WESTLAKE VILLIAGE, CA. — New fruit applications are making their way into supermarket frozen food and snack aisles with Dole Packaged Foods’ newest products.
Dole is known for its fruits and vegetables, which are sold in the fresh, central and frozen sections of supermarkets. Now the company is introducing several innovations that will be sold in additional sections of grocery stores.
The new products were unveiled at Natural Products Expo West, held March 7-11 in Anaheim, California. Products include Dole Wiggles fruit juice gels, Dole Good Crunch fruit bites, Dole Whip frozen drink, Dole Energy Delight fruit juice drink. , Dole Digestive Bliss fruit juice drink and Dole light Pineapple juice drink.
The company is also pursuing a new functional brand called The Secret Nature of Fruit, which features fruit-based vitamin chews to support immunity, focus and energy, and sodas with probiotics to support digestive health.
The product launch supports Dole’s transition to a health and wellness-focused company.
“Health and wellness have seen such an evolution in the United States and around the world, and our focus is to try to offer better nutritional decisions in every category,” said Orse Hodi, CEO of Dole Package Foods USA. “We are the most trusted fruit and vegetable company and the most recognized fruit company in the world. (But) we’ve always acted like a commodity company. As fresh fruit becomes more accessible to everyone, we’re trying to see how we can get it to them (consumers) every minute of the day and every trip they take.”
Through market research, Dole identified the “stressed health boomers” as the group that would be most interested in the new product.
“We’re really focused on the health of the stressed out people who have a hard time accessing that food,” Ms Hoddy said. “We talk directly to our consumers and find out what their needs and wants are and where that space and food is lacking. So we chose the snack and ice cream aisles. (They) needed a breakthrough innovation that led to fruition.”
Looking forward, Dole intends to incorporate more functional benefits into its products.
“Energy, immunity and digestive (health) are the three main factors that are becoming more desirable across the country,” Ms Hoddy said. “Digestive health is something we generally suffer from as a population due to a lack of a balanced diet, so restoring it is the No. 1 priority. Immunity has always been something we strive to improve, especially in light of COVID and (the) flu season. I think what you’re going to see next year is going to push the boundaries of those areas a lot more.”