Pure Flavor adds new little dynamo to its snacking line
Cucumbers have long been a mainstay in the product lineup at Pure Flavor®, but an innovative new offering will surely grab the attention of consumers who are looking to grab a quick, healthy and flavorful snack that also puts sustainability at the forefront.
The Leamington, ON-based greenhouse vegetable grower and marketer recently launched its new Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumber line, which it will feature at the upcoming PMA Fresh Summit virtual convention.
Uno Bites are available in two sizes: a dry pint top seal and 1.75-pound top seal.
“A new generation of snacking has arrived,” said Chris Veillon, chief marketing officer at Pure Flavor. “Our Uno Bites Nano Cucumbers are so small, they are out of this world. You would think they are destined for the International Space Station!”
Veillon described Uno Bites as a “thirst-quenching snack,” owing to the fact that they are 95 percent water and rich in important nutrients like electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which play an important role in hydration.
“From kids to grandparents, and everyone in between, Uno Bites are a perfect snack-attack solution,” he said.
Veillon said Pure Flavor’s research and development team has been trialing a number of varieties over the last few years and finally found a cucumber that is the right size and can meet the yield needs.
Uno Bites joins a well-established roster of cucumber SKUs offered by Pure Flavor that includes Long English Cucumbers, Mini Cucumbers and Poco Bites Cocktail Cucumbers, all of which have seen a surge in demand in recent months.
He said Pure Flavor recently completed construction of a 25-acre greenhouse in Leamington that will be growing cukes throughout the winter this coming season. Planting was set to commence Oct. 7, with plants expected to yield product a few weeks later.
Veillon said Pure Flavor, which also has both tomato and cucumber greenhouse acreage in Georgia, stands apart from its competition because as a vertically integrated grower it provides year-round supply, unlike others that might offer only a seasonal program. It also has a keen eye for innovation and is continually collecting and analyzing data to help make decisions on new product offerings and packaging designs. And that has been crucial in the development of its snacking line.
Delicious … and sustainable
Veillon said Pure Flavor’s research led it to focus on single-serve opportunities that are sustainably driven with no waste.
“The new Uno Bites Nano Cucumbers are literally a one-bite wonder – there is nothing left over,” he said. “That is a big concern for many people in North America, and creating portion sizes that are consumable in one sitting is becoming more attractive to purchasers from a use standpoint. But equally important is that you don’t have to peel them, so there is no waste at all. You eat them whole in one shot.”
He said the creative strategy behind Uno Bites centered on their size and potential use. “They are far from a cooking cucumber and don’t play an overly active role in the kitchen,” he said. “They are just … there. You crunch and munch as you help your kids with their homework, make dinner, watch TV or just relax on the deck. They are a healthy and sustainable option that go with pretty much any occasion.”
While the launch of Uno Bites Nano Cucumbers wasn’t necessarily timed for the back-to-school period, Veillon said healthy snacking needs to be part of the back-to-school conversation, as every kid needs energy and hydration to power through the day, whether it is at school or at home during a virtual school day.
“All items that are snack-sized have seen a bump with the return to school given the need for convenient, healthy lunch box snacks,” he said. “We are experiencing a high demand for our snacking items that are pre-packaged in resealable containers. Parents are in need of healthy snacking solutions, and we have a complete line and website devoted to just snacking (www.pure-flavor.com/healthy-snacking/).”
What’s more, as the COVID pandemic has maintained its grip, there has been more emphasis on healthy eating to boost immune systems and help stave off the virus.
“I think people are more health-conscious than ever before, and that means they are reassessing their purchases to ensure they are eating the right things every day,” said Veillon. “With snacking trends on the rise, items like bite-sized cucumbers are one of the solutions to leading a healthier lifestyle.”
Veillon said Pure Flavor thinks of itself as not just a grower but rather as a brand that fuels healthy lifestyles. The three brand pillars it promotes are Gain Pure Energy, Seek Pure Living and Feel Pure Enjoyment.
“From my perspective, we as a brand are creating an I-C-E based approach to consumer engagement,” he said. “I is for Inform, as in raising awareness for the brand of products and using eye-catching packaging. C is for Connect, as in explaining how the product fits the lifestyle and serving up content that creates a connection. And E is for Educate, as in touting the product’s characteristics and benefits, and offering usage suggestions.
“In a highly competitive space, growing good product and slapping a label on the package is no longer acceptable,” he continued. “Consumers demand more. They want to connect with you to learn more about the product and how you are connected to the community, and as a company we are looking to partner with them to meet their needs.”