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Get a juice boost with a kale kit

Freshline Foods launches new line of juicing kits featuring fresh produce

Noel Brigido says his company's new line of juicing kits is much more than a novel Canadian grocery item.

"We're creating a new market," said Brigido, vice-president of Freshline Foods, one of Canada's leading fresh-cut, value-added fruit and vegetable processors.

"We're providing retailers with an original product for their customers who juice."

Starting July 1, the company's new Kale Boost kit will go on sale at most major grocery chain stores across Canada.

The display-ready, stand-up pouch kits contain a 340-gram (12 ounce) combination of pre-cut, pre-washed kale, beets, apples and carrots that are ready to be dropped into a presser at home, work or school.

Developed over the past eight months at the company's headquarters in Mississauga, the new kale kit is the first in a family of four products that Freshline plans to launch before the end of 2015.

Unlike the kale kit, the three upcoming ones will feature blends of organic fruits and vegetables.

According to Brigido, the new products will help Freshline squeeze its way into one of the trendiest and fastest-growing segments of the multi-billion-dollar juice market.

"Juicing is a worldwide phenomenon," he told Canadian Grocer this week.  "People are time starved (and) preparing fruits and vegetables for juicing can be time consuming and messy.  Our kits bring convenience to that process."

Brigido added that he has no idea as to the retail potential of the new grocery product.

"We're taking a risk," he said.  "We're not copying an idea, we're going with our gut feeling about consumer demand in what is a completely untapped market here in Canada."

But one veteran Canadian foodservice industry expert thinks the new kits could do well in a world where juicing is becoming as mainstream as yoga, and home presser sales are on the rise.

"Juicing is very popular (and) there is lots of growth and play in the marketplace, especially among college and university students," said Geoff Wilson, a partner with Toronto consulting firm FS Strategy.

According to Wilson, three factors are driving the popularity of juicing: the opportunity to customize products, healthy eating, and portability.

"The world is well into the juice wave," he said.  "I'm not surprised that someone has developed a prepared fresh product for people who want to make their own."

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