A Bright 2013
The year ahead looks quite bright for Milne Fruit Products. The company’s all natural product line – from traditional fruit purees, concentrates and juices to MicroDried® fruit and vegetable products and a growing list of powders – is an example of Milne’s innovation and commitment to the health and wellness market. The company is taking an aggressive stance in new product development, sales and advertising and sees a very bright 2013.
MicroDried® Adds Vegetable to Line
With growing interest in vegetables and fruit, Milne’s MicroDried® line will introduce peas, corn, pomegranate and aronia, also known as chokeberry, at the Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim in early March. These new MicroDried products are available in whole, fragmented and powders making them more suitable ingredients for a wide variety of applications in the supplement and health and wellness markets.
- Private label vinaigrette raspberry salad dressing for a major grocery chain
- A bite-size blueberry item and a cranberry-raspberry snack item for a major health and all natural snack manufacturer
- Industrial blueberry cookie product for the baked goods market
- Bulk snack or ingredient items in the bulk bin section of the nation’s most notable chain of natural foods grocery stores due to MicroDried® health benefits.
- As ingredients for a variety of smoothies for one the nation’s premiere fast food chains
Since introducing pomegranate, peas and corn to the market, there has been tremendous response, prompting comments like, “pomegranate, nothing else like it on the market” and “very unique product.” These products are utilizing MicroDried® in all of its forms, whole, fragmented and powder. In addition, Milne is waiting final confirmation on another four or five product launches with a variety of new applications.
Milne Launches Advertising and PR Campaign
Milne Fruit Products is launching a yearlong advertising and public relations campaign promoting MicroDried® products and expanding its presence in the brewing industry. Ads are now running in Food Technology, Food Processing, Modern Baking and The New Brewer and will start running in Food Product Design in August.
The advertising is being supplemented with a media relations campaign to bring more attention to Milne’s entry into the dried ingredient market after 50+ years of producing and selling liquid fruit ingredients. While Milne is a well-known, trusted brand in the fruit puree, concentrate and juice markets, the company plans to establish itself in these new markets.
2012 Sales Awards
Milne Fruit Products’ President, Michael Sorenson, with Jack Schroeder, Shannon Elkins, and Steve Nugent welcomed brokers to the 2013 Brokers Meeting at AFFI in Anaheim. They reviewed the company’s new products and successes over the past year recognized brokers for outstanding sales performance in 2012:
Top Gross Sales/MicroDried® – Randy Rosenthal, R & P Ingredients (left).
IQF Top Sales – Michael Cronin, Higgins & White.
Top Gross Sales /Purees, Concentrates, Juices – Encore Fruit Marketing.
In addition, Ferreiro and Company was recognized for Second Highest Gross Sales for core products and J. F. Kelley for Largest Sales Increase for the year.
Featured Fruit: Aronia
Aronia is not a household name, but the properties of the aronia berry (also known as chokeberry) might make it a top contender for the healthiest fruit/berry ever. With its deep purple, almost black pigmentation that comes from dense amounts of phenolic phytochemical antioxidant pigment compounds, such as anthocyanins, aronia has real potential value as a functional food or nutraceutical.
The research findings are significant. Total anthocyanin content in aronia is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g – both values are among the highest measured in plants to date. In addition, the antioxidant strength, measured by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC, demonstrates aronia has one of the highest ORAC values yet recorded – 16,062 micromoles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g.
Many consumers strive to increase their intake of antioxidant-rich plant foods from colorful sources like berries, tree or citrus fruits, vegetables, grains and spices as part of their health and wellness regimen. Milne Fruit sees create potential for MicroDried® aronia in whole and powdered form in the health and wellness market.
2012 Concord Grape Harvest Update
The 2012 Concord grape harvest ended with final yields being slightly below average in spite of more optimistic projections earlier last year.
“Our mid-harvest reports indicated that yields might be somewhat above average for this growing season, but by the end of October we were seeing those numbers fall short. We brought in about 8.1 tons per acre as compared to an average yield of 8.5 tons,” said Andy Schilperoort, Milne’s grower relations manager. He attributed the lower yields to a slightly shorter harvest that lasted 30 days instead of 35 days, and to high daytime temperatures in August, which impacted the berry size.
“A 100 degree day here and there isn’t uncommon,” he noted. “But when you get two weeks with the temperature reaching or exceeding the century mark, and nights that don’t cool down much below 70 degrees, it can impact crop yields.”
The 2012 crop size did surpass those of the past two seasons that were impacted by a hard freeze and cooler overall temperatures.
Milne still expects to have enough grapes to satisfy longterm customers’ needs. Please contact your Milne broker representative or Shannon Elkins, Director of Sales and Marketing (509.786.2611, firstname.lastname@example.org), to discuss your procurement strategies.