The Los Angeles-based firm also is rolling out new boldly flavored salad dressings and a smoothie that will make eating fruits and vegetables easier and more enjoyable for grown-ups, too, Suzanne Ginestro, chief marketing officer at Bolthouse Farms, said at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.
The new and previously recently launched products are hitting shelves as a national campaign promoting fruits and vegetables – or FNVs – hits airways, the Internet and bus station posters nationwide. The campaign seeks to make fruits and vegetables cool, and Bolthouse Farms reinforces the mission by making them easier to eat from a flavor profile and a convenience perspective. (Read more about the FNV campaign HERE.)
New children’s products
The firm’s Veggie Snackers pair fresh baby carrots in a single-serving, clear bag that has a separate compartment of natural seasonings that can be easily opened and combined before eating so each component stays fresh.
Children “pinch and pull” open the seasoning compartment in the top of the bag to release either ranch or chili-lime seasoning into the main pouch with the carrots. Consumers then shake the bag to coat the carrots with the flavoring before opening and enjoying it, Ginestro explain.
“My kids go crazy for these and when I pack them in my kids’ lunches the other moms literally send me emails” asking where they can buy the Veggie Snackers, Ginestro said.
The snackers, which launched in late August, currently are available only with limited distribution in a few key accounts, including in a subset of Walmart, she said.
“We are really trying to prove the concept and figure out what works and what doesn’t work” for merchandising before scaling up distribution of the snackers, Ginestro explained.
So far, the company has found that placing the snackers in a special display set in the produce section with other snacks, such as sliced apples, is essential for marketing because otherwise the snacks can be difficult for consumers to find, she said.
Part of the challenge in selling the snackers is “people don’t go to the produce section thinking there are going to be kids’ snacks, or they just think about the big bags of baby carrots,” so the company needs to build awareness around the products and fruits and vegetables as snack food in general, Ginestro said.
The firm is trying to build awareness of produce through participation in the FNV campaign and its own Fruit and Veggie Take-Over on social media, which encourages people to post about healthy eating. Bolthouse Farms also is promoting the UnBake Sale as a twist on the traditional school bake sale that provides healthier fundraising alternatives to cookies and brownies, Ginestro said.
More children’s snacks
Bolthouse Farms also launched fruit and Greek yogurt tubes for children that are easy to eat on the go. Two of the tubes include just fruit puree and one also includes a hint of Greek yogurt, which is different from most of the existing yogurt tubes which only have a hint of fruit and mostly yogurt.
Unlike the popular pouches of fruit and vegetable purees currently marketed, Bolthouse Farms’ tubes can be frozen and consumed like an otter pop by tearing open the top and pushing up the frozen puree, Ginestro said. This is not possible with the pouches, which have small reclosable stoppers that block the frozen puree.
“The really great thing about [the tubes] is there is no sugar added. So, the only sugar in them is the sugar coming from the fruit itself,” unlike some other tubes which have added sugar and may contain artificial flavorings, Ginestro said.
Finally, in the children’s product line-up, Bolthouse Farms is selling 6-ounce non-dairy smoothies that are sold in four-packs and are easy to toss in school lunches.
Bolthouse also is making eating fruits and vegetables easier for adults with the launch of two new refrigerated salad dressings: caramelized sweet onion and creamy balsamic.
The dressings also would be good as a dip or on a sandwich, Ginestro added.
In addition, the firm expanded its smoothie line with the launch of Blueberry Banana Almond Milk, the first smoothie from the firm to include almond milk. Ginestro said Bolthouse decided to add almond milk because many consumers were adding it to their smoothies at home.
The company likely will come out with more flavors of almond milk smoothies and has considered creating smoothies with coconut milk, too, she said.
Ultimately, Ginestro said, these products are aimed at helping Americans eat healthier and “inspiring a fresh revolution.”