Seal the Seasons, the first brand in the United States to distribute locally grown frozen produce nationally, has launched a range of Farmer Blends smoothies and mixes now available at over 1,000 retail stores from coast to coast.
According to the Durham, North Carolina-based supplier, its 32 oz. offerings mix the “best locally grown fruits with organically grown tropical fruits like mango, banana and pineapple.” Piloted in late 2020, Farmer Blends dollar sales have increased 68% in the last 12 weeks vs. the prior three-month period. Comparatively, the multi outlet (MULO) frozen fruit category has grown 12% over the same timespan, according to SPINS.
“Customers told us how often they added ripe mango or banana to Seal the Seasons local blueberries or strawberries, so why not make it easy for them?” said Co-founder and CEO Patrick Mateer.
First launched in the Carolinas with retailers including Harris Teeter, Food Lion and Lowes Foods, Farmer Blends will soon be available in Wegmans, Park Slope Food Coop, select Safeway stores, and at some UNFI warehouses. Seal the Seasons will announce new West Coast partnerships when California-grown Farmer Blends hit the market later this year.
“After doubling ACV with Wegman’s last year, we look forward to continuing our momentum,” said Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Alex Piasecki. “Sourcing locally is a win-win for family farms, grocers and shoppers looking for delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables in the fall, winter and spring.”
National grocers continue to see the importance of locally grown produce. Kroger is expanding Seal the Seasons distribution this month to Fred Meyer, QFC and the Kroger Atlanta outlets. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based retailer will add locally grown peaches, cherries, blueberries and berry blends to its assortment.
“Locally grown items have a renewed importance for Americans coming out of the coronavirus pandemic,” added Mateer. “Kroger recognizes that shoppers are seeking to support their community and family farmers.”
Over the last 15 months, many Americans have adapted their food consumption habits to embrace convenient, healthy, at-home options. Smoothies have long been a staple for consumers seeking fast and nutritious options.
Seal the Seasons, founded in 2014, currently has more than 65 local SKUs in the marketplace sourced from over 70 farms packed at 12 freezing plants. Its offerings are distributed in more than 4,000 stores in six regions of the USA stretching from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest.