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Import All-Stars: The search for the next big thing

When it comes to imported produce, there are few stories more engaging, and more influential, than the kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit was virtually unknown in the United States until Los Alamitos, CA-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce BB #:127169 founder Frieda Rapoport Caplan brought it to the U.S. in the 1960s. Originally called Chinese gooseberry, kiwifruit has become a staple with year-round supplies from all over the world.

While it took decades for the fuzzy little fruit to become a household name in the U.S., the trajectory of new and exciting fresh produce items can grow a lot faster these days, thanks to food bloggers and social media.

I’ve searched the world of produce trends to identify these up-and-coming items buyers should keep on their radars.

And, while we’re at it, wish Ms. Caplan a Happy 96th Birthday as well!  I’m posting this on August 9, splitting the difference between the birthday she was told she had – Aug 8 – and the one on her birth certificate – Aug. 10.

If you haven’t watched Fear No Fruit, the documentary of Ms. Caplan’s journey in the fresh produce industry, now is the perfect time.

Happy Birthday!

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.