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What’s Up with Wawona, January 2023

Happy PEACHY New Year!

Wawona Frozen Foods is excited to celebrate 2023 as the 60th Anniversary of Wawona Frozen Foods! From what started out as a small 200-acre farm, to being now a 3rd generation pioneer in the frozen fruit industry shipping more than a 100 million pounds annually! We are excited to take time and reflect on where we started and where we have been, and eager to look forward to seeing where Wawona Frozen Foods will go next! Cheers to 60 years!

Wawona Frozen Foods is excited to be bringing in a new state of the art de-capping machine for our strawberry line. This new piece of equipment will help Wawona Frozen Foods eliminate excess labor forces and increase product yield across the board! With new technologies being developed each day, we are excited to be at the forefront of innovation and look forward to sharing more with you as we move into the installation phase!

 How Long Does Frozen Fruit Last?

Freezing foods like fruit and vegetables extends their lifespan, but do frozen foods eventually go bad? Freezing prevents food poisoning bacteria from growing, so no matter how long frozen food has been in the freezer, it’s still safe to eat, according to the USDA.

Using frozen fruits and vegetables is not only convenient, but it’s also nutritious. Frozen produce may have more nutrients than fresh produce, according to a January 2015 study in the ​Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​.

So, does frozen fruit go bad? No. Frozen fruit does not expire or go bad. Any frozen food is safe to use because bacteria and other pathogens can’t grow in temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below, according to the USDA.

To read more, visit livestrong.com.

Frozen Fruit 101

 Looking to add some health-conscious, fruit-filled snacks for 2023?  Nutritionists love frozen fruit because:

  • They retain their nutrient levels
  • They don’t contain additives
  • They are versatile for meals and snacks

By offering healthy snacks, you’ll attract health-conscious customers that appreciate nutritious, low-calorie alternatives. Here are some of our best healthy snack ideas that use Wawona’s fresh frozen fruit:

  • Berry Yogurt Swirl Popsicle: These sophisticated popsicles blend berries, strawberries, or blueberries with dairy-free yogurt for a cool snack or dessert that caters to the vegan crowd.
  • Pineapple Mango Sorbet: This healthy snack whips up fast, only needing two hours to chill. Sorbets are a great menu item for in-between courses or as a light, refreshing dessert.
  • Freezer Fudge with Strawberries: A healthy take on a decadent treat, this freezer fudge combines frozen strawberries, almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup for a guilt-free snack.
  • Frozen Yogurt Bites: A five-healthy-ingredient snack, these frozen yogurt bites can substitute any fruit with honey, granola, and yogurt for a cool and balanced bite.
  • Fruit Smoothies: Combine all of your favorite Wawona fruits and blend to perfection!

What’s Up with Wawona, December 2022

Our sales team is growing! And don’t forget about our Peach Tree Stand!

 Schools! It’s time to MAXIMIZE your entitlement dollars! We have the perfect selection of Peaches, Strawberries and Blueberries with the right USDA code to ensure your school can get the biggest Bang for your Buck! Check out our Schools page to review the commodity calculator to see what products you can use for a delicious fruit cup, fruit pop or straight IQF bagged fruit! Perfect for  Email schools@wawona.com for more information!

Our Wawona Sales team continues to grow! We want to welcome Marci Clark to our Wawona’s Sales team! Marci is Wawona’s new Director of Sales Foodserivce and K12. Marci is coming to Wawona all the way from Washington and will work to help guide our sales team to improve and increase sales for foodservice and in school districts across the US.

The Peach Tree fruit stand is still open amongst construction! With the Well Community Church hard at work building their new sanctuary – the Peach Tree Fruit stand is still open on Thursdays and Saturdays offering delicious frozen treats and frozen baked goods for the holidays! Be sure to stop by and pick up a box of Peach Jewels or Gluten Free Gems, along with our newest holiday flavor, PECAN Jewels!

Frozen Fruit & Vegetable Market Growing Rapidly

The frozen fruits and vegetable market is growing at a very rapid rate because of increasing consumer’s preference for fresh fruits and vegetables. Global fruits & vegetables market is anticipated to expand with more than 5% of CGAR during the forecast period. In addition to that, a shift has been observed globally among the consumers towards frozen fruits and vegetables due to many consumers opting to be vegan.

Further, frozen fruits and vegetables are rapidly gaining traction among consumers as they offer a wide range of advantages over the fresh produce. The technique employed in freezing fruits and vegetables assists in retaining the color, flavor and nutritive value of these products. It slows down the decomposition by turning the residual moisture into ice, which prevents the growth of bacteria. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also immune to spoilage that occurs on account of vigorous transportation and exposure to light, heat and dust. They offer numerous benefits which include low cost, easy preparation and availability during the off-season.

To learn more, visit Global News Wire.

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruit has many advantages including nutrition, variety, convenience, and reduced food waste! Read on to learn more:

Nutrition: Frozen fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional value as when they were picked at peak freshness. In fact, studies show frozen fruits and vegetables are as rich in nutrients as their fresh-stored counterparts. Those nutrients locked in place until they’re on your plate.

Variety: Today’s frozen food aisle offers a more diverse selection of ingredients, side dishes and entrees than ever before. From smoothie bowls to grain bowls and everything in between, the frozen food aisle accentuates culinary trends and, in some cases, starts the culinary adventure. There are a variety of ways for you to get your servings of fruits and vegetables.

Convenience: A key benefit of frozen produce is you can portion the amount you want and leave the rest for later. Frozen produce is also pre-cleaned and pre-chopped, allowing for more quality time around the table. Better yet, clear cooking or preparation instructions on the package tell you exactly how to cook or prepare your frozen produce. Having your favorite ingredients just a freezer door away also gives you the freedom to get creative with your meals.

Reduce Food Waste: Have your produce and eat it too! Did you know that frozen food generates 47% less food waste when compared to ambient and chilled food consumed in the home? By only preparing what you plan to consume, not only do you eat more of your produce, you ensure it lasts.

To learn more, visit Have a Plant!

What’s Up with Wawona, November 2022

It’s Pear Season! And Welcome to Our New School Sales Rep!

Now that Peach season is complete, we are shifting gears and starting to process PEARS! Wawona will looks to process nearly 900,000 to 1 million pounds this year. Those pears will be processed in our facility and will turn into either a puree or a diced cube for multi-applicational uses!

Wawona’s Sales Team is growing! We are excited to introduce Bob Landes, who is Wawona’s newest member of the School Sales Team and will be overseeing Wawona’s Texas territory. The Sales Team is comprised with foodservice, k12 and retail experts in their field! We are always wheeling and dealing and trying to get Wawona in as many stores as possible. If your local retailer doesn’t carry Wawona products, reach out to us so we can fix that!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, our Wawona Frozen Foods family has so much to be thankful for! We want to say how thankful we are for our employees, growers, vendors, and our valued customers and consumers! We would not be where we are without all of you, and we are truly thankful!

Inventory & Inflation Continue to Impact Frozen Food Sales

Food inflation remains extremely high, consumers are feeling the impact, and they are responding by making changes to their restaurant engagement and grocery purchases.

  • 81% of American households bought at least one restaurant meal in August, with the highest restaurant penetration among Gen X, at 85%. Takeout continues to be significant, with 54% having ordered meals to go.
  • When purchasing groceries, 85% of consumers shopped in-person. Online shopping was nearly equally divided between click-and-collect (9%) and home delivery (6%).
  • 89% remain worried about the elevated gasoline prices and 94% of consumers are concerned about food inflation.

This disruption also means ongoing change for the frozen food world. Frozen food prices on a per unit basis increased 16% in August 2022, up from +15.6% in July 2022. This meant price increases slightly ahead of the total store level of inflation. Virtually all areas within frozen experienced increases in the mid-teens. Only one area averaged single-digit inflation, being beverages, which is a smaller seller.

The BLS Consumer Price Index is pointing to some month-over-month moderation in

areas other than food. However, year-on-year, prices continue to be significantly higher with little relief in sight. Supply chain and labor challenges also continue to challenge in-stock rates and retailers’ ability to promote. Unit and volume pressure has worsened across most departments as consumers are pulling back on spending. But at the same time, it is not a universal race to the bottom, but rather a careful approach of weighing opportunities to save versus occasions and items worth the splurge.

Click here for a full report.

Frozen Fruit 101

The benefits of frozen fruit are simply endless. Frozen fruits are a convenient and delicious way to eat fruit, capitalizing on the fruit’s peak nutritional value. Here are several top benefits that come with eating frozen fruit:

  • Frozen fruit is nutritious: Fruits are harvested and quickly flash-frozen within hours to lock in key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals like Riboflavin, Vitamins C & E, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Fiber, and Phenolics.
  • Frozen fruit reduces consumer food waste: Frozen fruit doesn’t spoil in the freezer, so this fruit can be used for long periods of time. Unused portions can be returned to the freezer to be used at a later date. This reduces food waste and saves money.
  • Frozen fruit is easy to prepare: Save time prepping and cleaning by ordering pre-cut frozen fruit.

For more information, check out The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI).

 

 

What’s Up with Wawona, October 2022

Welcome to the first edition of our new monthly website article, What’s Up with Wawona! This editorial content will include the latest updates on “What’s Up with Wawona”, industry updates and trends, and fast facts about frozen foods.


We are starting to slow down on the fresh production side. To date, we have processed 46,872,893 pounds of peaches across our 3 processing plants – Clovis, Fresno, and Watsonville.

The Valley Children’s Hospital Employee Giving Challenge is under way! Every dollar donated by an employee is matched by Wawona and is also matched by the Smittcamp Family.

Our top priority to close out 2022? Innovation, innovation, innovation! Our R&D, Marketing, and Sales teams are working together on some new frozen baked good items that will rival homemade cookies, cobblers, and pies! These delicious new items could be hitting the shelves this upcoming winter. Stay tuned!

Fast Facts about Fruits and Vegetables from the PBH

We are excited to celebrate October with fast facts about fruits and vegetables from the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH).

Everyone knows how healthy fruits are for us. That’s indisputable. But, what we are starting to understand and appreciate is just how good they can make us feel! There’s a growing body of evidence that eating fruits is predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being. And, PBH’s research indicates that those who eat fruits and veggies most days per week say that they experience physical, emotional, and social benefits now and into the future.

Here are some fruit-related tips to try:

  • Adding frozen fruit to oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to the start of your day.
  • Did you know cereal is one of the most frequent ways people enjoy fruit? Consider pairing fruit with cereal for a quick and easy, plant-packed breakfast or snack.
  • Try frozen berries in your yogurt.
  • Think salads are just all about the veggies? Frozen fruit is a sweet, flavorful complement to your favorite greens.

Looking to incorporate more frozen fruit into your dishes? Visit www.fruitsandveggies.org for more information.

Frozen Fruit 101

Frozen fruit is your answer to hit PAUSE on Mother Nature. Freezing fruit at the peak maturity and ripeness holds in all the fresh flavors and natural nutrients that can be enjoyed year-round.

Here are several additional benefits that operators, schools, and consumers can expect when choosing FROZEN over FRESH:

  • Cost Savings
    • Frozen fruit can be more than 50% less expensive than fresh alternatives (*Forbes. 2017. Cut Food Costs By Going Frozen, Without Sacrificing Health Or Taste, shorturl.at/hlY05).
  • 100% Yield
    • Frozen fruit eliminates food waste, straining time, and produces finished items with no water pools.
  • Thaw and Serve Convenience
    • Simply remove from bag, thaw, and serve! Frozen fruit reduces wasted time and adds efficiency to your food prep.
  • Available Year Round
    • Frozen fruit allows you to enjoy your favorite fruits even when they’re not in season. Bake a peach cobbler in March or enjoy a strawberry shortcake in January! Frozen fruit offers year-round convenience, consistency, and fresh flavor.
  • Health Benefits
    • Frozen fruit is picked at peak ripeness to lock in bountiful nutrients and flavor. In some cases, frozen foods can be even more nutritious than fresh fruit because the freezing process preserves the freshest flavor and highest nutrient content.

The Best Ways to Use Wawona’s Peaches

Wawona offers succulent, delicious peaches that can be used in various ways. Read on to learn about the best ways to use Wawona’s peaches.

Related: Learn the History of National Peach Month

How to Use Wawona’s Peaches

Wawona sells frozen peaches in bulk that are great for school cafeterias and school lunches. While these peaches taste great on their own, you can also incorporate them into some delicious dishes.

You can use Wawona peaches to make baked goods and desserts. For example, you can make a classic peach cobbler or mix things up a bit with peach crumb bars, peach ice cream, peach galette, peach pudding, or peach parfaits. If you want to make something healthier, use the peaches to make a fruit salad.

You can also use the peaches in smoothies or use them as salad or pizza toppings. You can buy Wawona peaches sliced, diced, halved, or pureed. You can also choose from Freestone or Clingstone peaches.

Click here to learn more about Wawona’s peaches!

Learn the History of National Peach Month!

National Peach Month has been celebrated every August since 1982.

National Peach Month History

In June of 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared August as National Peach Month. Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C, and they’re also great for your gut. The president wanted to celebrate this delicious and healthy fruit by dedicating a month to it. Many people celebrate National Peach Month by attending a peach festival, going peach picking, or baking peach desserts.

You can help your customers celebrate National Peach Month by partnering with Wawona. Wawona offers frozen peaches in bulk, which are great for restaurants and schools. The peaches can be thawed and served as fruit, or they can be used to make fruity desserts, such as peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach crumb bars, or peach pie. We offer our peachs in a variety of different styles: halves, sliced, diced, bits & pieces, puree, and more!

 

Click here to learn more about Wawona’s peaches!

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Blueberries!

There are many ways to implement blueberries into your menu for your customers to enjoy. Wawona Frozen Foods offers its foodservice clients fresh frozen blueberries as a year-round staple to use in traditional breakfast and dessert dishes. Chefs have expanded the menu uses of blueberries as their popularity have skyrocketed in recent year as diners have recognized it as an antioxidant superfood and a leading source of vitamin C and potassium.

Here are ten ways to use blueberries in your menu:

  1. Salads
  2. Pancakes/Waffles
  3. Juice
  4. Bran Muffins
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Fruit Kabobs
  7. Smoothies
  8. Parfaits
  9. Quesadillas
  10. On their own!

To utilize blueberries in your operation, contact us at Wawona today!

Wawona Frozen Foods: A peach of a family business

The name Smittcamp is synonymous with entrepreneurial ventures in the Central Valley. With its recent Family Owned Business Award in the large business category, the family continues to build on its business legacy.

Wawona Frozen Foods, founded in 1963 by Earl Smittcamp, specializes in growing and freezing of fresh fruits — namely, peaches. In 1945, after returning from fighting in the Pacific Theater of World War II, he and his wife Muriel bought a 200-acre spread in Clovis called Wawona Ranch.

Wawona began as the 15th largest frozen peach operation in the United States. Today, it is the only one left of the original group.

Earl instilled a sense of discipline and hard work in his four children.

“My father being a Marine, each day he had us stand and salute as the Marine Corps Hymn played,” Bill said with a laugh. “I didn’t put my kids through the same drill.”

Today, the company ships more than 100 million pounds of frozen fruit annually and is the largest peach processing facility in the nation, turning out 65 to 75 million pounds in about 120 days of its season.

Wawona Frozen Foods is being led by both the second and third generations of the family. Bill Smittcamp is president and CEO, with Bill’s son Blake Smittcamp serving as vice president of sales.

A key part of the company’s success, Bill said, is treating everyone like family. He said Wawona Frozen Foods has had employees who worked for the company a whopping 55 to 60 years.

Blair Smittcamp-Martin, Bill’s daughter and Wawona’s marketing and special projects coordinator, said that when you’re born into a family with a business, you’re in the business.

“When you have a family business, you’re in it from the very beginning. My brothers and I started working at the fruit stand at the age of 10, and then on the line, and now we are at an official capacity with Wawona,” Blair said.

The Smittcamp family is also synonymous with philanthropy and advocacy. In June, Bill testified at the U.S. House of Representatives AG Committee meeting to urge Congress to ensure frozen foods are included and promoted in nutrition programs in the writing of the 2023 farm bill.

Wawona Frozen Foods has been a Best of the Central Valley Winner for Best Family Owned Business from 2017-2021. In 2021, Bill was awarded the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculturalist of the Year award.

“The key is the family approach. We take ownership of what we have. Every peach that goes by is being looked at by someone — its family. Every employee that is looking for a defect in our fruit is part of the family,” Smittcamp said.

The below article was originally published in The Business Journal on July 29th to celebrate Wawona Frozen Foods winning the Large Business Category of the 2022 Family Owned Business Awards (FOBA).

Here are Four Delicious Ways To Enjoy Peaches

By Emily Parent, RD, LD

Summer is here and do you know what that means? Peaches. While I love all in-season summer produce, to me there’s not much that beats the deliciousness of biting into a fresh peach and having juice run down your hands. As a produce enthusiast, not only do I love consuming my peaches raw, but they add the most incredible flavor to a variety of summer dishes. Check out four of my favorite peach recipes below:

  1. Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Peaches – With grilling on everyone’s mind this time of year, why not add fruit to the mix. This recipe really hits the mark with flavor and nutrition!
  2. Grilled Halibut with Jalapeño-Peach Relish – If you’re trying to consume more fish these days, try adding peaches and jalapeños to the grill, too and make a knock-your-socks-off jalapeño-peach relish that goes well with just about everything.
  3. Goat Cheese and Roasted Peach Toasts – If you’re looking for a summertime appetizer to wow the crowd, this one has you covered!
  4. Peach Rosé Bellini – What pairs well with a delicious grilled dinner or appetizer? A fancy drink of course! With four simple ingredients, you have an elevated drink that is sure to please the crowd. Sober curious? Try replacing the sparkling rosé with sparkling cider.

Voila! There you have it—four tasty recipes that will have you eating (and drinking) peaches all summer-long!

Click here to read the original article from the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH).

Enjoy National Peach Ice Cream Day with THESE Recipes

For National Peach Ice Cream Day, make sure that you have plenty of these golden beauties on hand with the help of Wawona Frozen Foods! Treat your guests to the holiday’s official recipe or a scratch-made peach milkshake. Another idea, place a scoop or two of peach ice cream on top of a still-warm peach cobbler. Or, top off the ice cream with an indulgent peach wine! Try your hand at making your own with this detailed guide. Just be sure to stock up on fresh or frozen peaches in bulk, because these summery sweets are guaranteed to be popular menu items! Wawona Frozen Foods has all of the answers for your peachy needs.

Have a look at these delectable peach recipes!

Related Link: Peach Tree Fruit Stand

Discover Wawona Quality.

  • "We love the quality of the fruit … it has a nice brix content and makes thick, flavorful smoothies."

    Jeff Degemas, Purchasing Director, Juiceland, 34 smoothies shops in Texas
  • "Wawona is my one-stop shop… I love it! Wawona Frozen Fruit allows us to make the smoothies quickly and save on labor costs. And there is no waste with frozen fruit."

    Nick Villareal, COO, Fork to Fit, McAllen, Texas.
  • "Wawona fruit servings are convenient, easy-to-serve and they have a great shelf life."

    Robert Schram, Director of Campus Catering at Clovis (CA) Unified School District
  • "Wonderful tasting fruit with great selection and variety."

    Ginger M.
  • "The frozen peach cups are absolutely amazing."

    Stacie S.
Logo with fruit

Wawona Frozen Foods, Inc.
100 W Alluvial Ave, Clovis, CA 93611

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