SALINAS, Calif., Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1991, recent college graduate Joe Nucci was tasked with creating a healthy and unique value-added product using broccoli stalks. At the time, Mann's was one of the world's largest shippers of fresh broccoli florets and, once the florets were cut, the stalks were hauled away to feed livestock. The stalks were not going to waste, per se, but the leaders at Mann's sought to create a product that could be marketed to consumers and thus sold at a better margin. Nucci joined forces with late industry legend David Stidolph and the two collaborated with expert chefs who coined the term "Hearts of Broccoli." Soon thereafter, Broccoli Cole Slaw was born.
Consumers quickly fell in love and the product remains a staple of produce departments across the U.S. and Canada (broccoli cole slaw is sold in 92 percent of total U.S. retailers according to AC Nielsen week ending 4/2/16). Nucci's vision influenced the entire slaw category and paved the way for other "vegetable based" or more "nutrient dense" salad blends such as Mann's Power Blend and Rainbow Salad.
"To highlight the celebration of Mann's Broccoli Cole Slaw, we've redesigned our packaging to reflect the 25th anniversary, and included Power Blend and Rainbow Salad in the redesign to create a Veggie Slaw destination in the value-added produce section," said Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing at Mann's. "These complementary products are consumer favorites and allow for creativity and versatility in the kitchen; they go way beyond just a cold salad application. Our new packaging design calls out these multiple uses: TOSS – BOOST – SEASON."
The late Joe Nucci is widely regarded as the "Father of Broccoli Cole Slaw"; the creator of one of the industry's leading examples of product innovation – making a value-added product from what was once a byproduct.
The theme of the 25th anniversary celebration is honoring both the company's past and the creativity of their consumers who cook with the product. Through the end of the year, there will be special opportunities to commemorate Broccoli Cole Slaw including a recipe contest, a Girlfriends Guide, trade ads, the aforementioned newly designed packaging and declaring September Broccoli Cole Slaw month (#BrocSlaw25).
"We have achieved this milestone through customer loyalty, the hard work and dedication of our employees and the innovative culture of the company," said Chairman & CEO, Lorri Koster. "All of us are driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders. Ironically, at times we find ourselves having to procure just broccoli stalks – the byproduct has literally become the product."
According to Nielsen-Perishables Group Fresh Facts (YTD ending 7/30/2016), Mann's is the number one brand in the broccoli cole slaw segment and accounts for 46 percent of the broccoli cole slaw volume sold at retail in the U.S. Mann's Broccoli Cole Slaw ranks as one of the top selling items in the fresh-cut vegetable category with 18 units per store per week. Velocity is up 4 percent versus a year ago.
Koster continues, "The quarter of a century of success for this one item is a testament to our customers' confidence in Mann's and to our culture of innovation. We can't wait to show them what's up next!"
For more information on all of Mann's products, visit veggiesmadeeasy.com.
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SOURCE Mann Packing, Co., Inc.