A First Look at the Rebranding of Pete’s Living Greens

Exciting news! Our Live Gourmet and Grower Pete’s products have a fresh new look as Pete’s Living Greens. The rebrand is the result of efforts to unite the company’s organic and conventional lines under one congruent brand.

Don’t worry you can still buy all of your favorite hydroponic living greens with the roots attached. Under the new label, you’ll find Pete’s Living Greens Butter Lettuce (both conventional and organic), Bouquet Lettuce (formerly 3-in-1), Red Butter Lettuce, Organic Watercress and Upland Cress. New items are also on the horizon.

In an interview with the produce industry news site And Now U Know, CEO John Cochran says, “It has been a long and arduous, but very rewarding process. You cannot take walking away from a longstanding successful brand lightly…Branding, specifically in packaging, is your first communication with consumers. The importance of understanding not just today’s consumer but tomorrow’s as well, is imperative to be successful.”

Products now bearing the Pete’s Living Greens moniker are getting a facelift featuring a new sleek design that is 100% recyclable. On each package you will find a message that both honors our past and that is committed to a sustainable future:

At Pete’s Living Greens, we take pride in the products we grow because we are responsible growers and have been employee-owned and operated for almost 50 years. We grow all our products hydroponically — using up to 85% less water and 70% less land than traditional growers. All our packaging is 100% recyclable too! When you eat Pete’s Living Greens, you know you are doing something healthy for you and the environment around you.

Pete’s Living Greens may be a new look, but it still has the same great taste that you and your family have grown to love. For updates and news, follow us at our new Facebook page and you can find us on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s to the next 50 years and beyond!

Hollandia Produce Named 2016 FABI Winner by NRA

 

Living Baby Butter Lettuce (1)Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens have been popular national sellers for years. Yet, what many of our patrons don’t know is that we’re found on many restaurant menus. That’s why this week we’re heading to the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show, an annual trade show and convention, taking place from May 21-24 in Chicago. 

Supplying food service purveyors and commercial kitchens requires a different approach than grocery retail, where most consumers are used to seeing our produce. In this environment, we must stay abreast of food and nutritional trends, chefs’ demands, as well as changing food safety and packaging requirements.

Our newest foodservice product, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce, has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s coveted Food and Beverage Innovation (FABI) award. Of the hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers that are introducing new products at the NRA show, only 26 products received FABI awards. Honorees are selected based on achievements in taste, marketability, creativity and profitability potential in foodservice operations. We’re thrilled to be showcasing FABI Award-winning Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce in booth 10736 at the 2016 NRA Show.

Whether it’s found on a fine dining establishment or a casual cafe menu, Grower Pete’s Organic Living Baby Butter Lettuce makes for a stand-out ingredient in a variety of meals. Rich in vitamins A, C and K, this lettuce is redefining classic salads like the Cobb and Wedge to give diners more nutritionally charged options. Like other offerings from Hollandia Produce, this organic variety is hydroponically greenhouse-grown and harvested with its roots attached for longer shelf-life and turgidity.

Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens are versatile, healthy ingredients for food service establishments and individuals alike. Whether you’re a farm-to-table proprietor, a cook in a school or you’re your family’s resident chef, you can count on our products being flavorful additions to any number of meals.

Live Gourmet Heads to Viva Fresh Expo and Shares New Living Baby Romaine Product

retailer

On April 2 we’ll be heading to San Antonio, TX to the Viva Fresh Expo. The regional trade show allows exhibitors like Hollandia Produce to network and share their products with retail and foodservice buyers. Additionally, attendees can take part in educational offerings with topics ranging from emerging techniques for growers to the latest trends in produce merchandising.

We’re proud to launch our Living Baby Romaine retail product at the Expo. It’s our newest product in our Live Gourmet® family! The green, like our Living Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress, is sold with its roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.

Baby Romaine 2It’s also is non-GMO verified, meaning it doesn’t contain genetic material that has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. This endorsement represents Hollandia Produce’s ongoing commitment to use all natural ingredients in the production of its products, be it conventional or organic.

Living Baby Romaine is the perfect portion for one to two people, which also helps minimize waste. Why introduce Living Baby Romaine into your diet? The leafy green has more vitamin A than a carrot and is a rich source of vitamin K (a key role in helping blood clot) and omega 3 fatty acids (say goodbye to fish oil supplements!). Live Strong provides more reasons to eat romaine lettuce to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Living Baby Romaine is a great addition to a variety of wraps, sandwiches and, of course, salads. After all, what would Caesar salad be without romaine?

We look forward to sharing our experience of the Viva Fresh Expo, and stay tuned for news of Live Gourmet® Living Baby Romaine coming soon to a grocery store near you!

 

 

 

Hollandia Produce Returns to Natural Products Expo West

 

CEO Pete Overgaag at the Natural Products Expo West (Image courtesy of Natural Products Expo.)

Next week Hollandia Produce will showcase its Grower Pete’s Organic brand of Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress as a green exhibitor at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA being held March 11-13, 2016. Projected to be the largest in its 36-year history, the sold out event will play host to more than 3,000 companies and 70,000 attendees.

In addition to exhibiting thousands of natural and organic companies, the conference also offers educational sessions. This year, the sessions will explore themes on trust, vitality and stewardship in relation to business practices.

Here at Hollandia Produce, we continually aim to better serve our customers. One way we do this is by putting our brands to the test. Grower Pete’s Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress are USDA certified organic by CCOF and Non-GMO verified. 

What do those terms mean exactly? For food to be deemed organic, it must be grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While GMOs are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products. This endorsement represents Hollandia Produce’s ongoing commitment to use all natural ingredients in the production of its products, be it conventional or organic.

Keeping in mind our customers’ best interests, we also are dedicated to food safety. We comply with and exceed all Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) guidelines set forth by the US FDA in the National Food Safety Initiative a set of science based protocols designed to reduce microbial food safety hazards in fresh produce. 

We look forward to sharing our Grower Pete’s Brand with new consumers and industry leaders while gaining new insight into business practices to better serve you and your families!

Join Live Gourmet® at the Annual Festival of Trees in Carpinteria

 

2016 Promo Flyer (1)For the past six years, Hollandia Produce has participated in the Festival of Trees presented by the Carpinteria Lions Club. Employees from local businesses and non-profit organizations take part in the tradition by decorating a tree in the theme of their choosing. Community members and their families can view the beautiful displays daily from 11:00am to 8:00pm now through December 12th in downtown Carpinteria (700 Linden Avenue).

The festival also raises funds for local causes through its raffle. This year’s drawing will take place on Sunday, December 13 at noon. Hollandia Produce is donating a foodie’s dream package that includes everything you would possibly want—from a hot cocoa set to a KitchenAid Mixer—to enjoy a winter day baking indoors with the family.

Festival of Trees 2015 Committee
The Hollandia Produce Festival of Trees Committee

All proceeds will benefit the Girls Inc of Carpinteria playground, which is a member of Girls Incorporated, a national research, education and direct advocacy organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold. We are honored to be a part of this life-changing program.

Get in the holiday spirit by stopping by the Festival to view our and other local businesses’ one-of-a-kind holiday trees. And don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets ($1.00 each). Your donations will make a positive impact on our community!

Hollandia Produce Heads to the PMA Food Service Conference

 

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens have been popular national sellers for years. Yet, what many of  our patrons don’t know is that we’re found on many restaurant menus. That’s why this weekend we’re heading to Monterey, CA to showcase our latest offerings at the annual Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Food Service Conference on July 26 in booth 148.

Supplying food service purveyors and commercial kitchens requires a different approach than grocery retail, where most consumers are used to seeing our produce. In this environment, we must stay abreast of food and nutritional trends, chefs’ demands, as well as changing food safety and packaging requirements.  The PMA Food Service show helps us stay current and demonstrate how we’re meeting these changes.

One of the more current trends is chefs adding more superfoods to today’s menus. Looking beyond kale and spinach as nutrient-dense ingredients, some chains, like our customer The Cheesecake Factory, have discovered that watercress’ peppery profile and recipe versatility is an ideal alternative. Here, chefs serve steak on a bed of our Upland Cress, to deliver complementary flavors and rich concentration of antioxidants, phytonutrients, lutein and Vitamins A, C and K.

Supporting sustainable farming is another trend food service providers ardently support. Initiatives like Farm-to-Fork are nearly standard operating procedure. Though sometimes demand can exceed local supply. Providers who service large hotel chains, hospitals, and schools rely also on growers like Hollandia Produce. That’s because our hydroponic greenhouse growing methods can meet food service demand for clean and sustainable farming while meeting their large capacity requirements.

Live Gourmet® and our certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of living lettuce and leafy greens are versatile, healthy ingredients for food service establishments and individuals alike. Whether you’re a farm-to-table proprietor, a cook in a school or you’re your family’s resident chef, you can count on our products being flavorful additions to any number of meals.

Super what!?: From Natural to Organic, Deciphering Those Ubiquitous Food Labels

This week, Hollandia Produce, L.P. showcases its Grower Pete’s line of certified organic Living Butter Lettuce and Living Watercress at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, the world’s largest event devoted to natural and specialty food. With over 2,600 exhibiting companies, Expo West will be buzzing with terms that describe food – grass-fed, locally-sourced, Non-GMO, superfood, to name a few.  Foods with labels “organic” and “natural” often are seen in grocery stores across the country yet the terms can be confusing to differentiate.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.
Here’s a sneak peak at the Hollandia Produce tradeshow booth being launched at Expo West #5050. The new messaging aims to complement its living wall of lettuce and showcase the company’s upcoming consumer merchandising campaign.

Their differences are considerable. For food to be deemed organic it must be grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Natural products, on the other hand, are minimally processed and contain little to no preservatives, but are not regulated by a legal or federal entity. Therefore, there is a breadth of products marketed as natural, but in reality, widely range in the amount of additives, synthesized chemicals and dyes that they contain. [Source: foodnavigator-usa.com]

USDA Organic SealWhat does this mean for you, the consumer? Read your labels thoroughly. If you intend to buy organic items, make sure that the packaging includes the USDA organic seal. Organic Trade Association provides a list of various organic labels on its website.

A number of Hollandia Produce’s products are USDA organic certified. In fact, Grower Pete’s brand of lettuce and leafy greens are organic all the way to their root balls — unlike other hydroponic produce providers who also harvest with the roots attached. Additionally, Grower Pete’s brand complies with the most recent USDA’s NOP ruling and is naturally compostable.

Watercress and Upland Cress Named SuperfoodsLive Gourmet® brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress bear another produce distinction: They’re certified as Antioxidant-rich Superfoods by the SCS. What is a superfood you ask? It contains one of the highest concentrations of nutrients, most notably lutein, considered essential for long-term health.

Hollandia Produce looks forward to sharing its organic Grower Pete’s products with new consumers and industry leaders during Expo West where attendees can learn more about making informed, healthy food choices for themselves and their families.

Spice Up Your Holiday with this Festive Watercress Casserole

The cool weather and holiday spirit calls for warm comfort foods, which is why we are providing you with this toasty watercress casserole. This festive dish is the perfect addition to any holiday meal. It’s even rich and decadent enough to present to your guests for Christmas dinner. We recommend pairing it with mashed potatoes, salad, and roasted chicken, turkey or even prime rib for the ideal holiday meal. We want to wish you the happiest of holidays and hope you and your family thoroughly enjoys this merry recipe.

 casserole plated

Watercress Casserole Ingredients:

 

1.5 pounds (24 oz. or 6 bags) of Grower Pete’s Organic Living Watercress or Live Gourmet® Living Upland Cress ‘

1.5 pounds (24 oz.) of defrosted frozen spinach leaves

1 large, chopped yellow onion (4 cups)

4 large garlic cloves

5 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of flour

1 cup of heavy cream

2 cups of milk

1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup of grated Gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Pyrex baking pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. Next, melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add in chopped onions and sauté until softened. Add in garlic cloves and cook for 2 more minutes. Add in the flour and nutmeg and stir for an additional 2 minutes. mixing bowl

Next, fold in heavy cream and milk and cook until the mixture until thickened. Then aduncookedd in ½ cup of Parmesan and mix together. Pour entire mixture into the greased baking pan.

Next remove watercress (or Upland Cress) roots, rinse and pat dry. Strain the defrosted spinach removing as much water as possible. Then, add the greens, salt, and pepper into the baking dish and mix together with the onion mixture. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and the Gruyere on top and bake for 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling. Serve this rich comfort food hot, along side of your favorite holiday dishes to complete the meal!

 

Hollandia Produce Honors SB Food Bank

Stop Hunger.jpgThis week is National Food Bank week. And to honor this occasion, we’d like to recognize the hard work and dedication of our friends and partners at the Santa Barbara Food Bank. Each year, this non-profit organization distributes the equivalent of roughly three quarters of a million meals a month. These efforts are made possible through corporate food donations made by organizations like ours throughout the County.

However, as the drought continues to escalate and mandates on water use become stricter, demand for fresh produce donations will continue to intensify. We’re grateful that we can help to fulfill a portion of this need. Each week, Hollandia Produce, L.P. donates thousands of heads of our Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce and hundreds of bunches of our Upland Cress. The food bank then redistributes donations like ours to families and children in need through its network of nearly 300 non-profit organizations. Hollandia Greenhouse

One reason Hollandia Produce is able to be a consistent food bank contributor is our farming method. Conventional field-grown crops are reliant on the weather for their annual yield. Hollandia’s crops are protected and nurtured by our greenhouses and our hydroponic growing practices. Our growing methods allow us to reduce our water consumption by up to 84% over conventional farming. This means we’re less impacted by seasonal and long-term climate changes and able to more consistently respond to growing produce demands.

Food DonationsYet, despite our best efforts and those of our fellow corporate donors, Santa Barbara Food Bank is still in serious need of more help. It’s hard to believe, but according to the SB Food Bank, only 14 counties in all of California have more of a food insecurity problem than Santa Barbara County.   Hunger is a widespread issue across our nation, and Food Banks rely on donations and volunteer efforts from individuals as well as businesses everywhere. Now is your chance to help! Find out how you too can donate, by locating your nearest Food Bank at feedingamerica.org, and if you are member of Santa Barbara County visit foodbanksbc.org. Share this post with your neighbors and friends, so together, we can all make a difference.

Hollandia’s Sustainability at Midwest Produce Expo

With the severe drought conditions plaguing the West, conserving water has become the new normal for consumers and businesses alike. Few industries have been more affected by these conditions than the agricultural business, that is, except for companies like Hollandia Produce, L.P.

As a greenhouse grower specializing in hydroponics, we’ve been committed to sustainable farming and water conservation. And, now when it really matters, we’re making a difference. That’s why we’re so excited to share our story at this year’s Midwest Produce Conference and Expo on August 12, in Chicago.

Hydroponic greenhouse growing is on the rise. While not all methods are created equal, we’re proud that our growing techniques enable us to grow 3.55 times more lettuce per acre and use up to 84 percent less water than traditional field grown crops. We achieve this through a continuous-flow-hydroponic system, known as nutrient film technique (NFT), which uses a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth. Hydroponic-growing-techniques

Sustainable farming and the environmental tenets of reduce; reuse and recycle are core values within our company.  Our entire organization works diligently to conserve water, eliminate soil erosion and be responsible stewards of the resources used to make our Live Gourmet® and Grower Pete’s certified organic products.

Additionally, with the adoption of our Live Gourmet® freight-saving Squircle clamshell package and our accompanying harness style shipping carton, we’ve reduced our annual recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) use by 15 percent, and have achieved a 40 percent reduction in the amount of cardboard we use to ship our products.

Water conservation is vital, not just because of the current drought situation, but because it is a key aspect of sustainable agriculture and simply the right thing to do. We hope you can stop by booth 312 at the Midwest Produce Expo and learn more about how we’re saving water with every crop.