Innovation has always been at the forefront of Mann Packing. "It makes us stand out," says Chip Obracay, Vice President of National Sales. "We've always prided ourselves on quality and innovation, even before the company was acquired by Fresh Del Monte back in 2018." Broccolini® is one of the most well-known inventions of Mann Packing. "This proprietary product is a combination of broccoli and Chinese kale. Compared to broccoli, it has a smaller and less fibrous stem, but it is also sweeter and milder." Another proprietary product is Arcadian Harvest®, a salad blend of petite whole leaves that are a bit hardier compared to baby lettuces. The Air Fryer veggie kits and P.F. Chang's salad kits are part of the most recent product launches.
All in all, the acquisition of Mann's by Fresh Del Monte has resulted in more resources becoming available for innovation. Mann's research and development department has been integrated with Fresh Del Monte's, and new items will continue to be launched. "There is a whole pipeline of innovation," said Obracay.
East coast distribution
Apart from value-added products, some of Mann's main commodity items include stringless sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, as well as leafy greens. All vegetables are grown in the Salinas Valley in California as well as in Yuma, Arizona, and Baja California, Mexico, depending on the time of year. From the processing facility in Salinas, the products make their way to retailers and food service providers across the country and into Canada. Only recently, Mann's product offering was expanded to the East Coast. "We are able to utilize the network of Fresh Del Monte through third-party logistics company Tricont Trucking & Logistics. This allows us to reach new areas we otherwise wouldn't be in."
Tricont ships the products to a distribution center in North Carolina, where they are re-distributed to the customer on the same day or early the next morning. "It has been a great opportunity to use Fresh Del Monte's infrastructure as it supports us in achieving our goal of having a coast-to-coast reach," commented Obracay. By leveraging Fresh Del Monte's network, efficiencies of scale fall into place. "Logistics prowess is critical in the industry, and with the power of a logistics conglomerate behind us, nothing will stop us."
"Our endless focus on innovation, in combination with utilizing Fresh Del Monte's network, will allow us to continue expanding."