Stop & Shop Debuts 'Orchard Perfect' Fruit

QUINCY, Mass. -- Stop & Shop here is uniting technology with fresh fruit growers to come up with "Orchard Perfect" fruit, now exclusively available in all of the Ahold-owned banner's stores. The line's sun-ripened, hand-picked California summer fruits are gently layered by hand into single-layer cartons to prevent bruising. This process ensures that the fruit is ready to eat as soon as it arrives in the stores. The line includes peaches, nectarines, plums, white flesh peaches and white flesh nectarines.

The Orchard Perfect program uses such innovative systems as a special temperature management process to precondition peaches and nectarines, enhancing ripening before shipping and imparting a just-picked taste.

"This unique ripening process allows us to offer consumers fruit that is juicier, consistent, and much more flavorful," noted Gary Kosofsky, v.p. of produce for Ahold USA's Perishable Procurement Organization. "Preripening also protects the fruit from internal breakdown, such as discoloration, browning and mealiness. This all-natural process gives our consumers the ultimate eating experience."

Employing over 58,000 associates, Stop & Shop operates 376 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York and employs more than 58,000 associates.

In other Ahold USA banner news, Giant Food, LLC will transfer 220 administrative employees from its corporate headquarters in Landover, Md. to a location just four miles away, in New Carrollton, Md., according to a published report. The move is scheduled to take place by early autumn, a spokesman for Giant told The Gazette of Prince George's County. He added that the new building is about 137,000 square feet.

Last May Giant said it would sell its 1.6 million-square-foot property in Landover and discontinue its manufacturing business.

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