Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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September 2016 | | 143 Harvest Snaps line is made from beans, pulses or le- gumes. To communicate the benefits of these plant- based foods, the company is preparing to release a white paper on sustainable plant protein. It's also revamping its website, www.harvest-, in time for the back-to-school season this September. "We'll offer education on why proteins from better-for-you pulses are important, as well as tips of the day for better living," explains Kneepkens about the site, which will also feature Pierre Legume, a new character to appeal to kids. "ere will be a big social element to our digital web page as well, where people can share fitness and health-and-wellness stories," he continues. "We want to be right in the center of better-for-you living." Lunchbox-ready Convenience is key when it comes to encourag- ing consumers to eat beans as a snack or side dish. Pero Family Farms, in Delray Beach, Fla., offers two green bean packs that are healthful and easy to pop in a lunchbox. Green Bean Organic Snack Snips feature organic green beans cut in bite-size pieces and accompanied by organic ranch dip, while Green Bean Snack Snips with Greek yogurt ranch dip have just 40 calories per serving. From Fine Dining to Healthy at Home Southern Specialties, in Pompano Beach, Fla., has been growing and importing French green beans for more than 25 years, and so has seen the evolu- tion of its product from a specialty item in white- tablecloth restaurants to a nutritious and delicious veggie for everyday dining at home. "Today, French beans are still sought after by consumers who are interested in having a flavor- ful, nutritional product that has great appearance on the plate," says Charlie Eagle, VP of business development, regarding Southern Specialties' Southern Selects hand-trimmed beans. Featuring just 31 calories, one cup of green beans contains 2 grams of protein, and vitamins A, C and B-6, as well as iron and magnesium. To further entice time-strapped consumers to get more French green beans in their diets, Southern You can talk about protein all you want; the product has to taste good or people won't buy it." —Steve Kneepkens, Calbee North America North Carolina is Snap Bean Country According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), the Tar Heel State harvested some 4,300 acres of snap beans, with a value of more than $6.5 million, in 2014. "This year, the harvest looks very good," asserts NCDA&CS' Kevin Hardison. "Growers report that we have had enough wet weather to fill the pods and size the beans," he adds. "Yields are looking to be average, if not better than previous years." The only concern for this season, notes Hardison, is a slight increase in pod-tip rot because of more wet weather than usual. While this year could see a higher incidence of rot, it's not ex- pected to affect yields or the marketability of the crop. Specialties offers a convenient 8-ounce microwav- able bag and a 1-pound bag, as well as a 2-pound bag with a handle that plays well in club stores. "Our increasingly extended line of microwav- able 8-ounce Southern Selects French beans, yellow beans, English peas and sugar snap peas has been very successful," notes Eagle. "Customers really like the convenience factor." When it comes to sugar snap peas, which are a popular snack item and a versatile ingredient, he observes that families are gravitating to larger- format packaging. Attracting specialty bean and pea shoppers doesn't only boost the produce department's bot- tom line, adds Eagle: "We recognize that consum- ers who purchase French beans and other special- ties also typically buy more expensive cuts of meat or seafood, cheeses, and wine, which means a higher basket ring." PG

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