Oser Communications Group

Produce Show Daily Oct. 17 2013 (PMA)

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 Produce Show Daily 100TH MONKEY MUSHROOM FARM CREATES KITS FOR THE HOME GROWER When the team at 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm started telling people that they could use the mushroom kits to create their own mushroom gardens at home, they couldn't believe it. A mushroom garden at home? Grow organic gourmet mushrooms all year round? Grow mushrooms just as easily on an urban balcony as on a rural farm? People were wild about the idea, and the word spread. Soon enough 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm was featured in Edible Austin, written up in the Austin American Statesman, included in the documentary How Mushrooms Can Save the Planet, and so on. From the hundreds of stories the Mushroom Farm team has heard from happy mushroom-growing fans and a tremendous amount of repeat business from loyal customers, it is clear to see that people love using the kits to grow mushrooms at home. One of the reasons for 100th Monkey Mushroom Farms' popularity is that the company offers a selection of mushroom kits so that there is a kit for everyone's tastes. For those who prefer to grow mushrooms on the kitchen counter with an easy, ready-to-grow kit, the Indoor Mushroom Kit includes everything needed to start growing delicious elm oyster mushrooms right away. What makes the Indoor Mushroom Kit unique is that people can use their spent kit to inoculate coffee grounds and create three more kits, and each of those kits can potentially produce three more kits. Because people can enjoy up to 13 kits from one Indoor Mushroom Kit, they recognize and appreciate the tremendous value in the products and quickly become loyal, DEL MONTE FRESH PRODUCE SPROUTS PREMIUM QUALITY PRODUCTS An interview with Dionysios (Dennis) Christou, Vice President of Marketing, North America, Del Monte Fresh Produce North America, Inc. equity with these groups lets us continue towards our goal to provide healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers everywhere. DC: We are currently focusing on reinforcing our brand preference with different demographic groups. Our target hasn't changed much over the years―women, 25-40, with families. However, it is important to recognize that the healthy-conscious eater is not only the mother, but also the children, the growing teen, the successful young adult, and the retiree. Expanding our brand DC: Del Monte Fresh Produce prides itself on providing consistently premium quality products. We have invested heavily in bringing new innovative products, including our very own Del Monte Gold[R] Extra Sweet Pineapple and MAG[R] Melon, as well as provide a large variety of fresh cut fruits and vegetables. Through vertical integration and excellent handling prac- RDN: Describe your company's current marketing strategy. Intercrate Container (Cont'd. from p. 1) JEJ: Yes. Reusable containers that really fit your operations can reduce your costs in a variety of ways. First, we have worked with machinery producers so that our totes fit their automation initiatives. For example, a major salad producer harvests salad directly into our AquaTote container in the field, brings it to the packing shed where the salad is washed in the totes, and then it goes into a sophisticated drying system and the totes emerge on the other side clean and dry without any direct handling of the salad. This needed a custom base for our container that drains faster than any other container, and is ultra strong to handle the g-force. PSD: Where do you go with an innovation like this? JEJ: We worked with HMI so that they could make an innovative, lower cost washing and drying system where they take advantage of the unique drainage and strength of our Aquatote base. Medium- RDN: What distinguishes your product(s) from the competition? sized fresh cut vegetable and salad companies can drive cost out of their system with this reasonably priced automation. When is a box just a box, and when can a specialized container make a significant difference? There is a always going to be a large place for the cheapest, most commoditized plastic box. Think milk cases, black RPCs, grape boxes from Chile and other mysterious black plastic boxes from far away. These containers will only ever be compared on cost, and not food grade certs, impact resistance and longevity, space saving, smooth surfaces, good ventilation, material and color choices. We sell containers that fit particular kinds of operations. We know they fit because the pioneering customer helped us design it for their needs. Examples include specialized containers for blueberry harvest and transport over distance, the ultimate toughest harvest tote for fresh-cut salad packers, an RPC specifically made for salad with metal detectable material and color choices, a container built for clean room environments for ready-to-eat repeat customers. And, for those who want to grow a personal mushroom garden, there are two options. First, the Mushroom Straw Garden Kit can be used indoors, outdoors, and year round to create an elm oyster mushroom garden in just about anything that holds straw: buckets, garden pots, laundry baskets, hanging baskets, burlap bags, cooking pots, strainers, and of course, garden beds – even in a pair of old sneakers. Gardeners also enjoy using shiitake Mushroom Log Kit to create an outdoor mushroom garden from hardwood logs or stumps. People love the idea of using wood from their yard to create a shiitake mushroom garden that requires a small amount of up-front work and virtually no maintenance afterwards. Although mushrooms grown on logs can take an average of six to eight months to start producing, tices, we are able to ensure our products are sold at their peak of freshness. RDN: Tell our readers about your trade show objectives, plans, products, promotions, etc. DC: Our fresh cut line is always a hot topic at trade shows. We take pride in showcasing our innovative products and packaging capabilities. NRA is the perfect show to really highlight our array of fresh cut items and provide both existing and potential customers with an insight to our customizable packaging options and ways that we can provide value to their business. RDN: To what do you attribute your company's success? DC: As an industry leader in innovation and quality, Del Monte Fresh Produce thrives in offering product solutions that fruit, and vine ripe tomato operations. We feel our containers represent great value to these operations, and we continue to develop new containers with a similar approach. We are currently working on a reusable pizza pack, a wine crate, and another approach to automating fresh-cut salad. We are always open to speaking with growers who feel they are not being offered a container that really works for them. PSD: Is a custom solution always more expensive? JEJ: No. Sometimes they cost more because they are heavier or use higher performance materials. A superior container that really fits the operations requirements and lasts for years is usually a good value. Sometimes a custom solution is cheaper. One example is our Cyclone. Spin dryers are quite common in the salad and vegetable industry. When they started, packers hand-drilled holes in foodgrade Rubbermaid garbage bins, and this 43 they continue to produce for years to come! That's a no brainer. 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm is proud to be the first mushroom farmers in the country to introduce to retail stores a variety of mushroom garden kits for people to grow mushrooms anywhere, anytime. The company's mission is to create mushroom kits that make gourmet mushrooms affordable and accessible to everyone. Although the Monkey Mushroom Farm team has taken a large step toward accomplishing this goal, it will continue to work on developing other kits to reach an even greater audience. So, stay tuned… and happy growing from the team at 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm! more information visit For www.100thMonkeyMushrooms.com, email info@100thMonkeyMushrooms.com or call 512-820-0001. address the needs of the industry and today's consumers in a sustainable manner. Del Monte Fresh also offers extensive category management accompanied with the best-in-class tools that help support foodservice operators as well as retailers towards success in their business. RDN: How can our readers find out more about your company? DC: We welcome readers to visit our corporate website, www.freshdelmonte.com as well as our consumer-focused website, www.fruits.com. Our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/delmontefreshproduce, is home to various promotions, giveaways, and fun and exciting information for our fans. For more information visit www .freshdelmonte.com, call 800-950-3683 or email Contact-US-Executive-Office @freshdelmonte.com. became a standard. They do break, and there are concerns about pieces of plastic going into finished product. We were asked to have a look at a solution tailored to this need. We worked with a major salad packer and with the producer of the machinery to get this right. The Cyclone has only one purpose and that is to be the right product for an HMI spin dryer. The 968 molded in holes, especially on the base, make it drain faster and shed moisture more effectively. All the problems and concerns and costs of hand drilling drain holes are gone, and we have improved ergonomics and use a metal detectable material. We are a nimble enough company to take on the non-commodity challenges. We genuinely enjoy the opportunity to innovate, and it's a good strategy for our company and our customers. Visit InterCrate at booth 963 during Fresh Summit. For more information, go online at www. intercratecontainer.com, call 800-931-8141 or email justin@inter cratecontainer.com.

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