FRESH EXPRESS LAUNCHES ARTISANAL PACKAGED SALADS
Salads offer Seasonal Taste in Innovative Natursave™ Packaging
CINCINNATI, August 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) announced today that its new blend of packaged salads, Fresh Express® artisanal salads, are available across the country. Artisanal salads bring the taste of the four seasons with ingredients cultivated by artisanal growers and picked throughout the year for optimal freshness and taste.
Consumers are increasingly looking for foods that provide a unique eating experience. According to a national Fresh Express survey of salad eaters, a majority of those polled seek artisanal products such as small batch roasted coffees, farmstead cheeses and artisan breads. Fresh Express listened to consumer input to create the artisanal salad line.
“Food is such an important and enjoyable part of our lives, and people want more from what they eat, especially in terms of taste,” said Dean Fahselt, Fresh Express salad artisan. “The artisanal salads are really about selecting the best produce grown with care, and then creating a palette of lettuce varieties that come together in a colorful canvas of complementary flavors. We’ve hosted taste tests to find the right blends of herbs and lettuces that make our artisanal salads so flavorful that dressing is optional.”
Growing for the Seasons
A select group of artisanal growers plant season-appropriate greens and herbs, with select varieties grown in small crops. Leaves are then picked at the peak of freshness and packed in new bags made of 50 percent less plastic than the 2009 Fresh Express Spring Mix bag, one of our most popular salads. Each season brings unexpected flavors that reinvent the packaged salad.
Our distinctive blends are crafted to deliver seasonal peak-of-flavor taste. As Americans seek to eat more foods that are tied to the seasons, they can now try new, exciting varieties of salad greens. Fresh Express artisanal salads feature some lesser-known but wildly delicious greens. Our first two blends are:
- Sierra CrispTM Herb – A distinctive herb salad with wide taste appeal. Combines mild taste and crunchiness of Sierra Crisp lettuce with mild red baby butter lettuce and a changing seasonal accent of herbs (e.g., winter herbs: parsley and chervil; summer herbs: parsley and cilantro)
- Wild Rocket Zest – This is our most boldly flavored salad. It blends robust, peppery Wild Rocket (a wild variety of arugula) with equally complex dark-colored flavorful greens like mustard and Tatsoi for zesty flavors. In the winter, the spinach in this blend will be replaced by chard.
A Revolution in Packaging
A better salad needs a better package, so Fresh Express developed its breakthrough NatursaveTM bag, which recently won a 2010 Packaging Innovation award from the United Fresh Produce Association. The new convenient packaged salad bag maintains product quality and shelf life of similar Fresh Express blends, while using 50 percent less plastic than the 2009 Fresh Express Spring Mix bag. Since the early 1990s, Chiquita and Fresh Express have been leaders in social responsibility efforts including water conservation, reduced plastic use, and biodiversity. As with all Fresh Express salads, these new blends are thoroughly washed, contain no preservatives and are ready to eat.
How Salad Savvy Are You?
The Fresh Express survey also found that salad lovers are eager to learn more about this burgeoning artisanal category: 76 percent said that they like to know where their food comes from, and they are interested in learning how packaged salads are produced. Fresh Express wants to be part of your salad experience.
Fresh Express artisanal salads are now available at select retail grocery stores across the country. To learn more about Fresh Express artisanal salads or to take our Greens IQ test, visit us at www.freshexpress.com/artisanal.
About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.
Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is a leading international marketer and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green salads. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of $3.5 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 80 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.chiquitabrands.com.