Jordan Okumura's United Fresh 2016 Picks

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Wed. June 29th, 2016 - by Jordan Okumura-Wright

CHICAGO, IL- We are definitely in the thick of show season and with this time of year surfaces some amazing and innovative new products both stunning to the eye and to the palate. United Fresh 2016 in Chicago, Illinois, featured 250-plus exhibitors which presented great opportunities to build relationships, make new ones… and to see some of the best products that the industry has to offer. Here are just a handful of the many products that caught my eye at the 2016 show.

Taylor Farms ® Chef Crafted Salad Blends

It seems that more and more, I’ve been noticing how food artistry is emerging in both the flavor combinations of a product and the aesthetics of new packaging. Taylor Farms’ new Chef Crafted salad line was one of those items that truly stood out to me this year. This line includes six distinctive, restaurant-inspired salad combinations of leafy greens, fresh herbs, crisp vegetables and fruit packaged together in trays that include the company’s patented technology. Try the Kale & Beet, Snappy Spinach, Summer Love, Apples and Greens, Greens and Sunshine, or Southwestern Crunch – choose one to fit your fancy.

Pure Flavor Cloud 9 Packaging

The new high-flavor Cloud 9 snacking tomato may be what tantalizes your taste buds, but it was the packaging that also caught my attention. This new packaging is an all-compostable recyclable paper tray made from tomato plants combining sustainability, flavor, and innovation in an eye-catching presentation. Like Herb-Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes? You can find that recipe on the box as well.

Stemilt’s Exclusive Skylar Rae® Cherries

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try these straight from Stemilt itself in Wenatchee, Washington, and wow – what an impression. These new bi-colored, exclusive Skylar Rae® cherries present brix levels ranging from 23-25 on average, and a firm, unique, crunchy firmness. This variety will also be catching the eye of consumers in produce aisles during its limited-time run, in a new dome clamshell that features a high-gloss, metallic label.

NatureSweet® Constellation™

What I truly appreciate about this variety pack is its attention to usage and serving size, with four different tomato varieties that are tailored to a range of eating experiences and palates. This predetermined medley is a mix of the company’s SunBursts™ and Glorys® varieties, as well as its new chocolate grape tomato, and an orange grape tomato. The different sizes and flavors make it a great combo for addressing your sandwich, salad, cooking and snacking needs.

Fox Solutions’ Newtec QC90-2 In-Line Check Weigher


Walking down a United Fresh show floor aisle last week, this bustling beauty caught my eye. The highly accurate in-line weighing system offers visual and electronic inspection with automatic weight requirements validation, loose item detection and handling, product separation with quick and reliable quality vision control for loose objects… just a few perks on top of its graphical touch screen that links to Newtec web services. Not to mention it processes 90 units per minute. As for its sleek form and multiple configuration options – this was a refreshing piece of machinery to wrap my mind around.

If you missed part one and two of our series, check out Melissa De Leon's picks by clicking here as well as and Jessica Donnel's favorites from the event by clicking here! Hope you all had a great show and see you at the next event!  

United Fresh Taylor Farms Stemilt Pure Flavor NatureSweet Fox Solutions