Viva Fresh Gateway to Innovation Awards: The Products, Packaging, and Innovators, Part 2
- by Jordan Okumura
SAN ANTONIO, TX - This year’s Viva Fresh Produce Expo marked the inaugural year for the Gateway to Innovation Awards, a program honoring excellence in technology, packaging design, new product development, food safety, machinery, and software and celebrating the spirit of innovation that propels our industry forward.
In Part 2 of this 2 Part series, we take a look at another group of deserving award winners, highlight their product innovations, and celebrate those companies whose hard work and determination made chairing the program’s committee such an honor for me.
Mucci Farms - Most Innovative Vegetable Packaging or POS Solution: Veggies To Go™ and Most Innovative Technology Application or Software: Mucci International Logistics
“Our team was very excited to receive the news that we were winners in both of the categories that we submitted entries,” Emily Murracas, Marketing Manager, Mucci Farms, says. “Our Veggies to GoTM award confirms that this product is an all around WINNER—healthy, convenient, and variety all packed into one package. The vision for this product and package was to promote healthy eating in the snacking category for kids while making it easier for parents. The continued recognition confirms our goal has been achieved. The Mucci International Logistics App raises the bar in fresh produce by creating a direct line of communication between the Mucci Logistics Driver and our retail partners. It increases shipping efficiency and transparency through GPS tracking. The app is a very new venture and our team looks forward to working with it. We are proud of our team and all our Partners in Produce.”
Still in its early stages, the Mucci Logistics App permits fluid communication between the Mucci Farms logistics team, the retailer, and the truck driver, which in turn elevates supply chain efficiency and food safety, according to the company. Veggies to Go features a 9-ounce triple compartment tray that can hold three different commodities and offers EZ Snap packaging that allows each compartment to be separated, offering on-the-go snacking ease.
Wonderful Citrus - Most Innovative Fruit Packaging or POS Solution: Halos Tree and Tractor Display
“We are honored to have received the Viva Fresh Award for ‘Most Innovative Fruit Packaging or POS Solution.’ Our Halos Grove of Goodness displays has been our biggest POS program ever and has delivered a 2.5x lift in velocity growth in participating stores,” says Adam Cooper, VP of Marketing, The Wonderful Company. “Wonderful Halos is always aiming to make in-store shopping more fun and interactive with engaging displays, and our grove-to-store tractor and grove tree really brought to life the process of delivering fresh mandarins directly from farm-to-table.”
The Wonderful Citrus Halos grove-to-store tractor, brings to life the process of delivering fresh Halos directly from farm-to-table as a merchandising tool promoting the messaging “Grove of Goodness.” The campaign intends to present the customer the feeling of produce arriving fresh from the field to the store. Also a part of the “Grove of Goodness” program messaging is the the Halos tree which sits in a bin resembling the bins fruit is picked into, out in the field, according to the company. The bins hold the bags of fruit and acts as its own produce stand, bring to life the fruit being picked from the tree.
Cabefruit Produce LLC - Most Innovative Fruit Product: Marvelous Jackfruit as Meat Substitute
“It came with great surprise for all of us at Cabello Group to arrive at the location where the Viva Fresh would be held and discover that our Marvelous Jackfruit as a Meat Substitute had won as the most innovative product of 2018,” Vicky Cabello, Chief Operating Officer, shares. “It’s a great honor for all of us at Cabello Group since we have gone through an arduous investigation related to the packaging process as well as marketing to make sure we have the best to offer. Marvelous Jackfruit is very versatile since it easily acquires the flavor of any of your favorite dishes as well as providing the texture of meat which adds to the experience. Jackfruit is grown year-round in our family farms with the guarantee that you are consuming a product that is 100% natural and is part of a process that is friendly to the environment."
Marvelous Jackfruit is a 100 percent natural product created with a dehydration process which is friendly to the environment, according to the company. The process is free of any combustion or gas emissions. Due to the company’s use of European technology, the Jackfruit regains its natural form once it is hydrated. This process provides long shelf-life and is very easy and versatile food for consumers to cook, across many different meal applications.
Once again, congratulations to these inaugural Viva Fresh Gateway to Innovation Awards deserving winners. And I can't wait to see what the industry brings to Texas for 2019!