No ordinary apple.

Fresh to the Core

Fresh to the Core


tepping into the produce aisle feels like home.

I do the bulk of my shopping in the perimeter departments of a local Safeway store, starting in specialty and ending in produce. For the most part, I stick to the tried and true products I buy every trip, but usually add a few new items to my cart as well.

Working in the trade has made me hyper-aware of the merchandising tactics deployed within the grocery store. Recipe inspiration can be found everywhere I turn. I like to think it has made me into the ideal consumer for retailers—one who loves some beautifully packaged fresh produce.

Sometimes those experiments translate to repeat purchases, and my heart is easily captured by products that marry quality, flavor, and functionality.

Enter EarthFresh.

Not only has the supplier mastered the art of value-added potatoes, but it has made its foray into other vegetables as of April 2023. At the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) Convention and Trade Show earlier this spring, EarthFresh introduced an exciting expansion to its Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. line: microwavable steamer bags.

I had the pleasure of writing an Up Close feature in our November 2022 issue shortly after EarthFresh initially launched the line, comprising three flavored potato kits in oven/grill-ready trays. Now, the brand is introducing six flavors of potatoes, four flavors of Brussels sprouts, and four flavors of carrots in microwavable bags.

“We are thrilled to debut our new value-added line of fresh vegetables,” Jessica Hughes, Director of Innovations, told me. “Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. will provide customers with an amazing taste experience while focusing on freshness, health, and convenience. It features a microwaveable bag that holds fresh vegetables in the bottom and a fresh sauce in the top of the package.”

How do you make a product pop while it sits next to the wide array of offerings that occupy the produce department? If you are EarthFresh, you take that challenge literally.

All consumers must do is heat the bag in the microwave for 3–6 minutes, depending on the vegetable. The vegetables will steam in the bottom of the bag, and the sauce will heat separately in the top until it reaches the proper temperature, at which point it will “pop” open and coat the vegetables.

“It is as simple as it sounds—a one-step fresh veggie dish made in minutes! All of our sauces are made with fresh, clean ingredients, and are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free,” Jessica added.

Quality, flavor, and functionality. What more could a consumer ask for? And at the core of it all—in the middle of the product’s name, in fact—is fresh. Of course, this is a key differentiator for a consumer like myself. While I am looking to liven up my menu with new flavors in a convenient package, I am also aiming to benefit my health.

EarthFresh’s new products deliver on all those demands, making for a produce department full of happy shoppers. And trust me, they will come running when they see these beautifully colored bags in the veggie set.

“Our Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. packaging and promotional materials are all designed to pop off the shelf! By using a simple design in a rainbow of bright colors, we have created a fun, fresh vibe that will attract consumers,” Jessica agreed.

Not only did the team narrow in on the outside of the package, but it applied cutting-edge technology to make the functionality of the products truly stand out from the rest.

"Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. will provide customers with an amazing taste experience while focusing on freshness, health, and convenience."

Jessica Hughes, Director of Innovations, EarthFresh

“Our microwavable bag is one of a kind,” Jessica continued. “This innovative patent-pending design is truly unique. Combining this breakthrough technology with high quality, healthy flavors, and the finest fresh vegetables ensures there will be nothing else like it.”

Behind every great innovation is a team of experts combining their knowledge to create something never seen before. The research and development team at EarthFresh brought every consumer demand into consideration.

“The name says it all: Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. Our innovation team, composed of industry professionals, packaging specialists, and food scientists, set out to develop a product that offers a fresh, tasty, healthy experience to time-starved consumers,” Jessica explained. “Nothing but the best would satisfy our team.”

And the line has done more than just satisfy the EarthFresh team.

“So far, we have received rave reviews from anyone who has tried the Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. products,” she stated. “When we debuted the new line at CPMA in April, everyone was excited about the official launch. In-store trials will begin in July, with launch dates starting in September 2023.”

Fourteen different offerings are quite the additions to make to such a successful lineup, especially when many of those are new categories. Of course, EarthFresh is not one to stop innovating. I was delighted to learn that it plans to release additional flavors in the future.

“We will extend the line even further to continue meeting the growing consumer demand for healthy, flavorful, and convenient fresh produce,” Jessica remarked.

I began this story in the produce aisle, so I will end it there as well.

In the future, I will pay closer attention to the value-added vegetable selection. And, if I spot the Fast. Fresh. Gourmet. line on the shelf, it will be the first thing I add to my cart.

Isn’t it amazing how a fantastic product and careful retail placement can secure a purchase? I am one consumer who is happy to be influenced by such a strategy. I think yours will be too. 

Fresh to the Core