Mastronardi Produce® Peppe Bonfiglio Talks New Umami Bombs® and More
LEAMINGTON, ON - Salty, sweet, bitter, sour. Words that are easily recognized and which bring the very nature of their tastes to the tongue.
And then there is umami.
“Umami is that elusive fifth taste. It’s no coincidence that our fifth Bomb is named after this fifth flavor,” Peppe Bonfiglio, Vice President of Sales of Mastronardi Produce®, said as he introduced me to the recently launched Umami Bomb at last month’s CPMA trade show in Toronto, Ontario. “It’s a sweet-savory flavor profile with a unique red hue.”
As someone who has been pursuing the definition of umami for a while, I admire the story of the new addition as well as its striking appearance.
“We have been chasing this variety for many years, searching to find the right tomato,” Peppe shared. “It’s a flavor offering we have had in the tomato sector, but not in the snacking sector specifically. As both a snacking tomato and offered on the vine, two points which are growing rapidly on their own, the Umami Bomb will definitely add further success to what we’ve already seen in the rest of the Bomb line.”
Umami joins the prestigious Flavor Bombs®, Sugar Bombs®, Honey Bombs™, and Lolli Bombs™, completing a flavor circle in the on-the-vine snacking tomato segment.
“Growing on the vine is always a little more difficult, but it’s something consumers want and have proven with their spending. They love the romance of the vine,” Peppe smiled.
The flavor circle of the Bomb family was not the only loop Umami closed, as Mastronardi was also showcasing a number of snacking sensations, including Frooties™ Blueberries, Angel Sweet® Snacking Cup, LolliPeppers™ Mini Peppers, and the newly awarded Best Organic Product for CPMA 2023 Queen of Greens® Organic lettuce.
“We don’t innovate just in the new products we offer, but also in packaging, which can be seen in our Frooties Blueberries and Angel Sweet Snacking Cups. These join the high-demand snacking segment, providing convenience both for retail displays and consumer access,” Peppe pointed out.
But the most convenient can be found in the LolliPeppers.
“LolliPeppers Mini Peppers are naturally seedless, which we think is going to be the next big thing in the pepper category, specifically mini peppers,” Peppe explained. “Once more varietals are available, I think you’ll see the entire segment transform. We are the first to introduce a seedless option to this area of the category, which is so new it’s challenging to even maintain supply. So it is an exciting time for this as well.”
While that limited availability means Lollipeppers are currently only offered in red, Peppe assured me the buy-side will have all three colors come fall.
Peppers, berries, tomatoes, greens…what ties it all together? If you know Mastronardi Produce, you know the answer.
“A lot of this is our focus on flavor. It is central to a lot of the snacking items we are innovating, followed by innovations in packaging with convenience in mind,” Peppe concluded. “We believe flavor equals repeat sales. Likewise, in terms of packaging, you only have one chance to draw them to that item. So we bring them in with the pack, and flavor keeps them coming back. That’s why our President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Mastronardi, travels the world looking for the best flavor we can offer.”
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