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CASTROVILLE, Calif. (November 18, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms (OMF), the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is proud to announce Progressive Grocer’s has named Kevin Tottino, value added manager at Ocean Mist Farms, a recipient of the third annual GenNext Award. 

This award recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in either the grocery or CPG industries; innovation through the work they are doing; leadership, including the capacity to inspire and lead others, a commitment to learn from others; and a commitment to getting involved in the industry, helping through charities or in the community, and bringing the industry into the future.

“We are very proud of the work Kevin has done here at Ocean Mist Farms and congratulate him on this well-deserved award,” said Chris Drew, Chief Operations Officer of Ocean Mist Farms. “Kevin has an innate sense for product innovation for the products we grow and his passion to support the local community where he lives and works, along with many others from the organization, is a heartfelt responsibility.”

For nearly 10 years, Tottino has built and managed the value-added operation of Ocean Mist Farms, the next generation focus for this nearly 100-year-old company, and shepherded the introduction of the first Ocean Mist Farms value added item, Season & Steam Artichokes. His ingenuity with production, and his innate sense for product innovation and consumer demand, made him an ideal candidate for the GenNext Award.

When he’s not at work, Tottino serves on the Annual Castroville Artichoke Festival Board of Directors and has been involved in this annual community outreach event since he was a child.

Tottino’s role as the 4th generation of a nearly 100-year-old family business allows for his forward-thinking perspective to have a unique forum.

“I am honored to be recognized in this way and am humbled to be among the other nominees in this category,” said Tottino. “I will take this recognition as a sign that I’m right where I need to be. I look forward to many more years of serving my community and Ocean Mist Farms.”

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes, welcomes the first Frost Kissed® crop of the season. The Frost Kissed artichokes are currently being shipped to retailers and will be intermittently available throughout the winter.

Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees, the artichokes’ skin darkens due to the freezing conditions, which seals in more flavor and provides a nuttier taste pronounced in the Frost Kissed artichokes. While this limited time offering has a slightly darker exterior, the brown outer layer falls off once cooked resulting in the, green artichoke shoppers are familiar with.

“Frost Kissed artichokes offer a unique flavor for a limited time that many shoppers look forward to experiencing after a frost,” said Diana McClean, senior director of marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “These artichokes have a unique color to them that is strictly cosmetic and does not reflect the quality that are shoppers are accustomed to.”           

In an effort to elevate the Frost Kissed artichokes as a satisfying menu item, Ocean Mist Farms will be providing recipe inspiration through its social media channels, as well as sharing information on the website to educate consumers. Additionally, the Frost Kissed artichokes will carry a petal insert so shoppers can easily recognize them and Frost Kissed POS materials are available for order on the oceanmist.com website here, https://www.oceanmist.com/pos-frost-kissed-artichokes.

“The Frost Kissed artichokes are such a seasonal treat as we don’t see a freeze every season,” added McClean. “This fall, while more meals are being prepared at home, we’re working to ensure our shoppers are educated on ways to prep the artichoke so they too can enjoy its unique flavor for a limited time when they are available.”  

For additional Frost Kissed® inspiration and to learn more, visit https://www.oceanmist.com/products/frost-kissed-artichokes and follow the brand on Instagram, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (October 12, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms (OMF), the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is pleased to announce the hiring of Jesse Lopez as commodity account manager. In this role, Lopez will work closely with Joe Angelo and the rest of the sales team, as well as current commodity, field, and harvest managers.

“We are glad to have someone of Jesse’s caliber join our team,” said Joe Angelo, director of sales at Ocean Mist Farms. “With his veteran experience, he will add immediate strength and value to our team.”

Lopez will handle key retail and wholesale accounts and work with promotion and pricing, touching many aspects of the business. In his previous role, Lopez was a sr. account manager, director of business development with Tanimura & Antle for 15 years.

“I’m excited to be joining the Ocean Mist Farms team,” said Lopez. “and look forward to working with one of the leading commodity shippers in California.”

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (September 28, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, announces the launch of five new products in their award-winning Season & Steam convenience vegetable line. All five new items are among the top ten value-added vegetables to post growth in the past year according to a July 2020 Nielsen Answers on Demand report.

The new Season & Steam items include: Broccoli Florets, Floret Medley, Vegetable Medley, Cauliflower Florets and Cauliflower Rice - all with the same convenience, customizable seasoning and exclusive resealable bag technology shoppers already love. The new item roll-out comes after a recent Nielsen Concept Test where more than half of respondents indicated they would “definitely” or “probably” purchase a Season & Steam product compared to other fresh and frozen vegetable concepts.

“We’ve found shoppers want Season & Steam because the technology uniquely allows them to add their own seasoning and reseal the microwavable bag prior to cooking,” said Diana McClean, Senior Director of Marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “We are excited to extend the line and include more options for our shoppers to add convenience and a personal touch to their meals.”

According to the United Fresh Nielsen FreshFacts on Retail Q1 2020 Report, in the current COVID-19 climate, consumers increasingly value convenience, nutrition, and the ability to cook vegetables before consumption due to the perception of being less risky. The report also found value-added vegetables, including Brussels sprouts - the cornerstone of the Season & Steam line - have consistently shown year over year sales growth since 2017.

The new products will be available to ship November 1, 2020. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, please visit www.oceanmist.com/.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (August 24, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms (OMF), the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., is pleased to announce the promotions of Chris Drew to Chief Operations Officer and Gladys Valenzuela - Corzo to Vice President of Human Resources.

In his new role as COO, Drew will oversee both production and harvesting as part of his expanded operations role. For the past sixteen years, Drew has enjoyed a career with OMF where he utilized and expanded on his background in production agriculture. Before assuming the role of COO, Drew was the Vice President of Operations for the past three years.

Prior to joining OMF, Drew earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop Science from California Polytechnic University – San Luis Obispo as well as an MBA. He maintains a strong relationship with the university and acts as chairman of the Horticulture and Crop Science Advisory Council where he and industry colleagues help to provide insight into today’s trends and challenges in production agriculture.

“Chris’ depth of knowledge for all facets of our operation makes him ready for his expanded role as our new Chief Operations Officer,” said Joe Pezzini, CEO of Ocean Mist Farms.

In her new role as Vice President of Human Resources, Valenzuela - Corzo will play an expanded role in strategic planning. Before assuming her new position, Valenzuela - Corzo joined OMF in May 2015 as Director of Human Resources. She has an extensive HR background, with 17 years of progressive human resources leadership experience in Ag and the Publishing/Media industry.

Prior to joining OMF, Valenzuela - Corzo earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Economics and Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Chapman University.

 “Gladys' passion for Human Resources and broad expertise are the right combination for her promotion as Vice President of Human Resources,” said Pezzini.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 30, 2020)Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., announces the Blue Zones Project approval of their Monterey worksite. Ocean Mist Farms received approval in May 2020 after meeting 78 points on the worksite pledge and engaging 44% of their staff in a Blue Zones Project activity (88 individuals).

“This is a huge accomplishment for Ocean Mist Farms,” said Lupita Renteria-Galvan, HR Benefits Manager and the Wellness Committee Chair, at Ocean Mist Farms. “Becoming an approved worksite demonstrates the commitment you have to your employees’ health and well-being. Ocean Mist Farms is recognized as a community leader in workplace wellness and joins a network of respected organizations across our community.”

With this recognition, Ocean Mist Farms is the 5th largest employer to become an approved worksite. They are represented among respected organizations such as Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Taylor Farms Headquarters, Montage Health, VNA, and the Monterey County Office of Education.

Ocean Mist Farms’ well-being initiatives and accomplishments include the following:

  • A fitness center to all employees, including easy access to physical fitness activities, showers and changing facilities that encourage physical activity during the workday.
  • Five Blue Zones Parking spaces located the furthest distance from the entrance are available for employees. Creating Blue Zones Project parking spaces that reminds employees parking farther away is one way to easily add more physical activity to their day.
  • Free annual onsite biometric screenings (blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, cholesterol, etc.) in an effort to educate employees about their health risks and, if needed, how to improve their health.
  • Consistent social activities for Ocean Mist Farms staff members and their families to encourage teamwork and collaboration by having healthy relationships among co-workers.
  • Ongoing onsite developmental workshops, seminars and/or lunch-and-learns to all employees. Ocean Mist Farms partners with community wellness programs such as Health Promotion at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Blue Zones Project to offer these workshops.

Together, Blue Zones Project Monterey County and Ocean Mist Farms will continue the work of empowering employees to take charge of their health through continued Blue Zones Project activities and principals.

To learn more about how you can get involved in Blue Zones Project Monterey County, visit their website at montereycounty.bluezonesproject.com.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 16, 2020) Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., conducted its annual Gold Standard spring promotion from April 13 - May 13 this year to elevate the health and nutrition of their famous Gold Standard artichokes. This promotion was launched during a nation-wide shut down due to COVID-19, an uncertain time that still remains. Yet despite these circumstances, the promotion yielded incredible results.

Consumer response to the Gold Standard promotion proved shoppers were receptive to and eager to engage with helpful and entertaining content. Ocean Mist Farms earned a total of 23,000,000 brand impressions and 545,000 promotion-specific website visits, while over 28,000 shoppers participated in the sweepstakes opportunity. As a result, when looking at year-over-year artichoke sales volume for the 4-week Gold Standard promotion period, we see an increase 3.6% for the 2020 season.

“We questioned if now was the right time to run this annual promotion,” said Diana McClean, senior director of marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “Because of the tremendous consumer following we’ve developed that relies on Ocean Mist Farms, we wanted to not only encourage consumers to purchase artichokes for their health benefits, but to also assure them that the produce they are purchasing is of the highest quality.”

With this promotion and our other marketing efforts to shoppers during the nation-wide shut down, we have seen above average performance confirming that people do look to fresh produce brands for information and inspiration. Whether it be a welcome of news related to how to keep their produce fresh or different ways to spice up their dinner routine, we’re finding a new, more engaged audience during this time.

CASTROVILLE, Calif. (June 15, 2020) – Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., announces the launch of their proprietary purple artichokes. This newest addition to the Ocean Mist Farms artichoke family is a colorful, seasonal artichoke variety selected for superior flavor and appearance.

For nearly 100 years, Ocean Mist Farms has cultivated superior artichoke varieties in California. Tapping into this experience, they have developed a purple artichoke variety to enjoy alongside the lineup of other Ocean Mist Farms products and their traditional green varieties.

Characteristics of the Purple Artichokes include a vibrant purple exterior that when cooked transforms to a familiar deep green; the look and flavor of a Mediterranean old-world variety; tender, meaty leaves; and a rich earthy artichoke flavor.

“We are happy to share this new variety of artichokes with our customers,” said Diana McClean, senior director of marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “Not only are they striking in appearance, but we’ve found these artichokes to have a superior texture when steamed, and are as flavorful and meaty as the original Castroville Green Globe artichoke.” With this first season, the artichokes are harvesting in 12, 18 and 24 sizes, with a majority being the 18 and 24 size, that will be labeled with a unique tag and company specific UPC.

Ocean Mist Farms is supporting retail sales for the Purple Artichokes with a variety of marketing activations centered on the unique variety and short season.

Ocean Mist Farms has launched “Arti’s Summer Romance”, a social media-based promotion that debuts purple artichokes with the introduction of Viola, a promotional purple artichoke mascot to complement Artie, the green artichoke. The social media storyline will unfold over the course of four weeks, starting with their meeting at the bus station upon her arrival in Castroville and then in four subsequent dates around town. Shoppers are invited to comment and like each promotion post for a chance to win a $25 gift card.

 CASTROVILLE, Calif. (April 8, 2020) Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in the U.S., announces the launch of its annual spring promotion elevating the health and nutrition of their famous Gold Standard artichokes. With this promotion, Ocean Mist Farms will highlight their artichoke expertise to assure their trade partners are aware of what goes into the Gold Standard distinction as well as shine a light on the phenomenal nutritional qualities of fresh artichokes and the value that can bring to their shoppers.

“We debated whether now was the right time to run this annual promotion,” said Diana McClean, senior director of marketing at Ocean Mist Farms. “But we have developed a tremendous consumer following that relies on Ocean Mist Farms for fresh vegetable information and meal inspiration every day. So, we decided to highlight the strong immunity boosting nutritional properties of artichokes and encourage consumption now, when maintaining optimum health is critical. With this promotion, we want to not only encourage consumers to purchase artichokes for their health benefits, but to also assure them that the produce they are purchasing is of the highest quality.” 

For nearly 100 years, Ocean Mist Farms has cultivated artichokes in California and has harnessed the expertise to claim the Gold Standard distinction. This legacy and experience are defined by their unique growing and harvesting practices, and steadfast commitment to care for the community and land. Chosen for its optimal soil and microclimate, Castroville, CA is home to Ocean Mist Farms’ spring artichoke production, with the heaviest supply production being in

April. “Artichoke ad volumes are available as we want to make certain that our shoppers have easy access to the nutrition we are promoting,” comments Philip Barrientos, Artichoke Commodity Manager. 

Ocean Mist Farms is supporting retail sales for the Gold Standard promotion with a variety of marketing activations centered on the premium standard of artichokes they are known for. Onpack messaging will reinforce shopper awareness of Ocean Mist Farms branded artichokes and their Gold Standard commitment. The brand will also drive visitors to the artichoke nutrition webpage and encourage shoppers to purchase artichokes at their local grocery store with the help of the new Destini locator tool found on www.oceanmist.com.

To further engage with consumers, Ocean Mist Farms is hosting the Gold Standard Giveaway from April 13 - May 13, giving participants the opportunity to win 20 prizes for a grand total of $2500, including 5 $250 gift cards, 10 $100 gift cards, and 5 $50 gift cards, plus a case of fresh artichokes for every winner. 

 

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