After a 12-day journey from Chile, the first West Coast break bulk vessel of the season, Ice River, arrived to the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday, January 9. The ship unloaded 4,500 pallets of fresh grapes, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and blueberries that will be hitting retail shelves this week.
The entire SSA Marine operations team, including Kevin Nielsen, Terminal Manager and Lacey Patalano, Office Administration, were excited to receive the Ice River vessel, and look forward to receiving weekly Chilean fresh fruit vessels now thru April. Steve Hattendorf, Western Region Merchandiser for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), greeted the first West Coast vessel of the 2019-2020 Chilean winter fruit season and toured the 14 acre facility in San Pedro, California.
Winter has definitely arrived, but shoppers can get a taste of summer throughout the winter months, courtesy of Chile. Cherries, blueberries, grapes and stone fruit (peaches, plums and nectarines) are now in-market, with merchandising support available to retailers through the U.S. and Canada. Says Karen Brux, Managing Director of the CFFA, “Demos, digital coupons, kids cooking classes, and social media contests are just some of the programs we’re currently running with retailers big and small. We’re also further supporting retail sales through our consumer campaign, which includes extensive social media promotions, as well as our new “Super Fruit Bowl” campaign that’s currently running with ESPN.” Consumers can go to www.chileanfreshfruitbowl.com for a chance to win 2 tickets to the big game on February 2!
The Chilean season is just starting to ramp up. Through January 6, Chile had exported the following volumes to the U.S.
- Cherries 4,386 tons
- Blueberries 30,194 tons
- Grapes: 17,067 tons
- Nectarines: 5,114 tons
- Peaches: 5,419 tons
- Plums: 2,276 tons
Information on specific fruits, as well as recipes and promotional material, can be found at fruitsfromchile.com