Crown Jewels' Atomic Torosion Talks Chilean Grapes and the Upcoming Mexico Season
- by Jordan Okumura
FRESNO, CA - With February underway and the first part of the year already flying by, weather is continuing to keep the produce game on its toes. And as Crown Jewel’s Partner, Atomic Torosion, tells me, the company is working with retail partners to bring much needed grape supplies to U.S. consumers as the industry works to get Chilean supplies back on track.
Currently shipping Chilean grapes to the West Coast (Long Beach) until early April, the company is looking to bring supplies to the retail community leading up to Crown Jewels’ Mexico grape deal kicking off in late April.
For the next few weeks the company will be shipping Flames, Sugraones, Thompson Seedless, and Crimson varieties. The Chilean season has been a challenge this year with El Niño throwing a curveball to many growers in the region, with untimely rains earlier in the harvest season. With these noted challenges during this Chilean season, I asked Atomic how quality and flavor were faring.
“The sugar brix should be good as the weather starts to warm back up and dry out. We need to keep and eye on the quality as we go and hopefully the weather cooperates,” Atomic tells me. “We work closely with our quality assurance team to ensure the best product gets to retail partners. The grape category continues to grow each and every year, driven by quality, flavor, convenience, health benefits, and new grape varieties.”
Grapes from Chile help to support Crown Jewels’ U.S. and Mexico grape operations. The company finished shipping grapes from California in late December before transitioning into the Chilean deal. The company will then go back to Mexican grapes starting in late April and finishing the first of July when the Central California deal starts up again.
“We are going full speed again until January. This keeps us in the grape deal almost 12 months of the year making it a smoother transition for our customer base,” Atomic says.
After celebrating Crown Jewels’ 25th Anniversary this past season, the company is growing as a diversified grower, packer, shipper, "with some of the best grower partners in the industry for fresh fruits and vegetables," he adds. Crown Jewels is also continuing to evolve its year-round supplies of many important produce items for the discriminating retailer, foodservice and wholesaler customers.
“We are already working on our next 25-year plan,” Atomic says. “It has been amazing to be a part of this company’s growth and vision.”
As grape demand continues to grow and Mother Nature decides her next pitch, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for additional updates.