“About seven years ago, we first launched our Smiling Buddha label,” says Rick Chong with Sutherland, S.A. “It’s a premium label that we initially used for our cherry export program to China and Southeast Asia,” he added. At first, Kim Hoang, Sales Manager for Sutherland, personally supervised and ensured only the best quality product made it into the Smiling Buddha label.
Smiling Buddha label.
Label for highest quality product
Four years ago, Sutherland started expanding the label for quality apples and grapes. Canadian Ambrosia apples and Australian grapes make their way over to Asia under the premium label. Until this day, only the highest quality product makes it into the Smiling Buddha packaging. As a result, the label has gained a reputable status in the market and Sutherland receives many requests for it. Some customers even ask for exclusivity to sell under the Smiling Buddha label in their market.
Grapes under Smiling Buddha label come in boxes with a blue liner.
Like Kraft offering to package under Heinz label
Earlier this year, Sutherland was approached by California’s exclusive grower-shipper of Pristine grapes, Delano Farms. “Pristine grapes are perceived as the number #1 green seedless grape variety in the world and Delano Farms asked us to help them further develop their export market for this grape variety,” shared Chong. “Until now, they always packed its exclusive grape variety under the Pristine label, but the owner expressed interest in exporting under our Smiling Buddha label which is unprecedented. It’s like Kraft offering to package their peanut butter under Heinz,” Chong said. The two companies have developed a premium export pack and shipments under the new label started last month.
“Sutherland’s well-known and highly regarded Smiling Buddha label will allow us to make an immediate impact with our Pristine grapes in the Asian market instead of taking several years” mentioned Scott Jones with Delano Farms. “Only our biggest size grapes will make it into the Smiling Buddha packaging and Sutherland, S.A. will continue to be involved in quality control, including testing for size, color and brix levels.”
Only the highest quality makes it into the Smiling Buddha packaging.
Initially, the Smiling Buddha Pristine Grapes will be exclusively exported to Asia with Vietnam and China being the two largest markets. Smiling Buddha grapes are shipped by vessel as well as by plane. Pristines are exclusively grown and packed by Blanc Vineyards, Delano Farms and Four Star Fruit, Inc.