I remember when Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. Magazine, turned 60. It was March of 1994, and I was 8 months pregnant with my second daughter. I recall how young Gloria looked to me.

One of Gloria’s most quoted lines was, “This is what 40 looks like,” in response to a reporter who told her she looked good, then 40.  Ten years later, she poked fun at herself with a “This is what 50 looks like” benefit party for Ms. Magazine, and then last year, was involved in a “This is what 80 looks like” benefit for the Shalom Center in Philadelphia.

Now 81, Gloria Steinem is still helping to redefine what age means.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet her last month at a luncheon, and I knew exactly what I was going to say. When I saw Gloria enter the room, I rushed up and shared my story with her. I recounted my memories of her turning 60 and her off-the-cuff comment to the reporter in her 40s.

…Because last month, I turned 60. Wow. I said it publicly. It was kind of hard at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. I told Gloria that she was my inspiration for turning 60. Breaking new ground. Looking and feeling younger than when our parents turned 60.

Each year as I celebrate my birthday, I reflect on the year I just completed, then look forward. Honestly, turning 60 has been the hardest and most insightful birthday. I’ve had a few revelations and lessons that I want to share:

So, as you make another trip around the sun this year, I hope you will reflect as I have. It’s kind of fun.

And this is what 60, 81, and 92 look like! Pretty impressive I would say.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's On Karen's Plate - Gloria Steinem
Me at 60, Gloria Steinem at 81 and my mother, Frieda, at 92.

Karen

Bright color and clear signage will attract shoppers and make sales

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Buddha's Hand

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (November 2015) — During the winter months, shoppers are looking for citrus fruits to boost their immune systems and brighten up their meals. Take advantage of winter specialty citrus to give your shoppers more variety and liven up your produce department.

Citrus’ bright color and fragrance will attract shoppers initially, but proper signage is crucial in getting shoppers to put those fruits in the basket. Shoppers need to be able to distinguish the many varieties and unique flavor profiles before making that final purchasing decision.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce recommends these winter citrus top-sellers:

Blood Oranges
Buddha’s Hand Citron
Cara Cara
• Centennial Kumquats
Cocktail Grapefruit (Mandarin Oranges crossed with Pummelo)
Kumquats
• Lemonade Lemons
Mandarinquats
Organic Finger Limes
Oroblanco (Grapefruit crossed with Pummelo)
Vaniglia Oranges
Variegated Pink Lemons

Frieda’s also offers Meyer Lemons and Seedless Lemons in convenient 1-pound bags.

Bring in some citrus sunshine to your produce aisle. 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.

Fresh Fruit Portal stopped by Frieda’s booth to chat with our president and CEO Karen Caplan at Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Atlanta this October.

It seems everyone is rebranding these days. With a new logo here, a packaging twist there, new product lines and social media endeavors, these exercises can respond to changes within a company or its customers. In the case of Frieda’s Specialty Produce’s new “inspire.taste.love.,’ it’s the latter, appealing to a younger demographic.

“We want to be playful, fun, and engaging,” said CEO Karen Caplan, who certainly fits the bill.

Karen fits the bill alright.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Fresh Fruit Portal - Karen Caplan
Courtesy of Fresh Fruit Portal

Read the complete interview here.

Update holiday classic recipes with fresh, new ingredients

One of the hottest trends in home cooking is putting a modern twist on traditional recipes by using new ingredients. We recommend these nine vegetables for those retro-chic recipes. (And get our recipes below!)

Pearl & Boiler Onions

Traditional creamed white pearl or boiler onions get a modern treatment with a variety of red or gold pearl/boiler onions, or even a healthier twist with a simple glaze.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Pearl Onion in Cream Sauce

Cipolline Onions

Nothing says comfort like roasted vegetables. Substitute chunks of onion with sweet, whole Cipolline Onions for that savory-sweet flavor profile.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Simply Roasted Cipolline

Shallots

Remember that classic green bean casserole? Instead of reaching for the canned fried onions, go fresh all the way with crispy fried Shallots.

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a must-have for the holidays, but don’t settle for just the orange ones.  Wow your dinner guests with a new sweet potato dish that is vibrantly purple–or even an orange-purple mix!

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas

Colored Baby Carrots

Beautiful heirloom root vegetables add more than just orange to your holiday table. Pair these Colored Baby Carrots with Parsnips for a brilliant side of roasted vegetables.

Parsnips

This root vegetable is made for roasting, which brings out a sweet flavor profile that complements any holiday side dish…especially with carrots!

Baby Potatoes

Nobody’s knocking mashed potatoes, but whole-roasted baby spuds are where it’s at for holiday cooks…and nobody minds a little bacon, right? (Limited market area: Try Butter Babies!)

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Maple Bacon Roasted Potatoes

Colored Cauliflower

The “new kale” is a must-have at the dinner table. Now available in purple, orange, and green, cauliflower is perfect for roasting whole or in florets!

Sunchokes®

Sunchoke purée used to be something you’d only see on a restaurant menu. Now you, too, can impress your guests with these knobby little roots.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Roasted Sunchokes® - Roasted Jersusalem Artichokes

Have a flavorful holiday!

Get the Recipes:

Do you have an image or message below your email signature? We recently added a new graphic e-signature on all our employees’ outbound emails to keep our new branding consistent.

During the last year, we decided it was time to “refresh” our company’s brand. For most companies, this means you re-do your logo. And your packaging. And your advertising. And your website. You get the picture.

Even the emails we send needed to reflect our brand identity, so we added a standard e-sig to the bottom. All employees have the same font style and footer image now. It was an adjustment for some who had been customizing their own signatures with different colors and fonts.

Every time I get ready to send an email, this e-sig pops up and it makes me smile. It feels happy. And I’m glad to report that it’s not just me or my employees who appreciate the new e-sig.

Slide1
Our new e-sig

This morning, I had to update some online account information for a service we use. After I made the change, I sent a courtesy reply to the individual (in accounting) who originally notified me. I didn’t expect her reply:

“Thank you, Ms. Caplan! Love your signature logo!”

What I didn’t expect was that I would get yet another email from her less than 10 minutes later:

“By the way, we Filipinos love purple potatoes. We cook them in almost anything and everything. Just put them in the microwave and voila…perfect snack!”

It really surprised me to see how a happy, engaging e-sig could start a conversation with a complete stranger.

Although this person is probably referring to the Okinawan/Ube Yam-style purple sweet potato, which is a different variety and flavor profile than our Stokes Purple®, I thought it was great that our little e-sig could inspire her and remind her of a pleasant food memory.

…and it revealed a potential marketing opportunity for us. Perhaps the newer Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato variety would appeal to the Filipino audience, which is now the second-largest Asian population in the United States.

Each of us has a market for our product or service. I wonder if there are hidden gems of customers just waiting for us to discover them? We’ve positioned this product for fitness buffs, vegetarians, and vegans. We didn’t really think of it as an ethnic food.

By the way, I got one more email from her after I told her which of her local markets carried Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes:

“I will look for them at these stores. My family’s favorite way to use them is to make ice cream…”

Another new product idea…Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream. Yum!

Bon Appetit!

Karen

PurplePowerBubble

 

Attract shoppers, boost sales, and bring ‘Purple Power to the People’

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Organic Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (November 2015) — Follow these three tips from Frieda’s Specialty Produce for a successful sweet potato program.

Follow the Foodies

Foodies often make new culinary discoveries around the holidays when they’re looking to put a fresh twist on classic recipes. Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes make any home cook look good at dinner parties and potluck feasts, with everything from roasted sweet potatoes to purple sweet potato pies. Then, the foodies will be back for more after the holidays.

Attract Athletes

Runners and fitness enthusiasts seek out Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes as they are the perfect #powerfuel. The anthocyanin antioxidants in the purple-pigmented Stokes Purple® add extra appeal to sweet potatoes, which are already considered a “super starch,” a nutrient-rich source of energy packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Put Purple in the Mix

The purple-tinted skin of Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes stands out against a sea of orange and brown on your potato display, not just during the holidays, but all through the spring. These tubers also add color and interest to your shoppers’ meals—from breakfast to dinner, any time of year.

Bring “Purple Power to the People”! Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes are available in conventional and organic, exclusively from Frieda’s. 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.

One of the benefits of attending trade shows and conferences is that we get to hear world class speakers. Last week, during our annual produce convention, I had the opportunity to hear marketing legend Guy Kawasaki speak for the second time, talking about “The Art of Innovation.” The talk was an adaptation of his original TedxBerkeley 2014 speech. The first time I saw him was a few years ago at a Global Executive Conference through my Vistage CEO group.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - What's on Karen's Plate? - 4 Presentation Tips I Learned from Guy Kawasaki

Guy’s life has been amazing. One of the first employees of Apple, he, in fact, calls himself the “Chief Macintosh Evangelist.” He worked alongside Steve Jobs for most of his career and admits that Jobs was one of the most brilliant people on the planet, and yet, was almost impossible to work with. I guess being brilliant has its privileges.

Guy had many anecdotes and pointers about success and I’d like to share a few of them.

1. Clean Up Your PowerPoint

First off, in both presentations, his PowerPoint slides had a black background with very few words in white letters on each slide. He confidently tells everyone early in his presentation to imitate his style. He said it is THE most effective way to use PowerPoint. How many times have you watched a presentation which contains tons of copy and data on every slide, making it is mostly illegible and hard to comprehend? And then the speaker reads the slides. Really? Don’t you think we can read? Well, perhaps not, since the font is so small and there is so much text. To this, Guy says: few words, big print. Perfection is 10 slides, 20 minutes, and a 30-point font.

2. Keep It Tight & Go by Number

Guy started both presentations with the same message: his goal is NOT to “go long and suck.” He says, “go long” is overstaying your welcome on stage, and “to suck” is providing bad content. So, Guy’s secret formula is to always number his content. For example: the Top 10 keys to success. If you number your content, your audience knows where you are.

3. Share Your Content

Don’t be afraid to share your content. In fact, I wanted to confirm my notes from his talk last week, so I Googled “Guy Kawasaki presentations” and found his SlideShare. I was actually able to view his presentation! Of course, it is the anecdotes and his affable style that make his presentations so meaningful, but feel free to look at the presentation he gave last week here.

4. It’s a Conversation, Not a Lecture

Guy’s presentation was followed by Mike Walsh, a futurist and leading authority on the digital future. What they both had in common was their positive aura. They both smiled a lot and were extremely comfortable with themselves. It didn’t feel like they were lecturing us. I’ve heard many professional presentations and oftentimes I feel like I am being lectured to. I realize most speakers are experts in their field and they likely know more than I do. But these two speakers epitomized inspiration and sharing. Their presentation styles were as interesting as their topics.

I hope you’ll make time to check out Guy Kawasaki’s presentations or find one of his books that piques your interest.

Sometimes I am asked how I stay ahead of trends, come up with new ideas, or continue to find inspiration. One of my keys to success is that at least once or twice a year I make sure to attend a conference where I’ll hear a world class speaker. I want to be challenged. I want to learn what the greatest minds are thinking about. It doesn’t always have to be about produce or about business. Taking time to check out of the rat race, and making time for my brain to just absorb and think, keeps me fresh.

Sorry to cut this short, but I need to run off to hear a lunch panel of five CEOs of disruptive companies talk about what inspires them.

Karen

Inspire new holiday flavor experiences for shoppers with specialty ingredients

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (November 2015) – Retailers need to make the most of holiday sales this season with a fully stocked produce department. One of the hottest trends in home cooking is putting a modern twist on traditional recipes by using new ingredients. While the mainstream holiday staples are in high demand, specialties are positioned to further bolster seasonal produce sales.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce recommends these nine, retro-chic top-sellers:

1. Pearl and Boiler Onions

Traditional creamed pearl or boiler onions get a modern treatment with white, red, and gold pearl onions.

2. Cipolline Onions

Roasted vegetables are always a fall favorite. These Italian miniature onions add just the right twist.

3. Shallots

With shoppers looking for fresh, unprocessed ingredients, crispy fried shallots are replacing the canned fried onions commonly used to top holiday green bean dishes.

4. Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a must-have, but some shoppers will be looking to wow their families with a colorful new sweet potato dish.

5. Colored Baby Carrots

Beautiful heirloom root vegetables add more than just orange to your holiday table.

 6. Parsnips

These underappreciated root vegetables play well together with sliced sweet potatoes on a roasting pan in the oven.

7. Baby Potatoes

Nobody’s knocking mashed potatoes, but whole-roasted baby spuds are where it’s at for holiday cooks.

8. Colored Cauliflower

Colored cauliflower in purple, orange, and green demand shoppers’ full attention as they shop for holiday menus.

9. Sunchokes®

Sunchoke purée used to be something you’d only see on a restaurant menu. Now home cooks are impressing their dinner guests with these knobby little roots.

These nine holiday essentials are ready to ship. Interested retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors can contact Frieda’s to order or for product information and high resolution images to assist with any marketing needs.

(Click on each image to view full size.)

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.