Mucci strawberries win PC award
April 11, 2018 By Greenhouse Canada
Kingsville, ON – And the President’s Choice Fresh Product of the Year award goes to? Mucci Farms for their PC Ontario Greenhouse Strawberries.
“We’ve been growing traditional greenhouse items for over 50 years but strawberries were our first attempt at growing an unconventional greenhouse product,” said Danny Mucci, President of Mucci International Marketing. “Our team and I were completely blown away and speechless when we got the news that we were nominated.”
To be eligible for the award, the product had to be:
· launched between fall 2016 and summer 2017
· first to market in Canada
· generated sales and profit and considered a ‘commercial success’
The winner was determined by ballot vote at Loblaw Companies Ltd. The award was presented at the 2018 Loblaw Brands Innovation Summit in Toronto.
First produced full-scale in 2016, Smuccies™ Sweet Strawberries has since been recognized for their packaging, fruit and kid-friendly appeal by other industry associations. One of the largest greenhouse strawberry operations in North America, Mucci expects to finish the final phase of their 36-acre expansion this fall with supplemental HPS lighting for year-round growth.
“Not only is the greenhouse strawberry an amazing tasting piece of fruit, the greenhouse strawberry is moving to a point of where we are producing it year round,” remarked Dan Branson, Senior Director, Produce, Floral & Garden at Loblaw Companies Ltd., “so it’s taking a lot of trucks off of the road, it’s giving amazing consistency and more importantly than anything, it tastes like a strawberry is supposed to tase.”
“I would like to thank the entire LBL-PC Team for working closely with us and entrusting us with this ambitious project,” said Joe Spano, Vice President of Mucci International Marketing. “The PC, procurement and merchandising teams showed a great deal of interest in the greenhouse growing process. From R&D, to traveling with us and learning about our industry, they were with us every step of the way. This not only strengthened our relationship, it helped us establish a unified vision for the program.”
But there’s also an educational side to this, and Mucci Farms is committed to sharing it with the public. The first episode of their video blog entitlted “Off the Vine” features Smuccies from growth to launch.
“There is a story and a strong message to be told and shared about greenhouse grown produce and as we build on the consumer education component, we believe that the greenhouse story will become the greenhouse revolution,” remarked Emily Murracas, Director of Marketing.
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