Wednesday, August 25, 2010

7 Best Stress-Fighting Foods

Excerpts from an article in Yahoo's Men's Health section by David Zinczenko Aug 20, 201

If you eat when you stressed, that's good. You should eat when you’re stressed—it’s our bodies’ natural reaction to want to store calories to face whatever challenge is causing the stress in the first place. The key, however, is to eat what your body wants—the foods that actually counteract the effects of stress, and make you stronger (and leaner) when the tough times pass. So next time
anxiety runs high, be sure to grab one of these seven stress-fighting foods.

Papaya Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a magic nutrient that could stop the flow of stress hormones—the very hormones that make your body superefficient at storing fat calories? Wouldn’t you want to gobble that food up like crazy, especially if it tasted great? Half a medium papaya carries nearly 75 percent more vitamin C than an orange, and provides potent protection against stress. Researchers at the University of Alabama found 200 milligrams of vitamin C—about as much as you’ll find in one large papaya—twice a day nearly stopped the flow of stress hormones in rats. It should work for you, too.

AvocadosThe healthy fats buried in the avocado’s flesh make it an ideal choice when you’re craving something rich and creamy. The reasons? Monounsaturated (healthy) fatty acids, and potassium--both of which help combat high blood pressure. Avocado fat is 66 percent monounsaturated, and gram-for-gram, the green fruit has about 35 percent more potassium than a banana. Whip up a fresh guacamole or slice a few slivers over toast and top with fresh ground pepper.

The other 5 best stress-fighting foods are

  • peppermint tea
  • pumpkin seeds
  • salmon
  • almonds
  • oatmeal

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A retailer's view of Uniq Fruit and other tropical fruits and vegetables

The article that I took these excerpts from is called Forbidding Fruit and talks about how the produce aisles in a grocery store have changed with a wide variety of what was once considered exotic fruits and vegetables.

Several aspects of the article are of interest. First and foremost, you hear the voice of several local produce managers (Wegeman's included) and how they see their expanded produce line. The second is a more in-depth view of the Uniq Fruit from the retail level. The Uniq Fruit section is included below. Follow the link below to read the entire article.

Excerpts from an article in the Syracuse New Times by Kevin Corbett.

The landscape is definitely changing in local produce departments as consumers become familiar with a wider variety of rare, exotic and culturally diverse fruits that are gaining in popularity with the help of television cooking shows and growing ethnic influences.

Wise consumers overlook outward appearance to try some out-of-the-mainstream produce.

One of the most unattractive looking fruits is a citrus with two appropriate names: uglifruit and Uniq Fruit.

“The Uniq Fruit is actually a cross between a grapefruit, an orange and a tangerine,” Dwyer explains. “This happened naturally. Someone didn’t do this. It happened over a course of nature, over years. It came from Jamaica and that’s pretty much where it’s grown today.”

Although it has characteristics similar to popular citruses, Uniq Fruit’s misshapen, lumpy rind puts off some customers. “With these, they started doing a marketing campaign years ago,” Boucounis contends. “But their marketing is not that great, the shippers, the country this stuff comes from. If you want to sell something, you’ve got to give samples, let people taste it. You’ve got to let them know what it is. I think they’ve only done an OK job with that. They should be doing TV commercials telling people it’s a unique time to eat uniqfruit. It’s in season for two months a year and the time is coming. Get ready.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good year for SlimCado publicity

Article from the Produce News on 8/9/10 written by Rand Green

"We have had a tremendous year for publicity," said Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Brooks Tropicals, LLC in Homestead, FL.

Avocados in general have been getting a lot of good publicity, Florida green skin avocados in particular have been highlighted in the media, and Brooks Tropicals' own SlimCado brand of Florida green skins have received specific mention.

As an example, "in July SlimCado was featured in Better Homes & Gardens magazine," said Ms. Ostlund. As a result of that exposure, "we have had tremendous feedback from consumers."

There was just one downside. Normally, SlimCados would have been in full production in July, but this year "we have had a delay in our harvesting, so much of the consumer feedback was from people wondering where the SlimCados are in their stores," she said July 21. "But nonetheless, there is tremendous interest, not just on the East Coast where Florida green skins have historically been the most popular, but also across the country." So at Brooks Tropicals, "we have been happily giving out information to consumers about where they will be able to buy SlimCados and when they will be available, along with other information about the product."

"Overall, the avocado industry has really been able to leverage some super publicity," not just in traditional print and broadcast media but also "across the social networks." Avocados "have been a very favorite fruit to highlight in recipes, and SlimCados are no exception," she said. "So it has been a good year, and I think that it is going to bode well for overall avocado sales as well as SlimCado sales."

On Brooks' own web site, "we have a new Tropical Nutrition Corner" with information on the nutritional benefits of "all the various tropical fruits and vegetables we sell," Ms. Ostlund said. "This month, we are highlighting SlimCados, not only with information on why they are 'nutritious and tasty' but also with recipes and suggestions of new ways to using avocados."

The season for SlimCado avocados generally runs from July through January, Bill Brindle, vice president of sales, said July 22. However, "the season got off to a slow start this year because of the cold weather that we had this past winter in Florida.But things are finally picking up now, and we see a pretty good crop for the rest of the season....We are seeing good support from retailers all over the East Coast. In August, we will start shipping out to the West Coast and Midwest."

"The state's crop is down about 10 percent from earlier estimates," he said. "The original estimate from the Florida Avocado Committee, I believe, was about a million bushels, and our in-house guess at this point is probably closer to 900,000."

In its SlimCado marketing campaign, Brooks touts "the naturally lower calories and fat" of SlimCado avocados compared to Hass. It is a "successful campaign," Mr. Brindle said. "We are doing that again this year." The SlimCados have 35 percent fewer calories and 50 percent less fat just naturally "due to the varieties that we grow here in Florida," he added. They tend also to be "considerably larger" on average than Hass, "weighing close to 20 ounces" each.

On a "year-over-year basis," demand for Florida green skins is definitely on the rise, he said. "This summer, though, things have been extremely slow, but that is not just across avocados but across most of our tropical items." But the short-term dip notwithstanding, "the avocado category is definitely growing, and Florida avocados, and more specifically SlimCados are in that category and growing as well."

In addition, "we are selling more and more avocados to the West Coast, which is a place we didn't sell avocados five or 10 years ago." That is probably due partly to changing demographics but also to increased consumer awareness, he said. "The more TV food shows they watch and the more educated they get about different tropical products, including green skin avocados, the more likely they are to buy them when they see them in their local supermarkets."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green-skinned avocados claim their own niche

Excerpts from an article by Tom Burfield in The Packer's Fall Avocado Marketing published on 08/16/2010
About 96% of the avocados sold in the U.S. are the hass variety, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board. But there’s still a market for a handful of other varieties, most of which are known as green-skinned avocados.

Green-skins include the bacon, fuerte, gwen, macarthur, pinkerton, reed and zurtano varieties.Shoppers like the hass because of its smooth, creamy texture and great taste, said Jose Luis Obregon, managing director of the Hass Avocado Board.“It satisfies the consumer,” he said.

But those who market many of the other varieties maintain that their avocados typically have less fat and fewer calories than the hass, they usually cost less, and they’re often larger.

Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals says its SlimCados, the brand name under which the company markets its green-skinned avocados, have half the fat and a third of the calories of a California hass avocado.

“We brand it that way because we want people to know that it’s a different-tasting avocado,” said Mary Ostlund, marketing director. But Ostlund said SlimCados don’t really compete with other varieties.“They really are a complement,” she said.They’re lighter fare that consumers might select when topping a salad or hamburger.

Brooks Tropicals can market more than 70 varieties as SlimCados, she said.