flavorful and convenient, and delivers a satisfying meal,” said Lisa Overman, Dole’s director of brand marketing for North America.
The six single-serve Dole® FreshTakes™ Salad Bowls started shipping to retail nationwide on May 19 with a suggested retail price of $3.99.
- Dole® Classic Chicken Caesar FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Romaine lettuce topped with white-meat chicken, Parmesan cheese and Dole’s Own Caesar Dressing.
- Dole® Santa Fé Style FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Romaine lettuce topped with chili lime-seasoned white-meat chicken, fire-roasted corn, four-Mexican cheese blend and Dole’s Own Taco Ranch Dressing.
- Dole® Turkey & Bacon Country Cobb FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Iceberg and Romaine lettuces topped with turkey breast, hard-cooked eggs, uncured bacon pieces and Dole’s Own Blue Cheese Dressing.
- Dole® Café Style Chef FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Iceberg and Romaine lettuces topped with uncured ham, seasoned turkey breast strips, cheddar cheese and Dole’s Own Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.
- Dole® Savory Spinach Dijon FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Spinach topped with hard-cooked eggs, Monterey jack and Colby cheddar cheese blend, wonton strips, almonds, cranberries and Dole’s Own Sweet Onion Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing.
- Dole® Cranberry & Candied Walnut FreshTakes™ Salad Bowl: Dole® Spring Mix blend topped with feta cheese, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, flatbread sticks and Dole’s Own Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing.
According to Overman, the FreshTakes™ line was developed and timed specifically by Dole’s product innovation team to offer salad users distinct, discernible advantages over existing RTE salad bowls on the market.
“While Dole may not be the first to offer ready-to-eat salads, our intention is always to provide salad lovers with a full-flavored salad that delivers quality ingredients and differences they can see, taste and appreciate,” she said. “For FreshTakes™, this means a short list of clean-label ingredients you can pronounce without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also means flavorful, white-meat chicken, plus Dole’s toppings and signature dressings to create a balance of flavors and textures that deliver truly ‘craveable’ salads.”
Beyond the six single-serve core salad bowls, Dole announced plans to extend the national FreshTakes™ line later this year with the introduction of new flavors that bring even more variety to the
New variety of salad greens out now: Tuscan™ Tender Leaves
Church Brothers Farms is celebrating National Salad Month with the release of a new variety of salad greens called Tuscan™ Tender Leaves.
Tuscan™ Tender Leaves are a blend of European style lettuces, including oaks and tangos and lolarossa; providing a salad mix that is pleasing to the eye as well as the palate.
“We are growing and blending this new mix of lettuce leaves to provide more benefits and value to end users,” said Rick Russo, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “This is a superior product to traditional spring mix; we established this new mix after extensive reviews with multiple seed companies and seed trials. We selected the best varieties based on shape, color, and taste.”
Unlike baby lettuces, Tuscan Tender Leaves are grown to full maturity, providing a sturdy leaf structure and strong shelf life. The crop is mechanically harvested, requiring less labor. Once the leaves are harvested, they are blended together, triple washed, packed, and shipped to their final destination.
When plated, Tuscan™ Tender Leaves has a higher loft than spring mix, creating higher portion yields and more servings per pound than spring mix. The flavor is sweet (no bitter varieties are used); and has more body, crunch and texture than baby leaves.
“Tuscan™ Tender Leaves look like an unprocessed mix that could be found at a farmers market,” Russo said. “Our tests show that these particular leaves hold up to hot proteins and dressings, which significantly cuts back on kitchen prep time in banquet/catering applications, and gives any salad a fuller plate appearance.”
Church Brother Farms is harvesting and shipping Tuscan™ Tender Leaves now to customers nationwide.
For more information:
Church Brother Farms
Tel: +1 (831) 796-2439
New salad kits to feature flavors from around the world
Eat Smart, the plant-centered, chef-inspired, 100% clean, fresh salad kit company, and a Curation Foods brand, continues to show consumers that the foods they should eat can also be the foods they want to eat. Eat Smart’s two new salad kit lines make their debut in May in celebration of National Salad Month.
Everyday Favorites™ will initially roll out in the U.S. in Kroger stores and Flavors of the World™ will appear on shelves in Canada exclusively at Sobeys IGA in Quebec with Sobeys Safeway and other Sobeys banners to roll out this summer. “The commitment of Kroger and Sobeys to innovation and velocity in the Bagged Salad Kit Category makes them ideal launch partners for the Eat Smart brand,” emphasizes Jenny Stornetta, Marketing Director at Curation Foods.
“Our Everyday Favorites™ combines the greens that consumers love with the delicious and familiar flavors that excite them such as lime, avocado, and ranch,” explains Stornetta. The Everyday Favorites™ exclusive sku's at Kroger includes the Avocado Crunch and Homestyle Ranch flavors. “We are excited to collaborate with the Eat Smart Innovation Team and the Kroger Culinary Team to develop these great flavor combinations that we know our customers will love,” comments Erin Rykhus, Fresh Produce Category Manager for Kroger.
Flavors of the World™ includes exciting flavors from around the globe. Francis Bérubé, Director of Produce and Floral for Sobeys Quebec describes the motivation for the partnership. “The key to Curation Foods’ success is its constant innovation and above all, product differentiation in a highly competitive market. The Flavors of the World™ salads are well aligned to this premise.” Flavors of the World™ spans three countries of culinary influence: Thailand: Thai Style Chile Mango; China: Asian Sesame; and Mexico: Chile Lime Crunch and Mexican Fiesta. Plans to roll out Flavors of the World™ in the U.S. are in the works for 2020.
#ShareYourSalad is the Eat Smart consumer sweepstakes that focuses on the fun and versatility of salads and encourages consumers to be creative at home with their healthy eating choices.
“We wanted to give salad lovers a platform to share their own unique and favorite ways to create and enjoy salads,” declares Stornetta. “We are asking consumers to enter as many different creations as they like. All they have to do is prepare their salad and post it to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter tagging Eat Smart @eatsmartveggies and use #ShareYourSalad in their caption. Complete instructions on how to enter the sweepstakes can be found here. Nine participants will receive free Eat Smart salads, and one grand prize winner will be selected to win a grand prize of one free month's worth of Eat Smart Salads. Consumers may enter as many different creations as they like before the Sweepstakes closes on 5/31/20 at 11:59PM PST.
Series of salad recalls in Australia due to Salmonella
In Western Australia, a number of salad products have been recalled because of Salmonella contamination. These recalls involve the Loose Leaf Lettuce Co., Supreme Salads, Fresh Frontier and Quality Produce International. There have been no reports of illness associated with the products.
The Loose Leaf Lettuce Co. recalled Asian Salad Mix and Special Salad Mix 200-gram with best-before dates from March 21 to 28 due to microbial contamination. They were sold at various independent retailers and IGA stores in Western Australia.
During routine testing the Special Salad Mix was found to be positive for Salmonella, according to a company statement.
“As a precaution, we are recalling all Special Salad Mix and products with any of the same ingredients (Asian Salad Mix, Tatsoi, Mizuna and Swiss Chard) with a best before date between March 21 and 28 inclusive. Please return any of this product to your place of purchase for a refund. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused, and we want to reassure you that we are taking all actions to ensure our food is safe. All our other product lines are unaffected.”
Quality Produce International recalled Asian Vegetable Mix 500-gram, Lettuce Mizuna 500-gram, Prepack Asian Mix 200-gram, Special Mix 1 kilogram, Special Mix 200-gram, Swiss Chard 500-gram and Tatsoi Baby 500-gram Loose Leaf Lettuce Company products.
Fresh Frontier salad recall
Fresh Frontier recalled Foodies Choice Gourmet Greek Salad with Quinoa and Kale with use by dates of March 23, 24 and 25 that was sold at IGA, Farmer Jacks, Gilberts Fresh, Rawsters, and SUPA IGA in Western Australia.
A statement from Supreme Salads said due to a supplier notifying them of a contamination problem with supplied salad mix, the firm decided to recall all products as a precaution.
Dole releases one new Chopped! and two new Premium salad kits
Dole is extending its offerings with one new Chopped! and two new Premium salad kits that provide salad lovers innovative new salad ingredients and flavor combinations.
Each of the three new kits comes complete with Dole lettuces, toppings and an original dressing allowing customers to simply toss and enjoy. They arrive in supermarkets nationwide in June for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $3.99.
- DOLE® Sweet Kale Salad Kit (Premium Kit Category): DOLE®Green Cabbage, Kale, shredded Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Radicchio topped with pepitas, dried cranberries and Dole’s Poppy Seed Dressing.
- DOLE® Blueberry Bliss Salad Kit (Premium Kit Category): DOLE®Spinach, Baby Red Chard and Carrots topped with almonds, dried blueberries and Dole’s Blueberry Lemon Dressing.
- DOLE® Chopped! Avocado Ranch Salad Kit (Chopped! Kit Category): Chopped DOLE®Cabbages, Green Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Carrots and Green Onions topped with shredded cheddar cheese, crispy corn and Dole’s Avocado Ranch Dressing.
"Dole is committed to giving salad fans more reasons to eat more salads as part of our larger mission of motivating families toward healthier living and a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Bill Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “That means offering bold new flavors and ingredients like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and blueberries that not only taste great but offer proven health and nutrient benefits.”
The three new kits join 66 other Dole salad varieties including the popular Chopped!, Slawesome! and Premium salad kit lines, salad mixes and slaws.
Latest Harvest to Home comprehensive review: Fresh salad
Harvest to Home is an interactive online dashboard that provides users with up-to-date retail information and consumer trend data on a range of vegetable commodities on a single platform.
All of the data is provided by Nielsen, which collates it through a home scan service, that surveys around 10,000 Australian households.
The latest Harvest to Home comprehensive review available on fresh salad — including loose leaf, packaged and kit salad — found that supermarkets accounted for 85 per cent of all fresh salad sales.
The research found that wastage and shelf-life issues were the main barriers to purchase for existing and non-fresh salad buyers.
To read the report click here.
Italy: Undisputed leader of mixed salad sector
Mixed salads are composed of different types of salads cultivated in greenhouses. Currently, Italy has no competitors thanks to its type of production, climate and soil composition. During the winter period, Southern Italy becomes the sole supplier for the whole of Europe.
For this reason, rather than being affected by foreign competition, this segment has to deal with "neighbour greenhouses."
In order to understand more about the dynamics of the segment, this was explained by "La Linea Verde", one of the main players in the salad industry and owner of the lion's share of "Ortomad", which specialises in lettuce and baby leaf. The group supplies foreign markets with packed unwashed and fresh-cut salads.
"Almost 50% of the produce is loose or packed baby leaf, although we normally sell the loose produce which is then mixed and packed by final buyers. Only less than 10% of the produce is packed by us."
What is a mixed salad made of
"Typically, they are made of red and green lettuce, spinach, rocket and corn salad baby leaf. We also use other varieties like Red Chard and Bull's blood and we have introduced a new mix with eight ingredients, i.e. green and red lettuce, rocket, Red Chard, Mizuna tatsoi, Red Jand and Bull's blood."
Two Dimmidisì ready-to-eat mixed salads: left, Mix Orientale (110 g),right, Dolce Vitamino (140 g, for the Russian market).
Some markets prefer different types of salad, as for example the UK tend to prefer "bigger and tougher leaves, which though in Italy are considered premium. Some suppliers, like Spain, are now interested in this sector, although they do not have our experience."
"All of our products reach our processing plants in refrigerated containers because we start the cold chain on the fields."
"In addition, our packed unwashed produce is hardly manipulated, except for a simple portioning to make it easy to manage and distribute. There is no use-by-date according to European and Italian laws but we do state that there is a 12 day minimum durability term upon request (the produce must be refrigerated)."
Unwashed Ortomad mixed salads are destined to retailers, wholesalers and the processing industry in Northern and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Loose produce yet to be mixed.
"We do not always know where our produce ends up as we use intermediaries and brokers. For example, we do not know how much of our produce reaches the Netherlands. We do supply directly to Russia and Belgium though. We are also available in the main Polish retail chain."
As regards the approach of foreign markets, the Italian specialists says that there are quite some differences between Russia and Poland and the other Eastern European markets as the former are more organised and professional and require high quality and experience, whereas the latter only work through intermediaries and are not as organised." Italy is doing well at an international level and the business trend is becoming increasingly better.
The domestic fresh-cut market processes 450 million bags, 220 million of which are just plain salad. Mixed salads represent 55 million bags for €80 million. "Prices per kilo, are lower than 2013 though (-2.5%)."