Nowadays, it is hard to imagine the tomato section of a grocery store without snack-size options like grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. They have gained so much popularity and have become a staple item in a relatively short amount of time. "We were an early adopter of snacking vegetables as it was evident there was an opportunity for healthy alternatives to make an impact in the snack food category," says Steve Zaccardi, Senior Director of Sales with Mucci Farms. "Over a decade ago, we launched our first snacking variety, Sun Drops Sweet Grape Tomatoes." Until today, this variety remains a staple item in the company's category assortment.
Over time, consumers got more and more accustomed to grape and cherry tomatoes and eating them as snacks. Seed suppliers responded by innovating and offering new flavors, varieties, and commodities of snack-sized vegetables. Following the smaller alternatives for tomatoes were snack-size options for cucumbers and peppers. "Smaller vegetable options quickly gained traction and have been the fastest growing segment of controlled environment agriculture since their inception."
The emphasis seed companies are putting on bringing to market snack-size vegetables has resulted in a significant expansion of flavors and colors, as well as improvements in yields. As a result, customers now have hundreds of varieties to choose from. "We are consistently trialing 200+ snacking varieties in our research and development facility as we continue to search for exciting new flavors to bring to the market," commented Steve.
A new look and feel for Mucci's Veggies-to-Go snacking vegetables.
On-the-go snacks for kids
While Mucci Farms has brought many different snacking vegetable options to market, three varieties stand out as they have been recognized with awards. The lineup includes Sun Drops™ Sweet Grape Tomatoes, Cutecumber™ Poppers, and Sweet-to-the-Point™ mini pointed peppers. In addition to the relaunch, Mucci Farms also updated the look and feel of Veggies-to-Go, appealing to a more modern audience while offering convenient packaging options that improved operational efficiency. "As we focused on creating efficiencies in what is a labor-intensive product, we saw a great opportunity to rebrand while offering some new packaging options," said Emily Murracas, Director of Marketing. The new options include 5-ounce top seal offerings that are fully customizable with 2 and 3-pack paper banding options, as well as a family variety package with bag options.
Local favorite teacher campaign
To support the rebrand, Mucci launched their inaugural Tag-A-Teacher campaign. "It allowed for the local community to tag their favorite teacher on our social media channels and share why their teachers were so great and deserving of recognition," shared Emily. The campaign was also reinforced by partnering with four local retailers who stocked the items and helped generate local excitement. Three lucky teachers won a Mucci Farms prize pack with Veggies-to-Go packs for their classes, as well as activity books.
Global Produce & Floral Show
Curious to see the new Veggies-to-Go options? They will be featured in the on-the-go category of this year's Fresh Ideas Showcase at the Global Produce & Floral Show in Anaheim, California. In addition, they will be on display at the Mucci Farms booth, together with many other greenhouse-grown vegetables. Visit the team at booth #481 on October 20 and 21.