Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That's how to sell SlimCados

Fairway Grocery Stores in NYC know how to sell SlimCados with a commendable 'stack'em high and kiss'em good-bye' strategy. These photos are from their 72nd and Broadway store.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Avocados, other tropicals hold on into autumn

Excerpts from an 11/1/10 article in The Packer by Doug Ohlemeier

Florida is a leading producer of tropical fruits and vegetables.
While south Florida may be better known for its green-skinned avocados, growers in the Redlands growing region also produce smaller volumes of tropicals such as boniato, star fruit, mamey sapote, passion fruit and kumquats.
Avocados Florida's avocado season typically begins winding down in the fall. Shipments normally start in June and hit peak volume in July with volumes starting to decline in November, with July, August, September and October producing the most volume.
South Florida supplies fall tropicals

Courtesy Brooks Tropicals

Shipments of green-skinned avocados begin to decrease in November. “With our SlimCados, we’re past the peak of the season, but we have a nice crop of late-season fruit to get us through December,”
says Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals Inc.

Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals Inc., said the late season fruit possesses strong quality.

“With our SlimCados, we’re past the peak of the season, but we have a nice crop of late season fruit to get us through December,” she said in mid-October. “We will go into February with lighter volumes. We really see the late season crop not as affected by the cold weather of the 2009-10 season than the other varieties, but it’s always a lighter crop during that time of the year.”

The leading Florida avocado grower-shipper, Brooks expects to ship more than 400,000 bushels, down from last season.

Other tropicals
During the fall and winter, south Florida is a major grower and supplier of a variety of comparatively small volumes of fall tropical items.

Harvesting of star fruit or carambola normally begins in early July and runs through March.

The colder winter made for a later start this season, Ostlund said.

On mamey sapote, fall typically brings a winding down of production.

Last winter’s cold cut volumes, Ostlund said.

For kumquats, Ostlund said Brooks expects to begin shipments in mid-November.

The crop looks strong and remains on time, she said.

Ostlund said Brooks plans to ship through March.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fundraising for Belize hurricane victims

Belize Fruit Packers embarked on a fund raising campaign to help hurricane victims in Belize. Employees gladly contributed and we raised about $337.75 (Bze). This money will be used to purchase can foods which is really needed in the devastated areas.

Contributed by Santiago Victorin

Packinghouse Manager

Belize Fruit Packers

4 reasons Avocados will make you healthier right now

Excerpts taken from a 9/10 Southern Living Article

  1. Avocados help protect your eyes. Avocados have carotenoid lutein which protects against cataracts and more.
  2. Avocados assist lower cholesterol. Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol which has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  3. Avocados help regulate blood pressure. Studies show that potassium can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke; avocados are a great source of potassium while being low in sodium.
  4. Avocados deliver vitamin E, shown to contribute to overall good health.

Brooks says papayas a perfect addition to Thanksgiving menus

Excerpts from an 11/01/10 article in The Produce News by ChristinaDiMartino

Is Thanksgiving dinner tried-and-true or innovative and creative?

Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals in Homestead, FL, told The Produce News that while it is nice to know the green bean casserole will always be there, she likes a touch of the unexpected at a festive meal.

"I find converting traditionalists to my way of thinking works best when the must-have menu items appear on the table with just a little tweak to them," she said. “So whether someone is hosting the dinner or bringing a dish to another home this year, they should think about mixing it up a bit. And there's no better way to splash some sunshine onto a holiday table than with fresh papaya.”

Ms. Ostlund said that Brooks’ “Caribbean Red” brand papayas from Belize are becoming more well known among consumers for their high quality and flavor. Consumers are also learning the importance of reducing the amount of sugar in their diets — and substituting papaya for sugar- and fructose-loaded processed foods — is a great way to do so without sacrificing flavor.

“Papayas are between 10 and 12 on the Brix scale,” said Ms. Ostlund. “The mild flavor does not hide other flavors but rather integrates nicely with them. Part of the

Thanksgiving celebration is to talk about the foods on the table and what is in them. Adding and substituting papaya will certainly help to create an interesting conversation.”

An added benefit is that papayas are plentiful this time of year. And because of their large size, one papaya can go a long way and end up being a cost- effective ingredient when feeding a large crowd.

“What I also like is that they can be used in a multitude of ways, from a savory-flavored recipe to dessert. And not to be overlooked is the drop-dead gorgeous color they add to any dish,” said Ms. Ostlund.

One of the suggestions Brooks Tropicals makes is to top turkey stuffing with diced papaya to add color to what is typically a drab-looking dish and to add a hint of sweetness.

“Gently stir in finely diced papaya to homemade cranberry relish,” Ms. Ostlund suggested. “It adds a nice texture and, again, offers that beautiful color. Mash pureed papaya into mashed potatoes for a creamier texture and a bit of sweetness.

“Papaya apple pie is a terrific version of the traditional baker’s classic that will please even the die-hard apple pie fans,” she continued.

Brooks Tropicals has created a colorful marketing brochure with suggestions on how to use papaya in Thanksgiving dishes. The brochure, which features recipes and beautiful photos of finished dishes, is being distributing to media outlets across the country.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another Disney Dinner for Brooks!

Once again Brooks Tropicals was featured at The Wave restaurant at the Contemporary Hotel in Disney World. This time it was a part of Epcot's month-long celebration of food and wine.

Brooks' produce was featured on the menu with:

- Jumbo Lump Crab Shooters with Ugly Tomato Bloody Mary Water and SlimCado Avocados

-Caribbean Red Papaya Pasta with Wagyu Meatballs and Pork Ribs.