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[EDITOR’S NOTE — This piece about the best from PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans comes to us from Produce for Kids Vice President Trish James. SPW welcomes contributions from the industry. If you are interested in submitting an article or opinion piece, contact us at info@southeastproduceweekly.com]

Produce for Kids Vice President Trish James

Every October, our team has the privilege to attend the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit show. This is one ofthe biggest fresh produce events of the year, where companies debut new products and food trends emerge. For us, it’s three days of fresh produce heaven where we can sample new items, meet with the produce companies we currently work with and seek out new partners to help inspire families to eat healthier.

If you followed along with our Instagram story or the #FreshSummit hashtag, you got the first sneak peek of what’s hitting shelves soon. And if you don’t already follow us on Instagram, make sure you do! We share new and exciting things throughout the year from similar produce shows!

Below, we share our favorite new, exciting and fun products that were showcased at the show. But first, we want to share a few of the new food trends we noticed.

  • Snack Packs. If you’re a parent or on the go a lot, snack packs are a no brainer. We’ve seen new ones with fresh berries, hard-boiled eggs and more to keep you fueled between meals. Expect to see more healthy options like these hitting grocery shelves and convenience stores.
  • Baby-sized produce. As parents, we know the struggle that exists when it comes to getting our kids to eat certain veggies. Many companies, like Mucci Farms, Pure Flavor and Robinson Fresh, are coming out with “baby” veggies that are perfectly sized for little hands. They come in smaller bags that are perfect for lunchboxes and showcase bright colors and fun characters to get kids excited to try them.
  • Convenience Items. We live busy lives. With work, school, afterschool activities and homework, where does dinner fit in? Convenience items like cauliflower rice, spiralized veggie noodles, pasta kits, stir fry kits and more were in abundance at the show. These items are perfect for those busy weeknights and can shave precious time off cooking a delicious and healthy homemade meal. Convenience often comes with a little higher price, so we like to balance these items out with weekend meal prep to help save money.
  • New varieties of classic produce items. We all know there are hundreds of apple varieties. Just walk into a grocery store in the fall and it’s clear to see. During the show, we can new varieties of citrus and tomatoes, each with a unique flavor profile and use (just like apples!). Expect to see more in your local grocery store over the next few years.

Now on to those new products we mentioned. If you’re really excited about any of these, we encourage to reach out to the brand directly of social media or through their website to learn more or for help finding them in a store near you!

Green Giant™ Fresh Veggie Noodles

Green Giant™ Fresh Veggie Noodles – spiralized veggie noodles are always hit, but sometimes we don’t have the time to break out the spiralizer to make them. These conveniently-packed noodles, made with sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, zucchini or butternut squash, are a dinner-saver!

SUNSET® Minzano® Pasta Kits

SUNSET® Minzano® Pasta Kits – fresh tomatoes, pasta and seasoning comes packaged together for an easy meal or side dish. Serve as is or add your favorite protein like ground turkey, grilled chicken or cannellini beans for a heartier dish.

Naturipe® Snack Packs

Naturipe® Snack Packs – These healthy, grab-and-go snack options combine strawberries, blueberries, grapes, cheese and nuts in a portable package.

Good Foods Salad Dressings – These were delicious! With flavors like Asian Ginger, Beet Balsamiic, Apple Thyme and Avocado Ranch, what’s not to love? Plus, there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Win-win!

Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes from Village Farms

Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes from Village Farms – These bright orange, bite-sized tomatoes will add a beautiful color to salads, skewers, salsas and more. Great for snacking, grilling or roasting.

Earthbound Farm® Cauliflower Medley riced veggies

Earthbound Farm® Cauliflower Medley riced veggies – remember when we mentioned “Convenience Items” above? Here’s another one to help get dinner on the table quickly.

Monterey Mushrooms Let’s Blend™ Finely Diced Mushrooms – blending mushrooms into ground meat is a great way to pump up the nutrition and flavor. Perfect for making tacos, burgers, sauces and more.

Honey & Vinegar Golden Beets from Love Beets

Honey & Vinegar Golden Beets from Love Beets – Kid-friendly beets? That’s exactly what this is! Golden beets are known for being a little sweeter than their red brothers. These pre-marinated and pre-diced beets are ready to eat right out of the package.

Crunch Pak® Apple Rings

Crunch Pak® Apple Rings – your favorite sliced apple brand now has apple rings! Perfect for making apple sandwiches, apple donuts and other fun, kid-friendly snacks.

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