This year found us winging our team way across the country to the sultry streets of New Orleans. The booth setup went smoothly, all things considered, and we had the opportunity to try the renouned Café du Monde beignets before the opening day was (rather quickly) upon us. The show floor stretched out for over a mile with produce and floral industry members from across the globe gathering to see what new things will be available in the upcoming year. Our VP of Sales and Marketing, Dan Spain, described the feel of the event as having a "very positive energy from just about all of our customers. Most discussion revolved around having an excellent stone fruit year, along with a noticeable change in attitude from many new customers who are eating more fruits and vegetables; especially moms with kids!" Just what we like to hear - people building healthy eating habits at home; and not just making your kids eat more fruits and vegetables, but joining with them to change your family's eating habits.
We had many different things featured throughout the booth, from our in-store display options, to a double-sided 60 inch flat screen display of our 2013 Dinolicous Display contest entries, to samples of our Apple Pears and recipes utilizing our fruit, to pomegranates and upcoming fall pluot varieties that we are still developing in our test blocks - there were plenty of things to explore at our booth.
This year at our sample counter, we were slicing up our Hosui Apple Pears and serving them two ways: straight up or with a drizzle of caramel sauce. We also had our Summer Fruit Salsa, adapted for the fall by replacing the peaches & nectarines with Apple Pears. Around noon we would take the salsa and grill it into our Pluot Salsa Quesadillas - served with a side of Louisiana Hot Sauce - and these turned out to be a crowd favorite. In the late afternoon we sweetened up our offerings with our Dino Cones, a quick & easy snack option with flair.
New packaging options were also featured this year with the introduction of our convienent grab-n-go zippered pouch bags for smaller sizes of our Dinosaur Eggs and Apple Pears, and a new display bin shape for our Dinosaur and Flavor Farmer brands that allows store clerks to simply place the "Euro" sized box our fruit is shipped in directly onto the display.