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What’s Up with Wawona, March 2024

Wawona Update

Happy National Frozen Foods Month! Wawona has been buzzing since our trip to the annual AFFI CON at the beginning of the month where our sales team had the opportunity to meet with 80% of our customers and vendors to map out this upcoming season! Wawona’s management team has been working to embody and promote Wawona’s new values: PEACHES. Passion, Execution, Ambition, Courage, Health, Enjoyment and Service. 

Industry Trends

March 2024 continues to highlight sustainability as a core focus with brands implementing eco-friendly practices across the supply chain. Flavor exploration takes center stage, driving the creation of innovative blends featuring exotic fruit varieties to cater to adventurous palates. Health-centric offerings tailored to specific dietary needs continue to emerge, reflecting consumers’ growing interest in functional foods. Meanwhile, convenience remains paramount, with brands prioritizing easy-to-use packaging formats and portion sizes to accommodate busy lifestyles. As we navigate through March, these trends encapsulate the evolving preferences and demands shaping the frozen fruit industry, offering a glimpse into its vibrant future.

Frozen Fruit 101

March heralds the arrival of seasonal favorites like strawberries, kiwis, and mangoes, each bursting with vibrant flavors and essential nutrients. Did you know that strawberries, often associated with warmer months, actually thrive in cooler temperatures, making March an ideal time for their harvest? Similarly, kiwis reach their peak sweetness during this time, packed with vitamin C to boost immune health. Meanwhile, mangoes, known as the “king of fruits,” bring a tropical flair to March, offering a sweet and juicy indulgence rich in vitamins A and C. Whether enjoyed fresh or frozen, these March fruits offer a delicious way to celebrate the arrival of spring while nourishing the body with essential nutrients.

What’s Up with Wawona, February 2024

Industry Trends

In February 2024, the frozen fruit industry was marked by a growing focus on sustainability, evident in eco-friendly packaging and responsible sourcing. Health-conscious consumers are driving innovation with specialized frozen fruit blends tailored to nutritional preferences. Advancements in freezing technology maintain optimal flavor and nutritional value, while an expanding range of exotic fruit varieties caters to those seeking diverse flavor experiences. These trends highlight the industry’s commitment to meeting consumer expectations for health, sustainability, and variety for the upcoming Frozen Fruit Month.

Frozen Fruit 101

The industry has seen a surge in consumer awareness regarding the nutritional benefits of frozen fruits, debunking myths about their perceived inferiority compared to fresh produce. With advancements in freezing technologies, frozen fruits now boast nutrient retention rates comparable to, and in some cases exceeding, their fresh counterparts. Furthermore, the convenience of frozen fruits has become a key driver in their popularity, as consumers increasingly prioritize time-efficient and health-conscious options. This year, frozen fruit enthusiasts can also anticipate an expanding array of innovative blends, catering to specific dietary preferences and adding an exciting twist to the freezer aisle.

What’s Up with Wawona, January 2024

Industry Trends

The frozen fruit industry has witnessed significant shifts in consumer preferences and market dynamics. One notable trend is the growing demand for convenient and healthy food options, driving an increased interest in frozen fruits as a convenient and nutritious choice. Consumers are increasingly seeking out products with minimal additives and preservatives, contributing to a rise in the popularity of clean-label frozen fruit options. Additionally, the industry has responded to the rising awareness of sustainability, with a focus on eco-friendly packaging solutions and sourcing practices.

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruit offers numerous benefits, with one significant advantage being the reduction of food waste. Unlike fresh fruits that have a limited shelf life, frozen fruits have an extended storage period, allowing consumers to use them at their convenience without the risk of spoilage. This aspect not only minimizes the likelihood of discarded, overripe fruits but also enables individuals to purchase in larger quantities, reducing the frequency of grocery shopping. By mitigating spoilage and enabling efficient usage, frozen fruit helps to address food waste concerns, aligning with a broader commitment to sustainability in the food industry. 

What’s Up with Wawona, December 2023

Wawona Update

As we wrap up this year, and reflect on such an incredible year, celebrating our 60th anniversary with our employees, vendors, partners, customers, and friends – we have so much to be thankful for! We are pleased to end the year with a bountiful season of peaches, strawberries, blueberries and more! We have some exciting new innovative products that will be coming into fruition in the new year, and we cannot wait to share them with all of you! We want to say thank you for your continued support of our business, and we want to wish everyone a Christmas full of peace, love, and joy. Happy Holidays!

Industry Trends

Pears, known for their sweet and juicy flavor, take center stage this December in celebration of National Pear Month. This observance shines a spotlight on the versatile and delectable pear, encouraging consumers to explore the various pear varieties available. Whether enjoyed fresh, baked, or incorporated into salads and desserts, pears embody the essence of winter indulgence. Beyond the seasonal celebration, broader trends in the fruit industry include an increasing demand for exotic and unique fruit options, as consumers seek new flavors and experiences. Health and wellness continue to be pivotal factors, driving the popularity of nutritious fruits like berries, avocados, and citrus. 

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen pears are a convenient and nutritious alternative that retains much of the fresh fruit’s essential qualities. The freezing process locks in the pear’s vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a year-round option for those looking to incorporate this fruit into their diet, especially when fresh pears may not be in season. These succulent fruits are an excellent source of dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness. Frozen pears offer a versatile ingredient for smoothies, desserts, and baked goods, providing a burst of natural sweetness without added sugars. 

What’s Up with Wawona, November 2023

Wawona Update

Wawona Frozen Foods has so much to be thankful for! We completed our fast and furious season on a high, celebrating not only our 60th anniversary, but celebrating our employees with an Employee Appreciation Celebration! We were able to honor our valued employees and recognize so many that have given so much to our business. Wawona Frozen Foods would not be where we are today, and who we are today without our incredible employees. Wawona is and will always be a family-owned business, and our employees are our family. We are beyond grateful and thankful for each and every one. 

Industry Trends

In recent years, the frozen fruit industry has witnessed significant growth, driven by a global shift towards healthier lifestyles and increased consumer demand for convenient and nutritious food options. One prominent trend within this sector is the rising popularity of frozen peaches. Consumers are increasingly drawn to the convenience and year-round availability of frozen peaches, which can be seamlessly incorporated into smoothies, desserts, and various other creations. The freezing process locks in the fruit’s freshness and nutritional value, making frozen peaches a practical and versatile choice for health-conscious individuals. Additionally, the surge in interest for plant-based diets has further fueled the demand for frozen peaches as a natural and flavorful ingredient. 

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruits have become a staple in modern kitchens, offering a convenient and nutritious alternative to fresh produce. One fascinating aspect of frozen fruits is the preservation of their nutritional value through the freezing process. Contrary to common perception, frozen fruits can often retain more vitamins and antioxidants than their fresh counterparts, as they are harvested and frozen at their peak ripeness. Moreover, frozen fruits contribute to minimizing food waste, as they have a longer shelf life compared to fresh produce. From frozen berries to tropical delights, these icy treats are not only delicious but also offer a burst of health benefits year-round.

What’s Up with Wawona, October 2023

Industry Trends

The food industry is constantly evolving, driven by changing consumer preferences and global trends. One notable trend is the growing emphasis on health and wellness. Consumers are increasingly seeking out healthier options, including plant-based and organic foods, as well as products with clean labels and minimal processing. 

Sustainability is another key focus, with a rising awareness of the environmental impact of food production. This has led to a surge in demand for eco-friendly packaging, locally sourced ingredients, and reduced food waste. 

Additionally, technology is playing a pivotal role, with the rise of food delivery apps, online ordering, and smart kitchen appliances reshaping the way we access and prepare food. As the food industry continues to adapt and innovate, these trends are likely to persist, shaping the way we eat and interact with food in the years to come.

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruit is a nutritious and convenient addition to your operation for several reasons, including: 

  1. Frozen fruit is available year-round, ensuring you have access to a variety of fruits even when they are out of season.
  2. It retains most of its nutrients during the freezing process, making it a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  3. Frozen fruit has a longer shield life compared to fresh fruit, reducing food waste.
  4. It’s versatile and can be used in smoothies, desserts, and as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal, making it easy to incorporate.
  5. Frozen fruit can be a cost-effective option, as it often comes in larger bags and can be more budget friendly than fresh alternatives.

What’s Up with Wawona, September 2023

Wawona Update

Wawona Frozen Foods is still in FULL SEASON SWING! We are getting peaches in by the truckloads and slicing, dicing and freezing them into our favorite peachy treats! Wawona also completed our SQF (Safe Quality Foods) Audit at both our Clovis and our Cedar (Fresno) facility. Both facilities passed with flying colors! Having an excellent SQF audit score, helps our business and shows our customers, vendors and partners that safety and FOOD SAFETY is number one at Wawona! 

We are looking forward to celebrating our Employees at our upcoming Employee Appreciation and 60th Anniversary Celebration in October!

Industry Trends – Frozen Fruit

Frozen fruit is a convenient and versatile ingredient that can be used in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re serving up a quick breakfast or a refreshing dessert, frozen fruit comes to the rescue. Toss a handful into your morning smoothie for a burst of flavors and natural sweetness, or stir them into yogurt or oatmeal. For a simple and healthy dessert, blend frozen fruit with a touch of honey or yogurt to make a vibrant sorbet or a creamy fruit ice cream. Frozen fruit can also be added to baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or fruit crisps. Don’t forget its utility in cocktails and mocktails as well – frozen fruit makes for excellent colorful and flavorful garnishes. With frozen fruit on hand, you can easily elevate your dishes and enjoy the taste of ripe fruit year-round. 

Learn more about our Mixed Frozen Fruit

Frozen Fruit 101

Why frozen fruit? Frozen fruit retains its nutritional value, making it a nutritious choice for incorporating fruit into one’s diet. When fruits are frozen, they are picked at their peak ripeness and quickly frozen, locking in their natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

This preservation process helps prevent nutrient degradation, allowing frozen fruit to retain much of the same nutritional content as fresh fruit. With the convenience of frozen fruit readily available year-round, it becomes easier for individuals to enjoy the health benefits of a variety of fruits, contributing to a balanced and wholesome diet. 

What’s Up with Wawona, July 2023

Wawona Update

July is here and peach season is finally underway! With Mother Nature being a little cooler this year, our harvest for peaches has been pushed back significantly! We are still processing our delicious strawberries from the coastal regions and are now excited to bring on our wonderful seasonal employees to help with the ramp up in production as peaches arrive! 

Be sure to stop by our Peach Tree Fruit Stand, located on the corner of Minnewawa and Nees from 9am till 6pm Monday thru Saturdays and on Sundays from 10am till 4pm. Fresh Fruit and all of the frozen goodies, perfect for summer!

Industry Trends

July is National Blueberry Month, a time to honor this nutritious and vibrant fruit. Blueberries have gained tremendous popularity in recent years, and their trend shows no signs of slowing down. Not only are they delicious but also packed with antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins. Blueberries have become a staple in smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits, and baked goods, as people increasingly embrace their health benefits and versatility. 

Their vibrant blue hue, sweet-tart flavor, and incredible nutritional profile have earned them a special place in modern food trends. Moreover, with the increasing emphasis on healthy-eating, the demand for fresh, frozen, and dried blueberries has been on the rise. During the month-long celebration, explore new recipes and discover the countless ways to incorporate this fresh ingredient. 

Read more: Blueberry Food Tech Megatrends

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruit is an essential staple in any kitchen, offering convenience, versatility, and numerous health benefits. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, frozen fruit contribute to a healthy immune system, improved digestion, and overall well-being. From blending them into smoothies and to adding them as toppings, it’s a convenient and cost-effective way to ensure you always have access to the nutritional benefits of fruit, no matter the time of year. 

For frozen fruit fun facts, continue reading: 

  • Freezing fruit is a natural preservation method that dates back centuries. Ancient civilizations, such as the Romans and Greeks, used to freeze fruits in the snow or ice to enjoy them out of season. 
  • Studies have shown that the freezing process helps preserve essential vitamins and antioxidants, making frozen fruit as nutritious as fresh fruit.  
  • Frozen fruit is typically frozen using a process called “flash freezing.” 
  • Good quality frozen fruit is often free from any added preservatives or sweeteners.

What’s Up with Wawona, June 2023

Industry Trends 

Frozen strawberries have gained immense popularity among health-conscious individuals and food enthusiasts alike. These delightful berries are picked at their peak ripeness and quickly frozen to lock in their vibrant color, flavor, and nutritional value. One of the main reasons for their popularity is their versatility. There are various types of frozen strawberries available in the market, including whole berries, sliced strawberries, and strawberry puree. Each type offers a unique texture and can be used in a wide range of culinary creations, from smoothies and desserts to sauces and toppings.

When it comes to health benefits, frozen strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse. They are loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and promotes healthy skin. These berries are also a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, frozen strawberries are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight or incorporate healthier options into their diet.

In conclusion, the popularity of frozen strawberries stems from their delightful taste, versatility in various culinary applications, and their impressive array of health benefits. These frozen delights are a great addition to any diet, providing a burst of flavor, nutrition, and convenience all year round.

 

Frozen Fruit 101

IQF, or Individually Quick Frozen, is a revolutionary freezing technique that offers immense advantages to restaurants. With IQF, each food item is frozen separately, ensuring that it retains its individual shape, texture, and nutritional value. This technology enables restaurants to store a wide variety of fresh fruits without compromising on quality or taste. The individual freezing process prevents the formation of large ice crystals, resulting in minimal damage to the food’s cell structure. The benefits of IQF include extended shelf life, reduced food waste, and increased convenience, allowing restaurants to offer consistent high-quality fruit while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

What’s Up With Wawona, May 2023

Wawona Update

​​Wawona Frozen Foods is gearing up for a busy fruitful season! With the current peach crop production, Wawona is looking at a 2-week delay before our production facilities will run at full capacity! Wawona is anticipating our delicious first of the season peaches will show up for processing the 2nd week of June! 

 Earlier this month, Wawona Frozen Foods celebrated its 60th Anniversary with an Anniversary Gala! Reflecting on our past and celebrating our future, the Wawona team and the Smittcamp Family celebrated the business with family, friends, employees, customers, vendors, growers, and community supporters. It was a night to remember, and we are so thankful for all those who celebrated with us! Cheers to 60 years and here’s to 60 more!

Industry Trends 

The food industry is constantly evolving, and the trends of today are likely to be vastly different from those of tomorrow. In 2023, the food industry is looking to be far more ethical, sustainable, and health-conscious than ever before. 

As consumers become more conscious about health and wellness, they are increasingly looking for healthier options when it comes to their meals. Plant-based proteins, vegan alternatives, organic ingredients, and locally sourced produce have all grown in popularity over recent years as people look for ways to eat better without compromising on taste or quality. Additionally, opting for plant-based proteins instead of animal products helps reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with meat production.

Convenience has also become a top priority for many diners who want ready-made meals that can be prepared quickly and easily at home. By planning meals in advance and using leftovers creatively, we can save money while also helping the planet at the same time.

With all these changes taking place in the food industry, it’s important to stay up-to-date with what’s happening so you can make informed decisions about your diet.

Frozen Fruit 101

Want to buy frozen fruit but don’t know enough about them? Here’s four facts about the benefits of using frozen fruit and IQF.  

  1. Convenience: Frozen foods are convenient as they can be stored in the freezer and used as needed, saving time and effort in food preparation. 
  2. Nutritional value: Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh, as they are often frozen at the peak of ripeness and retain their nutritional value. 
  3.  Long shelf life: Frozen foods have a longer shelf life than fresh foods, making them a great option for those who want to stock up without worrying about spoilage. 
  4. IQF technology: IQF (Individual Quick Freezing) technology allows for the preservation of individual pieces of food, preventing them from sticking together and making it easier to portion out. 

To learn more about the benefits of frozen fruit and IQF, check out The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI).

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