When I think of a charcuterie board, my mind initially turns to fine meats, cheeses, and crackers. In the ever-diverse industry that is specialty foods, pickles and the like can be key differentiators on the charcuterie board, and Pacific Pickle Works knows this well. As I map out my plans for the upcoming Winter Fancy Food Show, I tapped Brad Bennett, the Principal Pickle himself, to see what the company has in store for us this year.
“A little over a year ago, we started taking on some of our first co-packing clients,” explained Brad. “We are co-packing products similar to our own product lines such as pickles, pickled veggies, tapenades, sauces, drink mixes, etc. As we continue to expand our own production capabilities, we want to take on more opportunities to help maximize the potential of our facility. Not only do we have the production capacity, but our production knowledge also makes us well suited to help consult with customers on developing new products, or optimizing existing product formulas for production.”
According to Brad, this program has grown to be nearly 20 percent of Pacific Pickle Works’ overall business, and he expects that number to rise to over 30 percent next year. With the guidance of this charcuterie aficionado, smaller companies have since had the opportunity to elevate their products through the manufacturing process.
“The expertise we have gained over the years manufacturing our own natural products allows us to offer a unique value to our clients, helping them develop products with cleaner ingredient profiles than they may have otherwise,” Brad said. “Since our facility is certified by EarthKosher, we are also able to offer kosher certification as an option for clients as well as help with Non-GMO Project Verification.”
As a good portion of Pacific Pickle Works’ co-packing partners are foodservice oriented, this has led to a massive effort to build up the company’s bulk foodservice program. In 2018, it announced a partnership with Chefs’ Warehouse to distribute its existing line in addition to carrying the newest offerings, which are bulk size fresh-packed containers of the most popular pickle varieties.
“We really love these products because while not only holding true to our commitment to provide 100 percent preservative-free pickles, we are doing so in a fresh-packed method that maintains even more crunch and flavor than their already crunchy shelf-stable retail counterparts,” continued Brad. “Chefs’ is also carrying bar-friendly pack sizes of our multi award-winning Bloody Mary Elixir, Michelada Shrub, and Pickle Brine products, as well as our ever popular garnishes such as our pickled asparagus and green beans to garnish those Bloody Marys.”
All of this and more will be showcased by Pacific Pickle Works at the upcoming Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, California. To see how other companies are ramping up for the event, stay tuned to Deli Market News.