The United Fresh 2018 Convention is heading for Chicago’s McCormick Place
June 25-27, but the association has tipped its hand about award winners and finalists in several categories ahead of the event.

The United Fresh Convention brings together United FreshMKT Expo, International Floriculture Expo, United FreshTEC Expo, Global Cold Chain Expo, and the new SmartFood Expo™ on one trade show floor, allowing attendees to explore the newest fresh produce, floral, better-for-you products and the tech innovations that support growth, development, promotion, transportation, and expansion across the supply chain.

We’ll have more about the show and its various components soon, but for now, let’s meet the finalists for the United Fresh2018 Innovation Awards — and this year’s honoree at the annual Women In Produce ceremony.

Cindy Jewell

Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing at California Giant Berry Farms, will be the honoree and featured speaker at the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Tuesday, June 26, at United Fresh 2018 in Chicago. Prior to joining California Giant, Cindy served as Executive Vice President of the California Strawberry Commission, where she worked for 19 years. Click here to read more about Cindy and her brilliant career.

Meanwhile, 36 new products are finalists for the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2018 Innovation Awards. This year’s finalists will compete in seven categories, including the two new categories for 2018: Best New Indoor Growing Technology and Best New Field Technology, for the title of Best New Product. Voting will take place at the show, so we’ve included each finalist’s booth number.

“The fresh produce community is constantly adopting new strategies for growth at an innovative pace,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “From new varieties, brands and merchandising solutions, to advancements in automation, growing technologies and more, these awards shine a spotlight on the products and solutions that are driving the industry forward.”

The 2018 United Fresh Innovation Awards finalists:

Best New Food Safety Solution

The Berry That Cares
Camposol – Booth #1438
Camposol pesticide free blueberries. Food safety goes beyond eliminating bacteria and other harmful organisms; this is already standard. We believe food safety is about eliminating chemical usage. We use beneficial insects in our blueberry fields to control pests instead of spraying pesticides. This is The Berry That Cares.

Certificates in the Blockchain
DNV GL – Business Assurance – Booth #2617
People do business with companies they trust, and trust is an important asset. How can you demonstrate that you provide sustainable, safe and reliable products and services? Using blockchain technology, DNV GL is the first in the certification industry to provide digital assurance, allowing our customers to be more transparent. 

Oversight Mobile
Emerson Cargo Solutions – Booth #2235

Oversight Mobile enables users to view and manage Emerson GO Real-Time Trackers from iOS and Android-enabled smartphones. Mobile access to real-time temperature and location data of produce in transit helps anyone shipping perishable products to improve food safety and mitigate food waste.

ImpactVision’s FruitCam
ImpactVision – Booth #2845 

We combine hyperspectral imaging with machine learning to make software that provides information about the quality of fresh foods non-invasively and rapidly for food supply chains. For example, the ripeness or firmness of fresh produce products or the presence of foreign objects, from images. 

Ivy Food Technology, Inc – Booth #2845 

Ivy is a blockchain based solution so you can eliminate the need to spend the time emailing the same paperwork over and over again, or filling out another vendor portal. Eliminate information redundancy, stop chasing paper trails and prove authenticity all while protecting confidential information. 

Industrial Size Food Freshness Card
Natures Natural Solutions LLC – Booth #2718 

The Food Freshness Card is the newest technology in the food world to reduce waste naturally and is covered by three (3) U.S. Patents. The New Industrial Size can instantly reduce shrink in your supermarket or commercial facility by 15-30 percent and is 100 percent guaranteed to save you money and waste!

Best New Fruit Product

Apeel Sciences – Booth #2241 

Plant-derived Apeel doubles the lifespan of harvested fruits and vegetables—without the use refrigeration. Made from materials found in every bite of fruit, Apeel is nature’s solution to increasing produce quality, nutrition, and shelf life, which helps to prevent food waste before it happens and preserves our natural resources. 

PAW Patrol Snack Trays
Crunch Pak – Booth #1636 

Make snack time totally PAWsome with delicious ingredients and your favorite characters from Adventure Bay. These paw shaped snack trays have bright, colorful packaging featuring PAW Patrol characters. Kids love them—and when you see how wholesome we’ve made snack time, so will you!

Naturipe Fruit Cups
Naturipe Farms – Booth #1045

Naturipe’s Fresh Fruit Snack Cups, with their unique shape and handy spork, come in 5 flavor combinations. The heat-sealed lid offers security and product stability with a 17-21 day shelf life. With a 5 oz. fruit serving, they are ideal for convenience stores, grab-and-go deli, lunch departments and catering operations. 

Rave™ Apples
Stemilt Growers, LLC – Booth #1641 

After two decades, it is time to get acquainted with the apple you won’t stop raving about. Meet Rave™, the apple that is outrageously juicy with a refreshing, snappy zing. Rave™ is the brand name for the new apple variety, MN55, which made its debut in August 2017.

Best New Packaging

STACKERS by DelFrescoPure – YES!BERRIES Your Everyday Snack!
Del Fresco Produce Ltd. – Booth #1244

Mid-day snack attack? STACKERS® by DelFrescoPure® offers 3, 5oz snack-size stacks of strawberries for snackers.  Snacking is a valuable part of a healthy eating and lifestyle. Our YES!Berries Your Everyday Snack!™ are ideal for sharing, school lunches and a quick grab-n-go option!

Dole Salad Bag Redesign

Dole Food Company – Booth #1412

Dole’s salad bag redesign is a comprehensive effort to rethink the packaged salad category through extensive qualitative and quantitative research. The foundation of the cleaner redesign is a unique, color-coded system for each salad that better communicates the salad kit or blend category, product benefits,  ingredients and key nutritional benefits.

Fresh Veggie Noodles & Rice

Mann Packing, Co., Inc. – Booth #812

Mann’s Fresh Veggie Noodle products include Butternut Squash “Rotini”, Kohlrabi “Linguine”, and Sweet Potato “Fettuccine” all cut into unique shapes. The new “rice” blends include Cauliflower “Rice”, Broccoli & Sweet Potato “Rice” Blend and Cauliflower “Fried Rice” Blend that includes carrots, kohlrabi and sugar snap peas.

Sweet Bites® Pail with SUNSET Snack Pack™
Mastronardi Produce / SUNSET – Booth #1524

The SUNSET® Sweet Bites® pail with reusable SUNSET Snack Pack™ was designed for consumers looking for a convenient, at home or on-the-go solution for their snacking tomatoes. The clever design and sturdy handle allow for easy carrying while the bonus SUNSET Snack Pack™ holds a serving of tomatoes.

Emeralds in the Rough
Mission Produce – Booth #1741

These avocados are the interesting little fellas that aren’t quite “pretty” enough for the main stage. Peculiar and marred- weather blemished, imperfect and how should we say this… Wonderfully Wonky. Regardless, these avocados taste just as amazing as their more beautiful brothers and sisters.

CuteCumber Poppers
Mucci Farms – Booth #1831

The CuteCumber Poppers offer convenience and a value added solution. This party sized package is equipped with a tray within the tray to accommodate the dip that is included with the product.  Additionally, the package is a recyclable tray made of PET 1 material.

Red Sun Farms Resealable Organic Fiber Pint
Red Sun Farms – Booth #1619

Red Sun Farm is proud to announce an industry first! Improving on our fantastic organic grapes, we are happy to introduce peel/reseal technology on a fiber bowl!

Best New Packing/Processing Equipment  

Screw Fed Disintegrator M15D-SF
Corenco – Booth #2327

Corenco replaced random gravity feeding with precision auger feeding, overcoming the adhesion, buoyancy and surface tension issues associated with dried fruit and leafy greens. Benefits include a metered feed into the mill, improving milling efficiency by limiting surging, protecting against overload and providing a more modular, standalone piece of equipment.

MK-U6000 / Industrial Inkjet Printer
Keyence – Booth #2743

Industrial Inkjet Printers are used to print date codes, lot numbers, barcodes, logo, etc. directly onto your products while moving down your production line. Keyence designed the system that is user-friendly with the world’s first auto-shower cleaning function so you no longer need to clean the print head by hand.

Titano CR 18
Turatti North America, Inc. – Booth #2212

The model Titano 2CR is the only automated system that removes the jacket from cauliflowers (while floretting them as well) providing also a versatile platform for coring, trimming and floretting broccoli and cabbages on the same unit. The system features a touchscreen panel allowing to automatically customize the cutting operations.

Volmpack Pouch Bagger
Volm Companies, Inc. – Booth #1117

The Volmpack Pouch Bagger is a single pouch bagging machine which easily bags product in common, pre-made pouch style bags. The Pouch Bagger allows facilities to move away from costly and labor-intensive manual pouch bagging to affordable, high-speed automation.

Best New Vegetable Product

AMCO Produce Inc. – Booth #2016 

AMCO is releasing a DIY cooking kit, a tomato relish kit. The package will include tomatoes, spices, and other condiments needed to make the sauce. We do the prep and you do the cooking. This new product could be used in different ways, from a spread to a side dish.

Cece’s™ Veggie Noodle Co. Riced Organic Broccoli
Cece’s Veggie Noodle Co. – Booth #1017

Cece’s™ Veggie Co. riced organic broccoli is a shortcut to fast, fresh, organic veggie-filled dishes. From paleo-friendly fried rice to your favorite stir fry, or the base of virtually any dish, riced broccoli makes it easy to add freshness to every meal. It’s not rice, but it’s just as nice.

Euro Bean The Gourmet Slicing Bean
DelFresco Pure – Booth #1244

DelFrescoPure greenhouse grown Euro Bean, The Gourmet Slicing Bean, is a favorite in our product lineup. The soft, subtle taste is sure to enhance any dining experience. Add a squeeze of lemon and a touch of salt after boiling for a scrumptious appetizer. Available in 12oz and bulk packaging.

Del Monte Spiral Vegetable Noodles
Del Monte Fresh Produce  – Booth #812

Del Monte® Vegetable Noodles are pre-cut and ready to add to salads, sauté, or boil. They take all the prep work out, making it even faster and convenient for consumers to prepare than traditional pasta noodles. They are 100% fresh, preservative free, and come ready to cook or serve.

Dole Food Company – Booth #1412 

DOLE Slawesome! Kits introduce the world’s first line of seasoned coleslaw kits. Establishing a new seasoned coleslaw product category, each kit combines a mix of shredded cabbages and carrots with an original Dole dressing and an instant-seasoning pack, featuring four unique varieties: Sweet Apple, Mango Sriracha, Fiesta Lime, Smoky BBQ.

Fresh Express Sauté Kits
Fresh Express, Inc. – Booth #2031

Fresh Express Sauté Kits are delicious, chef- inspired hot vegetable dishes ready in under three minutes. Whether sautéing with shrimp or pairing with chicken, Fresh Express Sauté Kits fill a void for consumers who lack expertise or are intimidated to cook fresh vegetables themselves. Available in four delicious varieties!

Green Giant Fresh Meal Bowls
Green Giant Fresh – Booth #951 

Green Giant™ Fresh has launched a new line of fresh vegetable Meal Bowls, including six distinct world flavors. All bowls are microwavable and ready in just minutes, making them convenient and nutritious meal options; Buddha Bowl, Burrito Bowl, Fried Rice Bowl, Pad Thai Bowl, Ramen Bowl, and Rancheros Bowl.

Mann’s Veggie Pasta Nourish Bowls with Plant-based Protein
Mann Packing Co., Inc. – Booth #812

Mann’s is now adding to the award-winning Nourish Bowls line with Basil Pesto and Tomato Bolognese. They are the first-ever warm veggie meals to feature plant-based protein, with vegan Chick’n in the pesto sauce and vegan sausage in the Bolognese.

SUNSET® Aloha™ Peppers
Mastronardi Produce / SUNSET – Booth #1524

This beautiful striped pepper is exclusive to SUNSET® and unlike any other in the market. With bright stripes of red, orange, and yellow, it is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. This item is part of our Chef Inspired line of premium gourmet produce.

Best New Field Technology

SC iOn Tag
CalAmp – Booth #2615

The SC iOn Tag transforms traditional in-transit data logging. The sensor automatically logs environmental condition data then transmits it wirelessly compared to data manually uploaded from a USB drive after transport ends. Programmed events generate a notification to inform users of compliance issues that help reduce spoilage of consumer goods.

Food Origins Data Collection Platform
Food-Origins – Booth #2845

Food-Origins is a geo-spatial field data collection system enabling AI and deep learning analysis in hand harvested agriculture. With our tools, farmers and marketers can optimize labor management, assure source accuracy, understand inventory and harvest rates prior to arrival, and diagnose the causes of market corrections for continuous improvement.

GROWERSTOCK | Produce on Demand
Growerstock Inc. – Booth #2845

Growerstock is a time-driven trading platform for the fresh produce industry. We enable professionals to trade with speed, simplicity, and security by intelligently matching buyer requests with verified sellers within a selected shipping area.

Best New Indoor Growing Technology

Agrilyst Mobile
Agrilyst – Booth #2253

This is the first app designed for greenhouses and vertical farms to manage their workflow, their team, and their crops. All employees from supervisors to hourly employees can utilize the app, making logging, compliance, and farm management that much easier.

Autogrow – Booth #2541
IntelliGrow is a cloud-based solution that allows growers to access, set, monitor and manage their IntelliDose or IntelliClimate control systems from anywhere in in the world, at anytime and through any internet connected device. This gives growers more options, more information and importantly, peace of mind.

IUNU – Booth #2226

We provide early detection of pests, diseases, and deficiencies that affect crop value. Our automated visual data collection puts easy digital crop walks, quick plant health analysis, and automated inventory tracking in your hands. You can take immediate actions that increase crop yield/value, reduce operating costs, and reduce pesticide use.

The 2018 United Fresh Innovation Awards finalists will be displayed on the trade show floor at United Fresh 2018 in Chicago, where attendees will have the opportunity to cast their votes for their favorite new and innovative products on June 26-27. The winner in each category will be determined by total votes received as of 2:00 pm June 27. United Fresh will announce winners at the Innovation Awards Area on the show floor June 27 at 3:00 pm.



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