The NatureFresh Farms greenhouse facility in Delta, Ohio has started picking its specialty tomatoes in addition to its popular tomatoes on the vine to ship through the winter. With an emphasis on quality and flavor, retailers will see a renewed interest in the produce aisle this winter, say company officials.
“Every flavor provides a sensory experience that distinguishes itself,” says Chris Veillon, director of marketing. “A tomato’s flavor is a consumer’s most immediate and visceral experience with the variety. NatureFresh Farms developed its TOMZ Snacking Tomatoes to meet consumer expectations that when they enjoy a snacking tomato in July, October, or February, that the flavor is plentiful and consistent each and every time. Why? Because the same grower produced that same tomato from the same farm regardless of the season."
Customers this winter will enjoy an extensive variety of NatureFresh Farms Ohio grown tomatoes that include red, yellow, orange grape tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes, sweet red cocktail tomatoes and mixed medley tomatoes. All snacking tomatoes are being packed under the TOMZ snacking tomato brand. NatureFresh has already being shipping their popular OhioRed Tomatoes On The Vine since last February and will begin shipping OhioRed Roma and OhioRed Beefsteak tomatoes later this winter.
NatureFresh Farms unveiled its new Ohio Proud themed TOMZ top seal packaging at PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, Fla., in October and was met with rave reviews, officials add. By transitioning to top seal packaging, NatureFresh is reducing the plastic content of its packages by up to 25 percent. High impact creative across all products enhance the packaging presentation with specific call outs to support the State of Ohio Department of Agriculture Ohio Proud program and grown in the USA creative.
“We want to ensure that consumers clearly understand that this product is grown in Ohio,” says Ray Wowryk, director of business development. NatureFresh included a USA flag in the creative and increased the font size of the country of origin to avoid any confusion on store shelves of where the product was grown.
“Growing our tomatoes year-round in Ohio significantly reduces the food miles that the product must travel to store level. We are increasing shelf life by picking the fruit off the vine at a later color stage to ensure we deliver maximum flavor,” adds Wowryk.
NatureFresh Farms is in the midst of a major expansion in Ohio with up to 180 acres of year-round production planned for the Delta facility. Phase 1 (15.30 acres) + 2 (15.30 acres) have been completed to date with Phase 3 (15.30 acres) to be completed in December brings the total of new construction to 45 acres in the last 12 months. With an abundance of off peak power available from the grid, NatureFresh is using High Pressure Sodium lighting to supplement its growing practices to be able to grow year-round in Delta.