As the California Prune Board commences preparations to commemorate its 65th anniversary, the US prune industry has confirmed that this year’s crop represents an exceptional yield in terms of unsurpassed quality, boasting a premium larger fruit that is ultra-sweet, tasty and nutritious, resulting in the 2016 supply being compared to a ‘limited production fine wine’.
The California Prune industry has built up an enviable heritage for the supply of premium prunes, heavily supported by the solid relationships that have been built with a wide range of stakeholders to evidence the key benefits and superior quality of the California Prune crop.
Esther Ritson-Elliott, European Marketing Director for California Prune Board comments, “Whilst California might have been affected by the varied spring weather, the incredible quality of the plums in 2016 ensures that our reputation, as the ‘leading’ producer of exceptional quality prunes and prune ingredients for consumers, trade and culinary customers worldwide remains untouched. The weather conditions affected prune orchards in certain areas more than others.
In the southern region, including Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties, growers experienced better than expected production and therefore supplemented the lower yields from the northern part of the state. California’s prune plum growers and prune packers have invested over 150 years in perfecting the sophisticated growing and harvesting techniques required to deliver the ultimate premium crop for which California is renowned.”
“The legendary flavour and quality associated with California Prunes, together with the honed expertise, unsurpassed knowledge and investment in state of the art harvesting technology and stringent quality controls, all combine to underpin California’s status as the prominent industry player in the prune market,” continued Esther.
California Prunes are distributed throughout the world, where their premium quality leverages demand. Outside the US, key markets for California Prunes include Japan, the European Union, Canada, China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. Export markets have also been at the forefront of developing other specialty products featuring prunes and prune products including bakery items, yogurts, confectionery, nutritional/functional inclusions and collaborations with other foods including pizza.
The investment in highly credible research to provide tangible evidence of the clear health and nutritional benefits associated with prunes has also helped to fuel enthusiasm in the category, specifically in relation to the correlation between prune consumption and both bone and digestive health.
This combined with the growing application for prunes as a convenient, healthy and delicious culinary ingredient is leading retailers, food manufactures, chefs and consumers to discover he advantages of using California Prune derived products in their recipes and processes. Chopped, diced, pureed and even powered, prune products can be used to enhance the flavour and texture of products ranging from cakes and breads to meat dishes while making them nutritious for those interested in a healthy diet.
The 65th anniversary will provide the California Prune Board with an opportunity to underline the country’s status as established category leader.
Source: California Prune Board