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Mann Packing is using its noodle to build produce sales

Following the launch of its Spicy Thai Veggie Noodle Bowl last year, featuring fresh kohlrabi noodles, Mann Packing Co. is now offering a full line of standalone veggie noodle products. Mann’s line-up includes Butternut Squash “Rotini”, Kohlrabi “Linguine” and Sweet Potato “Fettuccine.”

According to company officials, Mann’s veggie noodles feature unique, chef-inspired cuts that work perfectly as a pasta swap. They said the development of the new line speaks to increased consumer demand for vegetables that can easily be used in place of a traditional carb. According to recent reports, shoppers spent more than $30 million on veggie noodle products in 2017, a whopping 409-percent increase over the previous year.Manns NB Risotto comp 2017 US-web

Additionally, Mann’s new Fresh Veggie Rice products are made from a variety of colorful vegetables and are a convenient alternative to traditional rice, boasting fewer calories and carbs per serving. Mann’s new blends include Cauliflower “Rice”, Broccoli & Sweet Potato “Rice” Blend and Cauliflower “Fried Rice” blend that includes carrots, kohlrabi and sugar snap peas.

“The demand for convenient, ready-to-eat vegetables has been on the rise for some time,” said Jacob Shafer, senior marketing and communications specialist at Mann Packing Co., based in Salinas, CA. “Mann’s Veggie Slaw Blends align with this trend by offering unique blends of vibrant and versatile veggies.”

As an example, Shafer cited Kale Beet Blend, an “eye popping” combination of kale, golden beets, kohlrabi and red cabbage. “Mann’s Kale Beet Blend stands out on the shelf and offers exceptional versatility,” Shafer said. “It can be served on its own or incorporated into dishes like salads, smoothies or other meals. The new blend is made from 100 percent fresh vegetables; it is gluten free and all-natural.”

Other Mann’s Slaw Blends include classics such as Broccoli Cole Slaw, Rainbow Salad and Power Blend.

With today’s busy lifestyles, Shafer expects prepared produce to only continue to grow in sales and popularity.

“Consumers seek convenience above all else,” Shafer said. “With prepared produce, retailers can now offer their customers new and innovative products that make finding tasty and healthy foods, snack alternatives and carb-swaps easy. Companies that understand the data and trends can help their retail partners drive the category by offering compelling products that address the evolving needs of today’s consumers and take advantage of all selling opportunities.”

Another plus in Mann Packing’s stable is packaging that extends shelf life and is easy for the consumer to use.

“For us, it’s all about the convenience,” Shafer said. “Packaging features, such as easy opening, re-sealable and portable continue to drive our packaging innovation. A clear, large viewing area for the product is popular with consumers. Also, Mann’s packaged products use anti-fogging material which provides increased product visibility and shelf appeal for customers and consumers.”

Mann Packing continues to keep its finger on the pulse of what will be the next big thing in the produce aisle.

“Ethnic flavor profiles are trending,” Shafer said. “Our Mann’s Nourish Bowls are capitalizing on the popularity of bowl-based meals with diverse and ethnic flavor profiles found in foodservice, which have been delivering strong margins and velocity to retailers since launching in 2016.

“Mann’s award-winning Nourish Bowls line is doing for the cut-veg category what single-serve salad bowls have done for the salad category. Nourish Bowls were developed internally with a desire to create a healthy, warm single-serve meal with fresh veggies, ready in minutes.”

Mann’s Nourish Bowls varieties include Monterey Risotto, Sesame Sriracha, Cauli Rice Curry, Bacon Maple Brussels, Southwest Chipotle, Spicy Thai, Basil Pesto and Tomato Bolognese.

The latest product developments build on the heritage of founder H.W. “Cy” Mann, who founded Mann Packing Co. in 1939 as a fresh carrot packing operation. Earlier this year, Mann Packing was acquired by Del Monte Fresh Produce and now operates as the Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable division.