Former Chiquita Brand Launches Under New Name

‘Plain Jane’ Greenhouse Vegetable Line Features Tomatoes, Peppers and Seedless Cucumbers; Produce Grown in Mexico’s Vegetable Farming Region

NOGALES, Ariz., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Look for a new “face” in the fresh produce aisles — a smiling iconic label that signifies the Plain Jane line of greenhouse vegetables grown in Mexico’s storied vegetable farming region. Plain Jane vegetables, http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/, grown and produced by Melones Internacional of Nogales, Ariz. and Sinaloa, Mexico, were formerly carried under the Chiquita umbrella. Now, the naturally premium tomatoes, bell peppers and seedless cucumbers will become available to consumers throughout North America under the inaugural brand name.”We have a history of bringing top-quality greenhouse vegetables to market through the well-known Chiquita label, and it worked well for us over the last 10 years,” said Alejandro Canelos Jr., http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/management-team/alejandro-canelos-jr.aspx, founding partner and COO of Melones Internacional and a Tucson, Ariz. resident. Canelos manages the company with founding partner J. Fife Symington IV of Phoenix, Ariz.”During that time, our products ripened into a successful line that we’ve nurtured and expanded each year. Today’s consumers are also savvier about produce, so we decided to break out with our own label to let people know who we are and what we provide. It’s the next step for us and our products.”

Melones Internacional officially split from Chiquita this summer. “We could not have asked for a more professional business partner,” said Canelos Jr. regarding Chiquita. “Our relationship was always a great one.”

Distributed by Apache Produce Co. of Nogales, Ariz., Plain Jane vegetables will sell at supermarkets across the country.

“We selected the name ‘Plain Jane’ to emphasize the pure and uncomplicated character of the vegetables,” Canelos Jr. said. “We feel that it’s important to powerfully convey the brand’s superior quality through an identity that also reflects its simplicity.”

Plain Jane Vegetables Grow Up in Greenhouses

Melones Internacional operates mid-technology greenhouses in the farming region of Sinaloa, Mexico, where constant sunshine, optimal temperatures and limited rainfall co-mingle to create the heartiest and best-tasting vegetables around. The greenhouses provide the crops with protection from rain, white flies and other insects while allowing for natural ventilation. The Plain Jane product line includes:

Seedless Cucumbers

Seedless cukes (also known as “European cucumbers” or “Euros”), http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/products/cucumbers.aspx must be raised in greenhouses, or they will be pollinated by insects and will form seeds. These cucumbers are defined by a thin, edible skin and are generally longer and narrower than ordinary cucumbers. Most of a cucumber’s vitamins reside in its dark green skin, so there is a notable health benefit to the seedless variety. Euros, unlike ordinary cucumbers, are not waxed for a shiny appearance but instead are individually shrink-wrapped to protect their delicate skin and retain moisture.

Tomatoes

Greenhouse-raised tomatoes, http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/products/tomatoes.aspx are produced and sold throughout the winter and spring months. They are subject to higher appearance standards upon inspection and are packed stem-side-up in plastic trays inside single-layer cartons for shipping to retailers.

Colored Bell Peppers

Colored bells grown in greenhouses are block-shaped, or as wide as they are tall. All bell peppers start out green and turn color during ripening. While green pepper varieties are engineered to stay green as long as possible, colored bell varieties are allowed to fully ripen naturally. Plain Jane offers red, yellow and orange bell peppers, http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/products/peppers.aspx. Greenhouse bell peppers are not exposed to the rain spotting, bug marks and other problems that are typical for their field-grown counterparts and are therefore able to retain their natural beauty.

About Melones Internacional and Plain Jane

Melones Internacional started in 1994 when Alejandro Canelos Jr., http://www.plainjaneproduce.com/management-team/alejandro-canelos-jr.aspx, and J. Fife Symington IV partnered to build greenhouses for raising melons. They shipped their first crop of 40,000 cartons in the 1995-96 season. The company used its unique facilities to produce cantaloupes, honeydews and various specialty melons, and later expanded into seedless cucumbers. The success of the cucumbers prompted the company to shift its focus to vegetables, specifically seedless cumbers, tomatoes and colored bell peppers. Melones Internacional marketed its produce through Chiquita while expanding its greenhouse acreage annually, reaching 500 covered acres in 2006. The demand for greenhouse produce has been steadily growing, and Melones Internacional continues to provide top products as an established greenhouse vegetable company. In 2007, Melones Internacional took the next step and created its own label, Plain Jane.

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