New branding on popular lemon bags sets retailers up for sweet success

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Meyer Lemons and Seedless Lemons

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (October 2015) — With the domestic citrus season reaching its peak in the early winter months, Meyer Lemons and Seedless Lemons are perfect to brighten up holiday displays, and Frieda’s Specialty Produce’s new 1-pound bags are ready to attract shoppers and increase specialty sales at retail.

Part of Frieda’s overall brand refresh, the new specialty citrus bags have a playful and eye-catching design that welcomes shoppers to give the fruit a try. Featuring fun wordplay like “Don’t pucker up, we’re sweet” for Meyer Lemons, the package will attract curious shoppers who may not have tried these varieties.

“We see the demand for Meyer Lemons grow every year and we are excited to offer our popular lemon bag in our new branded look,” says Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s. “One of our retail clients recently switched over to the re-branded Meyer Lemons and saw an immediate increase in movement at the store level.”

“Shoppers are in love with Meyer Lemons—just search Twitter for the #MeyerLemon hashtag and you’ll see these sweeter lemons are quickly becoming the new holiday cooking staple,” adds Caplan. “It only makes sense to stock your produce departments according to this trend.”

Frieda’s 1-pound Seedless Lemon bag will also be ready to ship in early December. Seedless Lemons are ideal for holiday dishes and beverages because there’s no need to strain the seeds.

Interested retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors can contact Frieda’s for product information and high resolution images to assist with any marketing needs.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a 53-year legacy of inspiring new food experiences for friends, family, and food lovers everywhere. Credited with introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. supermarkets, Frieda’s has helped introduce unique items like Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, Sangria Artichokes, Habanero Peppers, Sunchokes®, and Organic Finger Limes. Founded in 1962 by produce industry icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is now owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in Orange County, California. Inspire. Taste. Love.

I remember 20 years ago when the FDA launched the “Nutrition Facts” label in its current version. I was in charge of packaging at my company and the thought of having to change all of our packaging to include Nutrition Facts panels, plus performing all the nutritional analysis to get accurate information, was a bit daunting. I remember thinking, “Why are they doing this? This is going to cost us a fortune and will consumers even read it, anyway?”

That was definitely 1990s thinking on my part. Over time, I realized that having nutrition panels on our packaged items was actually a positive point of differentiation. Today we are fastidious about including as much nutritional information as possible on our products and even include a nutritional analysis at the bottom of many of our recipes.

Fast forward to 2015. The FDA just closed its comment period for the proposed revisions to Nutrition Facts labeling. The agency is proposing some “big” changes:

Radical changes. Are you kidding me? I’m not even sure consumers will notice the difference between the “new” and old panel, except that it’s a bit easier to read.

Proposed_Standard_NFL_2.13.14
The FDA’s proposed new Nutrition Facts panel

The crazy thing is that many of the big Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies and trade associations are fighting the FDA on these changes, claiming it won’t help consumers. As I read Politico’s daily Morning Agriculture blog last Friday, I had to take a second glance. Really?

Admittedly I am probably oversimplifying the proposed FDA regulations, but I find it amazing that some organizations are still fighting a consumer’s right to know. It seems that Sam Kass, the former lead on food policy at the White House agrees with me. He told Politico this week that those trade groups don’t have legitimate arguments.

After all, it is 2015, and consumers expect truth in labeling. They should know that eating too much sugar is bad for their health, and they have every right to know what is contained in any food they buy. Consumers make the ultimate choice by purchasing or not purchasing.

And, of course, I have to mention that the same thing is going on in many states regarding the labeling or not labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Shoppers vote with their dollars and have the right to decide what they want to buy. Simple, truthful, and complete labeling is coming because consumers are demanding it.

For me personally, and for my family, it matters because many of us have food allergies. I cannot eat soy and neither can my daughter. I want to know what kind of oil is used in the salad dressings at restaurants. (Did you know that most ready-made dressings contain soy oil? I suppose it’s because soy oil is cost effective and keeps restaurants’ costs down.)

An easier-to-read label with more relevant information would be welcomed by me—and most consumers.

What do you think?

Karennutrition-facts

Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend eight days on vacation in Copenhagen, Denmark. The original purpose of my trip was to spend time with my youngest daughter Sophia and another family. But we ended up having a grand culinary adventure due to my good fortune of having foodie friends!

Well, I’m here to tell you that because of my many new tastes and sensory experiences, I would highly recommend an extended visit to Copenhagen to anyone who is open to explore and be surprised.

It started four months ago when the trip was booked. I immediately went online to secure dinner reservations at the number one restaurant in the world: Noma.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Noma - Copenhagen
With my friend Veronique outside of Noma

Have you heard of “New Nordic Cuisine”?  It was a movement initiated at Noma in 2004 by two chefs, Claus Meyer and René Redzepi. It took them 11 years to achieve this preeminent status.  To no one’s surprise, I had to put us on the waiting list for all seven days of of our trip for dinner and lunch, in hopes that we would secure a table. After many emails and phone calls during those four months of planning, two days before our trip we were told we had a lunch reservation on our second day in Copenhagen!

The 17-course lunch with wine pairings took place over a very fast four hours.  Here are a few photos of the most memorable courses. (Click on the picture to view full size.)

When we walked in, I was blown away when I found out that Noma’s team lead, Kat Bont, knew who I was, had gone to our company website and read my blog. And she made sure to be the one managing our table experience the entire afternoon.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Noma - Copenhagen
Kat Bont pouring us some bubbly – Noma

Of course, I asked if we could see the kitchen after our meal.  That was when I learned what makes Noma so special. In a restaurant that has about 15 tables, and only one seating for lunch and one seating for dinner, there are 70-80 chefs in that kitchen. Yes, that’s correct: 70-80 chefs! Some of them are from Denmark, but my sense is that most of them were from other parts of the world and came to Noma to be inspired. It also explained why a different chef came out to present each course he/she prepared. At first, I thought they were servers! What pride they each had in the preparation, the presentation, and the experience!

The second floor of the restaurant was entirely for the team of chefs.  During the time we toured, they were enjoying their attractive and deliciously prepared meal together—a “family meal” in restaurant talk—in a venue that was as beautiful and well-kept as the public restaurant below.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Noma - Copenhagen
Staff meal – Noma

After Noma, I was wondering how the balance of our culinary week would be. I am pleased to share that each of the other restaurants had equally well-prepared food that was original and inspiring. When you go to Copenhagen, I would recommend all of them:

Kokkeriet

(Pronounced Coke-eh-reet)

Proud of their well-deserved, one Michelin star rating, Kokkeriet owner Sammy Shafi was our sommelier for the evening. The most interesting course was the Tomato Juice Cocktail, “shaken not stirred,” served in martini glasses with a dash of dill oil. We also enjoyed the 2011 Montefalco Russo from Alfredosa, Umbria, Italy which is only served here at Kokkeriet and nowhere else in Denmark. And it was amazing!

Kanalen

(Canal in Danish)

In a building that sits on one of the main canals of Copenhagen, Kanalen has a small menu that featured mostly small dishes (tapas).  The fish was prepared perfectly and the use of fresh vegetables was inviting.

Geist

(Pronounced like geese with a T)

At Geist, I was introduced to a lifestyle concept, well known in Denmark: hygge (pronounced hooga). Translated, it mean “coziness.” In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family are hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table and discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world. The small dishes we ordered were flavorful and beautiful.  My two favorites were the roasted cauliflower with black truffle, and wafers of avocado with lightly salted Rossini caviar.

For those of you that wonder if I did anything but eat, here is a fun shot of a famous landmark inside Copenhagen: Christiania. It is an independent neighborhood inside Copenhagen that is well known for its hippy, artsy, free spiritedness…and open access to marijuana and other paraphernalia. It’s like a Burning Man village, really. There are no photographs allowed inside Christiania and it was a bit unnerving to see many inhabitants wearing masks to hide their identity.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Christiana - Copenhagen

I wonder where my next culinary adventure will be. Perhaps Colombia or Panama?

Velbekomme! (Bon Appetit!)

Karen

Learn innovative tactics from industry marketing leaders on October 23

BrightIdeas

ATLANTA, GA (October 2015) – Produce marketing innovators will share their insights during an industry panel on Friday, October 23, 2015, at 2:35 p.m. at PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

Titled “All Together Now: Innovative Marketing Tactics to Grow Sales,” the workshop features Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce; Ryan Shadrick Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer/General Counsel for Partnership for a Healthier America; and Bart Minor, President and CEO of the Mushroom Council. The panel will be moderated by Robert Verloop, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Naturipe Farms.

During the panel, Caplan will share lessons learned and a marketing success case study on one of Frieda’s top products. “I am looking forward to a lively discussion on marketing with my industry peers,” said Caplan. “The workshop will provide a well-rounded perspective on produce marketing for attendees – from industry-wide initiatives to commodity boards and foodservice, and to the supermarket retail channel.”

Caplan is a former board member of the PMA Retail Board, the PMA Foundation, past chair of United Fresh Produce Association, and founder of United Fresh Women in Produce. She was named 2004 Produce Person of the Year by The Packer and was the 2015 Women in Produce Honoree.

Caplan’s company is also unveiling its new brand at Fresh Summit Expo booth #2546.

Editor’s notes: Karen Caplan will be available for interviews at PMA Fresh Summit Expo Booth #2546 on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Contact news.bureau@friedas.com to schedule an appointment.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a 53-year legacy of inspiring new food experiences for friends, family, and food lovers everywhere. Credited with introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. supermarkets, Frieda’s has helped introduce unique items like Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, Sangria Artichokes, Habanero Peppers, Sunchokes®, and Organic Finger Limes. Founded in 1962 by produce industry icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is now owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

‘Fear No Fruit’ documentary featured at Carmel’s Women in Film event with sponsors Tanimura & Antle and Taylor Farms

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Fear No Fruit - Documentary

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (October 2015) – California agriculture gets the spotlight at the Carmel International Film Festival’s Women in Film event on Saturday, October 24, in Carmel, California. “Fear No Fruit,” the Frieda Caplan documentary, is an official selection of the festival and the focus of the Saturday event sponsored by Taylor Farms and Tanimura & Antle.

Women in Film celebrates women in the creative arts industries with a focus on nurturing the future women leaders of the film industry. It is also one of the fundraisers for the Carmel International Film Festival’s scholarship and awards program for young film and art students.

“We are proud to sponsor this program to show our support of the great women in the film industry as well as in our own industry—like Frieda Caplan,” said Tonya Antle, principal of Tanimura & Antle, based in Salinas, California. ‘Fear No Fruit’ gives the public a glimpse into the produce industry and helps raise awareness about some of the agricultural issues we are facing in California.”

Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms, added, “Sharing the story of a successful family produce business is so important to the future of our industry. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to help sponsor this event.”

While “Fear No Fruit” focuses on the life and career of produce icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, it also features interviews from other industry power players like Rick Antle of Tanimura & Antle, Dick Spezzano (formerly of Vons), The Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, and David Karp, The Fruit Detective. The storyline touches on California agriculture along with the state’s current water crisis and its impact beyond agriculture. Well-known California chefs Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Michael McCarty also appear in the film.

Carmel’s Women in Film program includes a luncheon at the La Playa Hotel, featuring local food and wine, and a panel discussion with Dr. Caplan and her daughter, Frieda’s COO and Vice President Jackie Caplan Wiggins. A screening of “Fear No Fruit” will follow at 3 p.m. at Sunset Center Studio 105 in Carmel-By-The-Sea. Tickets are available now.

“Fear No Fruit” is available on Hulu Plus, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Xbox Video, Vudu, and Vimeo on Demand.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a 53-year legacy of inspiring new food experiences for friends, family, and food lovers everywhere. Credited with introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. supermarkets, Frieda’s has helped introduce unique items like Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, Sangria Artichokes, Habanero Peppers, Sunchokes®, and Organic Finger Limes. Founded in 1962 by produce industry icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is now owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

Specialty produce brand gets a fresh new look geared toward millennial shoppers

Frieda's Specialty Produce

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (October 2015) – Frieda’s Specialty Produce is unveiling its new brand at the 2015 PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, at booth #2546. The launch includes a new logo and fresh visual identity for the 53-year-old specialty produce company, and showcases its brand new look and packaging on many of its products.

Working closely with Florida-based strategic branding consultants Edmundson Martin, Frieda’s conducted a consumer insights initiative, competitive analysis, and in-store reviews.

“We learned that Millennials crave new food experiences and favor brands that engage them, and we believe that our new brand connects with this generation of culinary enthusiasts in a more authentic way,” says Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “Our new brand has a fun, young vibe that appeals to Millennials without alienating Baby Boomers.

“Our company’s fun and quirky personality really shines through in our new look. It has a sense of humor and is very approachable, which helps with the unusual nature of many of our specialty fruits and vegetables,” says Caplan.

Frieda’s booth will also feature a sampling of produce-flavored craft beers to encourage visitors to stop by and have a look at the new brand.

“We’re really excited that our brand is positioned to grow the category, and to inspire new food experiences for friends, families, and new food lovers everywhere,” adds Caplan.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a 53-year legacy of inspiring new food experiences for friends, family, and food lovers everywhere. Credited with introducing more than 200 specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. supermarkets, Frieda’s has helped introduce unique items like Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, Sangria Artichokes, Habanero Peppers, Sunchokes®, and Organic Finger Limes. Founded in 1962 by produce industry icon Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is now owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

This is the sixth year that Frieda’s has hosted an intern from EARTH University in Costa Rica. (Remember Isaiah from last year?) Every third-year student from this amazing international university gets to spend four months interning at a company somewhere around the world as part of the university’s learning by doing philosophy.

Our intern this year is Rumbidzai Hove. Twenty-two-year-old Rumby — pronounced room-bee — is originally from Zimbabwe. She and her brother were raised by a single mom. Before Rumby moved to Costa Rica for her four-year college education, she attended the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - EARTH University Intern Rumby Hove

Rumby is quite determined to effect change in her home country. For example, while Zimbabwean young people may get an amazing education, the lack of jobs is discouraging and creates a non-motivating environment for them. Why bother if there are no jobs to be had anyway?

Now, Rumby is living with me for four months, so we get to have extensive conversations about all kinds of things.

When I came home earlier this week, I was surprised to find a Kiwano® Horned Melon sitting on the kitchen counter. I forgot that we’d had a mini-marketplace at our office that day to encourage all employees to take a few of our products home to try.

Rumby said, “Did you know those Horned Melons are native to Zimbabwe? They grow everywhere in my country and I love to eat them. They are actually my favorite fruit!”

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Kiwano - Horned Melon

Frankly, I was kind of surprised to hear that as I never thought these spiky orange things could be someone’s favorite fruit; everyone who sees them here in the USA always makes a face before asking, “Do you eat them or throw them at people?”

“So, how do you eat them, Rumby?”

“With salt.”

“Do you peel them or just scoop the insides?”

“Why would someone peel them? The skin is the best part!”

Frieda's Specialty Produce - How to eat a Kiwano Horned Melon

The look on my face must have been priceless as I have always told people to either peel the horned melons or scoop out the insides. I never knew the skin was edible!

It is so interesting to have an international student staying with you! At first you think that they are there for YOU to teach, coach, and mentor. I now know that the learning goes both ways.

Then Rumby reminded me that watermelons are also native to Zimbabwe. I wonder if they also eat the rind and salt them? I guess that will be our next conversation.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - Rumby and Karen

And now you know!

Karen

P.S. Our marketing team decided to put Rumby on Instagram to show us how it’s done!