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Melissa's Picks: PMA Fresh Summit 2017

It seemed like the entire industry unveiled their proudest work of the year for the latest PMA Fresh Summit. Between the New Orleans backdrop, the latest in trends, and an onslaught of innovative flavors, my senses were in heaven—it seemed impossible to choose what resonated most. Yet somehow, here are some that echoed once my feet landed back in California.


Zespri® Green Back To School Pack

The kiwifruit was an ideal breakfast when I let sleep get in the way of a well-rounded start to my day in junior high school and beyond. Now, kids can take their kiwis along for the ride in a safe pouch of Zespri’s Back-to-School Pack. With cute, kid-friendly characters laughing on the cover, this is sure to make it off the shelf and into lunchboxes.



Babé Farms CaliCabbage

As Babé Farms likes to say, “It’s time to enter the Cabb-Age!” and I am on board with this cone-shaped green. CaliCabbage gives a new lease on what otherwise might have just been another leafy green. Now, with an authentic single-pack that could easily stand out on the rack, this item can spur consumer imaginations of all the cabbage-wrapped possibilities they’ve been missing out on for lack of a cylindrical vehicle. I’ve seen consumers statistically continue to lean towards impulse buys and standout brands, and this snazzy tagline is sure to make its mark.




Monterey Mushrooms® Let’s Blend™ Line

It’s safe to say convenience is all the rage in produce retail, as is the ability to swap in some or most of traditional meats for a plant-based substitute. Monterey Mushrooms’ new line of finely-diced mushrooms not only brings the blending trend from restaurant plates to consumer kitchens, it spares fingers from the possible damage consumers might inflict attempting that “perfect chef’s cut.” If you didn’t get a chance to stop by on the floor, you might want to check the retail aisles ASAP.




Pero Family Farms New Fresh-Cut Organic Side Dishes

From a firsthand perspective, I can’t say enough how much of a leg-up convenience can give. And this is coming from someone without children running around in the background of their dinner preparation. Amplify that by multiple mouths to feed, and every second truly counts. Offering both cauliflower and a vegetable medley, Pero Family Farms is one of the curve leaders to take this beyond the mushroom category.




Tasteful Selections Take & Shake

We all love a good shake-up. In this case, a flavorful potato cup mix that you can shake to your heart’s desire. RPE’s most recent introduction, Black Pepper, Rosemary & Thyme, not only meets the consistent need for on-the-go packaging, but even caters to the gluten-free consumer. Oh, Take & Shake, the places you will go...