The Frieda Caplan documentary is set to inspire a new wave of women in produce

Fear No Fruit - Frieda Caplan - Quote

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (March 2016) – A screening of “Fear No Fruit,” the Frieda Caplan documentary, is scheduled for the April 18 optional evening session 2 at the 2016 Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference April 17-19 in San Diego. Hosted by the Center for Growing Talent by PMA, the annual event is dedicated to providing leadership development for women in the fresh produce and floral industry.

The conference combines education and networking in a packed agenda. Education will include in-depth general sessions and workshops tailored to a range of career stages.

“We believe this year’s conference program will truly inspire attendees,” said Alex Jackson, co-chair of the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee and a senior account manager at Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “My grandmother Frieda has been my inspiration throughout my life and we are grateful for the privilege to share her life and business success story with hundreds of women in the produce industry.”

Directed by Mark Brian Smith, “Fear No Fruit” chronicles the life of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, the first woman entrepreneur on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in the 1960s. While the film focuses on the life and career of produce icon Dr. Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, it also features interviews with other industry women power players like Tonya Antle of Tanimura & Antle, and well-known California chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

“Fear No Fruit” was an official selection of the 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Carmel International Film Festival, and the 2016 Sedona International Film Festival. The feature-length documentary film is now available on DVD and online VOD platforms including iTunes, HuluPlus, Google Play, and Amazon Instant Video. Additionally, the film is available for educational and community screenings via Kino Lorber EDU.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a nearly 54-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 launch unique items like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, 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.

You’ve probably heard of jackfruit. But maybe you’ve never seen it. It’s kind of scary looking—like a giant blob with rough, bumpy skin. You wouldn’t even know it was edible by looking at it.

But it’s actually considered the largest fruit in the world. A small jackfruit is probably 12 pounds and a typical jackfruit weights about 20 pounds!

Historically you would find these strange tropical fruits only at Asian specialty food markets, but lately, conventional supermarkets love to have them available for new store openings, special events, or when they have a high Asian clientele. Oftentimes, you will see them quartered or sliced, in over-wrapped trays.

The most frequently asked questions with jackfruit are, “How do you cut it open, and what part do you eat?” So, we created a short video showing the authentic way to cut a jackfruit.

If you watched the video, then you now know that the flavor of a ripe jackfruit is reminiscent of Juicy Fruit® Gum!

But the most recent development in the world of jackfruit is its use as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Because of its meaty texture and neutral flavor (when not fully ripe), it’s a great meat substitute.

Photo credit: Augustus Binu/Wikimedia
Photo credit: Augustus Binu/Wikimedia

And how did I learn this? It’s a funny story.

About three years ago, a produce friend of mine, Don, attended an executive seminar at Harvard Business School. He was introduced to a young female student who was looking to be mentored in the food business. Don introduced me to Annie and I volunteered to have a few conversations with her.

As it turned out, she and her brother had spent time in India during college summers and fell in love with jackfruit and saw the potential to launch a business. So Annie created a business plan around jackfruit and won business plan competition after competition.

Annie Jackfruit
Annie Ryu and the jackfruit

That’s when Annie and I were introduced. We had several discussions about ideas to bring the product to market, the challenges, potential customers, etc. We even had the opportunity to meet in person when I attended a class at Harvard Business School two years ago.

So, you can only imagine how thrilled I was to walk into my local Whole Foods Market last week to find this on the shelf:

JackfruitCoProduct

Now when you see that huge, green and bumpy fruit in your grocery store, or if you’re looking for non-soy based meat substitutes and see packaged jackfruit (in cans or in the refrigerated case), you’ll know the backstory.

Enjoy!

Karen

Purple foods continue to grow in popularity and show no signs of stopping

Frieda's Specialty Produce #PurpePower Foods

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (March 2016) – From the Winter Fancy Food Show to the March issue of Better Homes and Gardens, purple is everywhere. Produce retailers should take advantage of peak purple produce season and the growing food trend this spring by creating a #PurplePower destination in the produce department.

The Specialty Food Association identifies purple as one of the Top 5 food trends spotted at the 2016 Winter Fancy Food show, from purple potatoes to beets. The March 2016 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine includes a feature article titled, “Power of Purple,” filled with stunning photos and recipes for purple snow peas, purple kohlrabi, purple cauliflower, baby purple carrots, and radicchio.

Known for its wide selection of purple fruits and vegetables, Frieda’s Specialty Produce offers these purple items shoppers will be looking for, including Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, passion fruit and purple asparagus.

Interested retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors can contact Frieda’s account managers to get a complete list of available purple items and other trending products, and gain access to Frieda’s extensive product information, high resolution images, and recipe database.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce celebrates a nearly 54-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 launch unique items like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, 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.

It all started for me on February 4. That’s the day we received the following email through our website:

“My name is Kaydyn and I am 9 years old. I wanted to share with you my new blog. I have to eat the FODMAP diet due to medical conditions and I wanted to help others struggling like me. I love to cook and bake, and one day want to have my own café that is FODMAP friendly. It is hard to find things, most things I have to make at home. I was hoping you could please take a look and give me feedback and share my blog with others?”

I had never heard of the FODMAP diet, so naturally I Googled it. You can read about it here and here, but the bottom line is that one in five Americans is affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). And (I am simplifying this), some Australian researchers, along with some folks at Stanford University, have found that certain carbohydrates are problematic for people with IBS. Short chain carbohydrates, or FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols), are the problem.

Thus, the FODMAP diet. The premise is that, if you eat a certain diet that is low in FODMAPs, you will reduce your discomfort and feel better.

When young Kaydyn wrote to us six weeks ago, I had never heard about this condition. And I frankly thought it was an odd request.

At least it seemed so until a good friend came to stay with me last week. She told me that for the last year she had been having horrible stomach pains and intestinal problems, no matter what she ate or drank. And no matter how she changed her diet, she was frequently doubled over in pain. She did a bunch of research on the Internet and came across this special diet. She said it has changed her life and she is finally feeling back to her old self.

I told her to be sure and let me know what it was because I am always interested in anything to do with food, diet, etc.

FODMAP diet

And what did she email me the next morning? The Low FODMAP Diet. There it was again. Just what young Kaydyn had written about last month.

I am writing about it today because, if one in five Americans has similar issues, then many followers of my blog do as well. If I can share some real world, validated guidance, based on a healthy diet (not a bunch of  drugs), then I am happy to do that.

I wonder how many people who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or IBS could be pain-free, just by adjusting their diet? By eliminating things like onions, garlic, soybeans, full-fat diary, and the like? If you have a friend or relative with digestive issues, maybe you’ll want to share this information.

It’s amazing how the universe works. Now that you have heard about the FODMAP diet from me, you will probably start hearing about it in other places.

And now you know!

Karen

The specialty produce company continues to add organic specialties to its lineup

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Organic Ginger, Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes, and Young Coconut

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (March 2016) – Frieda’s Specialty Produce meets the growing demand for organic produce by offering many of its broad range of specialty items as organics. One of the biggest sellers right now is organic fresh ginger.

“We’ve seen demand for organic ginger continuing to grow, mirroring available supplies,” said Alex Jackson, senior account manager and organic product manager. “Frieda’s continues to supply conventional ginger as well as USDA-accredited Bio Latina-certified organic ginger from Peru.”

Organic ginger was highlighted as a trending produce item at the world’s biggest organic fair, BioFach, held in Nuremberg, Germany, in February. This zesty spice is a favorite for health enthusiast shoppers, and is especially popular for those who add fresh ginger to their juicing recipes. Other top-selling organic items at Frieda’s include young coconuts, vaniglia oranges and other specialty citrus, alliums, and Frieda’s signature Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes.

Interested retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors can contact Frieda’s account managers to get a complete list of available organic items and other trending products, and gain access to Frieda’s extensive product information, high resolution images, and recipe database.

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 launch unique items like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, 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.

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OK, I admit I’ve seen the acronyms IoT and IOE and the terms “Internet of Things” and “Internet of Everything,” but I really didn’t give them much thought.

Until I read an article this morning in one of our supermarket industry blogs (Morning News Beat, by Kevin Coupe) and it hit home for me:

“It was just another email. Until I thought about it for a minute, and considered the implications.

The email was from Amazon (as so many are in any given day), and it was promoting a new item available on the site – a Brita water pitcher that comes with a filter than enables the consumer to have cleaner, better-tasting water.

Except that this was a pitcher with a curveball – because this Brita pitcher comes complete “equipped with a built-in counter that tracks the amount of water that passes through the pitcher’s filter. The pitcher itself will automatically order a new filter through Amazon Dash Replenishment when the old filter nears its capacity. This new connected pitcher with Amazon Dash Replenishment gives Brita owners exactly what they want – a new Brita filter on their doorstep at the time they need it.”

According to a 2014 Time Magazine article, The Internet of Everything has become a catch-all phrase to describe adding connectivity and intelligence to just about every device in order to give them special functions.

The things and appliances we use every day are getting smarter. Let’s think about the navigation tools we use while driving.

Back in the day, when we planned a driving trip, we would get out our Thomas Guide book and flip through page after page to plot the route to our destination.

Then we got portable GPS gadgets (like Garmins and TomToms), which we plugged into our car to help us plot our trip. When we rented cars on a vacation or business trip, we would be offered the option to also rent a GPS (for $9.99 a day).

Now we have WAZE, the amazing real-time technology invented in Israel, now owned by Google. If you haven’t loaded the WAZE app on your smart phone, you should. It will change your life. No matter where you are in the world. I was in Costa Rica this weekend, and was able to launch WAZE and see exactly where I was. It directed me to the most traffic-efficient way to my destination. Normally (that would be every day), I log on to WAZE to find the fastest way to get anywhere. To a meeting in downtown L.A., to my hair salon, to the airport. And the route may change several times during my trip, depending on how traffic changes, in real time. By the way, WAZE is free.

That is true connectivity and intelligence.

Photo Credit: Wilgengebroed on Flickr
Photo Credit: Wilgengebroed on Flickr

Today I might not have a “smart” water filter or a fridge that tells me when I’m low on milk, but it probably won’t be too long. However, right now I can control the temperature in my home via my smart phone, my friends can see how many steps I’ve taken and calories I’ve burned (via my Fitbit app on my phone), and with Google Wallet, I don’t even have to bring a credit card or wallet with me when I go grocery shopping. I just “wave” my phone at checkout.

Two years ago, the president of Cisco, John Chambers, predicted the financial impact of IoT on the public sector would be $4.6 trillion. Trillion sounds like a pretty mind-boggling number.

So make it personal. What would the impact be for you, personally, if you had access to a completely connected world?

Some of us are faster adapters to the latest technology than others. In my industry, the Internet of Everything is already having a huge impact. For example, in food shopping, the numbers I’ve read say that currently 25 percent of the population is interested in doing their food shopping online. Or rather, letting others pick out their food. And they can have it delivered at any time of the day or night. To their home or office. They decide. That still leaves 75 percent of the population who will continue to go to conventional brick and mortar grocery stores, and shop when the stores are open. And when they feel like leaving their house to go shopping.

So think about your work, your industry. Or your kids. The job they will hold in 10 years probably doesn’t even exist yet.

And that’s pretty darn exciting for some of us.

Think about it!

Karen

The specialty produce company is set to ‘bowl’ over attendees with fresh recipe sampling and attention-grabbing new branding

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Purple Power Bowl

LOS ALAMITOS, CA (March 2016) – Frieda’s Specialty Produce will inspire new food experiences for SEPC Southern Exposure Expo’s attendees on Saturday, March 5, with its Millennial-friendly new brand and sampling of its exclusive Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes at booth #1200.

“We’re definitely bringing the love to Southern Exposure this year with our tasting samples of Purple Power Breakfast Bowl,” said Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s. “Purple sweet potatoes have been gaining popularity year over year—led by fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious shoppers—and we’re seeing no sign of slowing. Combining the purple sweet potato’s popularity with the latest foodie trend of power bowls and smoothie bowls, we came up with this fresh, antioxidant-packed breakfast bowl recipe.”

Purple Power Breakfast Bowl is also featured in Frieda’s latest 30-second video, as part of the new Frieda’s Quick Bites video series, available on the company’s social media channels.

[youtube=https://youtu.be/XDo_ErZqn-Y]

Along with the Purple Power Breakfast Bowl samples, Frieda’s will showcase its impactful new brand and packaging. Part of its overall brand refresh, Frieda’s new packaging has a playful and eye-catching design that resonates with shoppers.

“Our new brand has a fun, young vibe that appeals to Millennials without alienating Baby Boomers,” said Caplan. “Our wording has a sense of humor, making our specialty fruits and vegetables a lot more approachable and less scary for shoppers.”

Stop by Frieda’s #1200 for a taste of the future and a chat with the Frieda’s team to see how they can inspire new food experiences for retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors everywhere.

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 launch unique items like Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, 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.

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