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A New Breed


Like any major trade show, PMA offers plenty of opportunities to check out new products that haven’t hit the market yet. In an industry like produce, a lot of the innovation comes in the form of new packaging, new marketing campaigns, or fruit and vegetable varieties that U.S. consumers are simply unfamiliar with.

But, a couple of new items caught my eye at this year’s show. Apio’s Beneforte “Better Broccoli” and Duda’s Red Celery. Both new items were produced after years of selective breeding—in other words, they’re not genetically modified—and both offer new consumer benefits.

Celery Sensations

The Red Celery, under the brand name “Celery Sensations” is a new variety produced by cross-pollinating regular commercial celery with an old-world heritage celery root that was red in color. Horticulturalist Larry Pierce, Duda’s manager of celery seed research, began working on the project almost 20 years ago. The result is a similar flavor profile with a striking new look.

Similarly, Apio’s Beneforte Better Broccoli was developed after 10 years of cross breeding with a wild broccoli relative native to Southern Italy. Consumers will find the flavor familiar, but this new breed has 2 to 3 times the glucoraphanin as other broccolis. Glucoraphanin is a phytonutrient naturally found in broccoli, that boosts the body’s antioxidant enzyme levels, assisting the performance of vitamins A, C and E.

Beneforte logo

I’m sure I’m missing lots of new products on this year’s show floor, but these seemed like good examples of how growers can use science and natural cross-breeding to produce new produce varieties with clear customer benefits.


David Orgel

David Orgel is executive director, content & user engagement, of Supermarket News (SN) and its website, Orgel delivers his opinions on industry trends through a bi-weekly...

Jon Springer

Jon Springer has been writing about food, food retailers and food retailing for more than 10 years, and is in his second tour of duty with Supermarket News. His prior experience includes covering the...
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