What’s in a name? If you ask anyone from San Miguel Produce, they will tell you that if you are referring to an item like kale, it is more than you think. This past year, the company worked on a research grant in which the team examined the nutritional value of its products more thoroughly and with attention to the different cultivars within the kale family.
“Currently, all kale in the USDA database is just kale. We examined the differences in different varieties like red, green and lacinato kale, as well as different parts of the plants such as leaves versus stems, and also during different stages of growth as in immature versus mature,” Garrett Nishimori, Sales and Marketing Manager, tells me.
So what is San Miguel doing with the wealth of information they have received? In May 2016, the company will be launching a new product line, dubbed Juicing NuGreens.
“We have taken all the new information that we’ve learned from the grant and developed a new program. We are planning to release three blends that target specific health and lifestyle goals such as cardio, weight management, and immunity,” Garrett explains.
The Kale-icious Cardio blend targets calcium, potassium, and magnesium, all very important for cardiovascular health and performance, while Lean ‘N Green targets shortfall nutrients like folate, calcium, and potassium at low caloric levels to help support weight management. The third blend, Nutri-Kickin’ Greens, targets antioxidants like Vitamin C and beta-carotene to help boost the body’s immune system.
“Each blend includes kale and spinach. We found this to consistently be the go-to greens for consumers,” Garrett tells me. “We also listened to those incredibly avid juicers and, with the help of nutritional professionals and our research, we developed blends targeting specific nutrients to benefit these specific health goals.”
These blends will also include dark leafy greens like “Lacinato”, Tuscan Kale Beet Greens, Collard Greens Dandelion Greens, and Baby Shanghai Bok Choy.
As for the power of the name, it seems that NuGreens was a long time coming.
“The name NuGreens was the original name for Cut ‘N Clean Greens, when we started with the first ready-to-use cooking greens in 1995,” Garrett says. “We might have been a little early, but over the past several years, with all the focus on nutrient density and dark leafy greens, it seems like the perfect time to reinvent this brand name.”
The team at San Miguel often receives feedback from consumers who juice and make smoothies, that they buy a bag and end up throwing half of it away. Once they break the seal on a bag, they really only have a couple days to use the product.
To address this issue, San Miguel is planning to keep the pack size to a single-use smoothie or juicing recipe. That way, when a consumer goes to the store, they can buy a few bags for the week and it will stay fresh in their refrigerator until they choose to use it. Each bag will also have a delicious juicing and smoothie recipe designed for that specific health goal and to encourage use of complementary produce items.
So, why not drink your veggies? It’s just one more way we can increase produce consumption and the ring at the register.