ShopRite Offering Local NY, NJ Frozen Fruit
Locally grown frozen fruit from New York and New Jersey is now available year-round in ShopRite stores, which began carrying five Seal the Seasons products this month.
Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Seal the Seasons has teamed with local farmers in New York and New Jersey to freeze their produce and make local fruit available anytime in the frozen aisle.
“ShopRite has been partnering with local farmers and food producers since our inception more than 70 years ago,” noted Derrick Jenkins, VP of produce and floral at Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer cooperative whose 50 members independently own and operate 350 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners across the Northeast. “Seal the Seasons is a natural fit for us at ShopRite, and a great way to get locally grown produce in store all year long.”
Seal the Seasons started out selling North Carolina frozen produce there and in adjacent states. With the 2018 crop season, the brand is expanding into several new regions, starting in the Northeast with New York and New Jersey produce, and will also roll out local product sourced and sold in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes and Pacific Southwest regions.
“During college, I worked at my local farmers’ market and saw food going to waste at the end of each market; farmers needed a new way to connect with consumers,” explained Seal the Seasons founder Patrick Mateer. “On top of that, my favorite local fruits were only available during the summertime. There had to be a better way. I created Seal the Seasons to connect farmers to grocers so that we could all eat local food and support farmers year-round.”
ShopRite now carries Seal the Seasons’ New Jersey Blueberries; New York/New Jersey Berry Blend (New York Blackberries, New Jersey Blueberries and New Jersey Strawberries); New York Cherries; New York/New Jersey Cherry Apple Berry (New York Cherries, New York Apples); and New Jersey Blueberries.
Selling fruit on a state-by-state and region-by-region basis, Seal the Seasons currently offers North Carolina and South Carolina product in the Mid-Atlantic region (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee) and New York and New Jersey product in the Northeast (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).
Wakefern is No. 7 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.