Melissa's Picks for SEPC 2016

Wed. March 16th, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

HOLLYWOOD, FL - Beautiful Hollywood, Florida was the perfect setting for SEPC’s Produce in Paradise, and everyone felt the heat. My first Southern Exposure since entering the industry, and one that everyone was raving about, the location and festivities did not disappoint. But with such an intimate setting that encouraged many quality conversations, it’s understandable if you didn’t get around to all of the booths.

While alligator sausages, balloons, and hula dancers were definitely distracting, here are some of the items that held my attention:

Mann Packing’ New Culinary Cuts®

These latest launches, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Cauliettes®, and Broccoli Clovers, look exactly like a foodservice-geared item packaged for the family, which then hit me as completely sensible. As someone who loves to cook, but hates the preparation, I can only imagine what it must be like with more mouths to feed than just my own and the temptation to convenience this will bring consumer moms.

Duda Farm Fresh’s Ready to Snack

Are we seeing a trend? Convenience is hot, and Duda’s latest combo of on-the-go packaging and classic produce snacking favorites like celery sticks and peanut butter, as well as newer variations like different flavors of ranch, are perfect for kids, adults, and even seniors.

Yerecic Label’s BackFlip!™

Many packaging strategies include ideas on how to use or store produce in order to push it, but the clamshell (a popular way to package) can be difficult to do this with—until now. I loved Yerecic’s new BackFlip!™ label, which uses both the inside and the outside of the casing to really convey as much of a message as possible. On the outside is one message, and then you flip the lid- it’s like the surprise inside a wonder ball!

Frieda’s Purple Power Breakfast Bowl

If you were not several minutes early to the SEPC luncheon, you may have missed breakfast because there wasn't a seat left in the house. It turned out, however, that starting the show hungry was a blessing in disguise. Frieda’s Purple Power Breakfast Bowl was a delicious solution that made me grateful I hadn’t eaten before hand—not to mention seeing the booth sporting the latest, colorful re-brand that the company just launched last October, which blended with the show’s tropical theme perfectly.

It truly was an intimate, fun event that I was honored to be a part of, and can’t wait to see what is in store for Orlando next year! Keep checking in for more in depth coverage from the floor, coming soon.