Hatch Chile promotions are kicking off as early as August 4 with Frieda’s partnership

Los Alamitos, CA – (July 2018) – The world-renowned Hatch Chiles are coming back in season, a few weeks ahead of the usual mid-August start date, and Frieda’s Specialty Produce is kicking off the season with strong supplies and high-quality product.

The authentic Hatch Chiles are available from Frieda’s in a new Frieda’s-branded 25-lb. case and an 8/2-lb. retail pouches in mild, medium and hot heat levels. The pouches help cashiers to accurately ring up the product and retail buyers to track sales.

These special, fresh, zesty green peppers are only available from New Mexico in August and September. Hatch Chile festivals and promotions are being planned around the country to celebrate this unique pepper and its robust flavor. Dedicated fans of the peppers drive across town—and state lines—to get their Hatch Chiles by the case.

“Hatch Chiles are exclusively grown in Hatch, New Mexico, and are beloved by native New Mexicans, foodies and ‘chile heads’ around the country for their limited availability and addictive flavor,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s. “The season is starting up earlier this year, and it’s the perfect opportunity to boost summer sales.”

Today’s shoppers, especially millennials, experience “fear of missing out,” aka FOMO, which drives them to stores for exclusive or limited supply items. (A recent Eventbrite survey says 69 percent of millennials get FOMO when they can’t attend something friends or families are attending.) Much like the pumpkin spice craze in the fall, the annual Hatch Chile season is a part of this phenomenon.

“Frieda’s has organized in-store Hatch Chile roasting events and promotions since 2011. We see the increase in popularity with shoppers year over year, which motivates retailers to execute their annual Hatch Chile promotions,” added Berkley. “Chile heads always come back, and curious shoppers with a touch of FOMO want in on the action, then become chile heads themselves, returning the next year.”

Fresh Hatch Chiles also have a significant halo effect at the retail level for the majority of the summer. There are opportunities to cross-promote with the entire store from meat and dairy to Hatch-flavored items in the center aisles like potato chips, sauces, salsas and even alcohol.

Frieda’s works closely with its grower partners to ensure excellent quality and strong supply through September. Call Frieda’s team today to pre-book the ever-popular Hatch Chiles!

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is 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.

Two days ago, I got a text from my sister, Jackie, who runs our company operations.

“We started the day with a major water leak in the men’s bathroom; we ended the day with a pipe breaking in the other side of the office. I checked, and I should have known, Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow.”

Mercury retrograde began July 26 and will end on August 19.

For longtime readers of this blog, you know all about my experiences with Mercury in retrograde in 2014 and 2017. Long story short, because of its orbit around the Sun is faster than ours, three or four times a year the planet appears to move backwards in the sky for about three weeks. According to astrology, Mercury is the planet of technology, equipment and communications, and when it goes into retrograde, everything seems to go out of whack.

Have you been experiencing any odd happenings within the last few days? Computers not working? Things breaking around the house? Poor communication between you and co-workers or your spouse? Contract negotiations not going well? That could be because Mercury is doing a moonwalk.

Jackie and I try to mark on our calendars when Mercury is going retrograde. During those times, we avoid computer upgrades and installing equipment, and are extra careful with communication. We have come to expect flight delays, dropped calls and miscommunication. We have learned to be more patient and forgiving when people around us are short-tempered during the following few weeks.

But what’s unique about this particular session of Mercury in retrograde is that Mars is also in retrograde! Mars is the planet of energy, action and desire. It went retrograde on June 26 and it will continue through August 27. Thankfully, it only goes retrograde about once every two years.

Now when Mars goes into retrograde, your plans may go a little haywire or your romantic life is unsatisfying and you feel like you can’t get anything done. Any time any planet goes retrograde, you might ask yourself, “How much is this going to mess up my life?” Well, with both Mars and Mercury in retrograde, the answer is “moderately to intensely.”

If you are curious at all about how the cosmic vibes affect you, I’d encourage you to see how these two retrogrades are affecting your astrological sign at the moment. And if you think the whole thing is hooey, that’s ok too. I’m not going to disagree with you while Mercury and Mars are in retrograde.

During this period of great tension all over the planet, perhaps it’s a good time to take deep breaths before reacting. To anything.

Oh, and my text back to my sister was:

“No surprises there. And Mom had a water leak at her house today too! Things happen in threes, right?”

Karen

Ever wonder what it takes to launch an app? Or what the inspiration is for someone’s idea for an app?

Well, I got to hear firsthand how it all happened when I was attending my sister Jackie’s birthday party last month.

I was seated next to Conrad, a friend of Jackie’s from Texas, and he enthusiastically told me about an app he launched just three days earlier. It’s called Wait Check.

The Inspiration

Conrad and his girlfriend went to their favorite nightclub in Austin, hungry and ready to boogie. But the club was at capacity, and they had to stand in line, 30 people deep. They would only let people in as people left. In his low blood sugar state of hunger, he fantasized about an app that would have allowed him to check with people already at the club or in line to see how long the wait was.

His girlfriend responded, “Great Idea! Now just pitch it to someone you know personally, trust with your idea, and who has the entrepreneurial skills to make it materialize!”

The Trusted Partner

Conrad knew immediately whom to ask: his friend Javier, a local successful businessperson. Javier was on board as he related to the frustration of waiting at restaurants and saw how an app would be the simple solution. They agreed that to meet the market’s need the app should focus on restaurant wait times, but include nightclubs’ too. It would be real-time and exclusively customer crowdsourced. It would be like “WAZE for GRAZE.” Let’s outsmart restaurant traffic together!

This is what Javier shared with me about his thought process:

“When Conrad approached me with the original idea, I thought it had some merit. But I thought that app would only be useful for the segment of people who regularly go to clubs. If we expanded the app to focus on restaurants, we would have a much broader audience. And if we could send those people a push notification once they entered a restaurant, we could prompt them to share wait times with other users.

“So I did some research to see if there were any other restaurant wait time apps on the market, and there were some but none that worked very well. Most of the existing apps are subscription-based and require member restaurants to enter wait times. The primary problem with that model is that very few restaurants participate and the information is not always accurate or in real time. None of them crowdsource for the actual wait time. So for various reasons, people really don’t seem to be using those apps. If we could also design a simple user interface and an app that was easy to use, we thought we might have a winner.”

Search for Developer

Javier set up meetings with three different app development companies in Austin.

App Company No. 1 had a lot of impressive terminologies and a slick presentation, but with a ridiculous price tag that would have to be doubled for each Apple and Android platform.

App Company No. 2 was super exciting because the owner/developer really listened to their concept and even added to it by suggesting estimated wait times based on existing Google datasets. Also, the developer loved the idea so much he said he was interested in developing the app for a stake in the business!

App Company No. 3 was full of vague, opaque explanations with nothing concrete to back up claims.

Surprise! They chose the second company.

Concept to Beta

Conrad got the idea in June 2017 and spoke to Javier within the week. After selecting the developer, they were able to do beta testing in March 2018 and did a soft launch on June 6, 2018—just last month!

My Takeaways

Of course, I’ve downloaded the app and started using it! But I’ve learned so much more than just finding out about a nifty app:

  1. Your original idea may not end up being your final idea, as it is important to brainstorm with others to figure out what the real need is and how big the market is.
  2. The idea person (right-brained) should not be afraid to partner up with someone with business experience (left-brained). Someone who runs a business probably knows the ins and outs of contracts, negotiations, and strategy, a complement to the idea person.
  3. It takes a while to go from idea to launch. It’s always better to take time to beta test (even if the idea isn’t technology-based) and work out the bugs. That’s why so many companies do “pilot tests” or market research. When you think you have a fantastic idea and want to launch it right away so you don’t miss the opportunity, a year can seem like a long time. Over 90 percent of new products fail, so testing is useful.

I want to say, “And the rest is history,” but we’re not quite there yet! I know Conrad and Javier are doing marketing and figuring out ways to monetize their app. They would love your feedback. Feel free to reach out to them at info@waitcheck.com.

Karen

Tart and tangy tropical pods take off with home cooks for summer entertaining

Los Alamitos, CA – (July 2018) – Tamarind is in! Already a staple in Latin and Asian kitchens, the tart and tangy pods are trending up with shoppers nationwide with the rising popularity of agua fresca (a fruit-infused beverage) and Indian cuisine.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Tamarind

“Tart tamarind is not only an everyday item in Hispanic market areas, both ‘agua fresca’ and ‘tamarind’ have been trending up steadily in Google Trends, especially during the summer months,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “This is in line with what we’re seeing with consumer trends on Indian flavors and fruit-infused or flavored water.”

Frieda’s works with its growing partner in Thailand to bring in volume of the tart tamarind, which is currently shipping nationwide.

“Retailers caught on to the tamarind trend last year when we started importing directly and they are now taking advantage of our strong source of supply with our 10 lb. pack and our 12/12 oz. clamshell,” said Berkley.

Frieda’s clamshell is the first package on the market to educate consumers on how to use tamarind. America’s diverse population is familiar with this item, however there is more to learn about how to use this versatile tropical fruit.

Tart tamarind is used for cooking all across the world including Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Chefs have also been featuring the unique flavor in glazes, sauces, and cocktails. In Latin America, the tart tamarind is used in candies, popsicles, and agua de tamarindo, a refreshing beverage made with tamarind pulp and sugar.

Retailers should merchandise tamarind with other global cuisine ingredients or fresh spices like ginger and turmeric. It is also relevant when merchandised with tropical fruit.

Call Frieda’s today at 714-733-7676 to add zing to your summer sales with tamarind and other summer top sellers such as Nicaraguan red dragon fruit, rambutan, and young coconut.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is 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.

Ask for what you want: That’s one of my favorite pieces of business advice. In fact, I use it often when I give speeches or mentor people. It actually applies to your business life and to your personal life.

Just last week, I was on the phone with a colleague who works at a local university. We were brainstorming ideas to get younger alumnae involved in the dean’s advisory council. So I suggested that we ask for what we want.

In the quarterly university magazine, why not run an ad?

Are you an alumnae? Are you under 50? Is your area of interest agriculture, fashion, or architecture? The Dean’s Advisory Council would love to talk with you about joining us.

My colleague’s comment was: Wow, I never thought of asking directly for what we want.

How many times when you deal with a vendor or a customer (or in your personal life, with your significant other) do you hope they’ve taken that “mind-reading” class? I mean, you know what you want, but you hesitate to ask directly for it. Or actually, you never even think of asking directly for it.

I’ve used this piece of advice so many times that it’s not unusual for me to get an email from someone that starts with: “I know you believe in asking for what you want…”

And if you’re on the other side of this conversation, it’s kind of refreshing to have someone ask you directly for what they want, instead of wondering where the conversation is going.

Another approach I often use is: “It never hurts to ask.” This is a great one to use when you want to try something new.

For example, in business, perhaps you are thinking about asking for a price increase, free samples, or a special discount. The last time I used this was when I was at a local running store. It advertised a 15 percent discount on shoes. After I selected a pair to buy, I happened to comment on the Garmin watch the sales rep was wearing. It turned out it had the features I was looking for. He told me the price.

And then, I asked for what I wanted: “So, do I get the same 15 percent discount that I am getting on the shoes?” He told me “no,” the discount didn’t apply to that.

And then I asked, “Well, do you think I can get the friends and family discount?”

Well, guess what? He gave me a 10 percent discount!

If you think this doesn’t apply to you or would never work, I’d also like to remind you about the time I asked my friend about going to the Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders’ meeting, which I did get to attend. And when I asked another friend about becoming a director of the Federal Reserve Bank, which I did become in 2005.

Remember, not only should you ask for what you want, but you should be mindful that it never hurts to ask!

Now, you all know about my bucket list item of meeting Nike founder Phil Knight

Karen

Shoppers continue to drive pepper demand from mild to super spicy

Los Alamitos, CA – (July 2018) – From flavorful Shishito peppers to the coveted super spicy Carolina Reaper, chile peppers are spicing things up for summer from the grill to homemade margarita mix.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Hot Peppers

“Shoppers continue to have fun exploring the different varieties of chile peppers the world has to offer,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “For summer entertaining and cooking new cuisines at home, all heat levels of fresh peppers are finding their way into the grocery basket.”

Frieda’s is seeing the pepper sales growth first-hand. “We have been supplying Shishito peppers for over 10 years with sales spiking over the last three,” said Berkley. “Frieda’s eye-catching 8-ounce retail pouch bag has grown in sales 88 percent over the last 12 months, and our customers see the same growth at the register.”

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Shishito Peppers

With the Netherlands’ super hot pepper season in full swing and continuing through November, Frieda’s is currently offering good volume of fresh Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Scorpion, and Ghost peppers in 8/50 gram clamshells to satisfy the demand. “The clamshell program educates shoppers on how to use these fiercely hot peppers and protects them from touching these peppers with their bare hands.”

Other Frieda’s top-selling peppers include grilling essentials jalapeno, poblano, and mini sweet peppers, and salsa staples like red fresno, de arbol, and habanero. Call Frieda’s today at 714-733-7676 to make your summer sales sizzle with a pepper program.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is 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.