Just last week, the first shipment of Brussels sprouts from Guatemala arrived at the port of Miami for North Bay Produce. “The season is getting underway and supplies are building up,” says John Battle, Vegetable Category Manager for the company. The green globes are available through March and exclusively sourced from the Central American country, a 3.5-day water journey away from Miami.
These Brussels sprouts are unique as they are grown almost 7,000 ft above sea level. “Our grower uses a seed that was specifically chosen through years of trial and error, creating the best Brussels sprouts for the altitude and temperature in the highlands of Guatemala.” What differentiates these little powerhouses from California-grown Brussels sprouts is the fact that they are not bitter. “The high elevation takes away the bitterness,” shared Battle.
Also unique is their light green color. “That’s because they are pre-peeled and trimmed, making the product 100 percent usable,” he said. They have been washed as well and are ready to be consumed from the package.
Last year, North Bay Produce offered Brussels sprouts from Guatemala for the first time as part of a trial program. This year, they will be available in larger quantities. “To make them stand out in the produce department, we’ve developed a unique, resealable stand-up bag,” Battle mentioned. “The resealable strip is a type of velcro, which keeps the bag tightly closed and makes it easy to reseal with one hand.” The front of the packaging includes the American Heart Association seal, reminding consumers Brussels sprouts are part of a healthy diet. The back of the bag incudes a recipe.
American Heart Association seal on the front and recipe on the back of the packaging.
“Our Brussels sprouts are very fresh as the transit time is relatively short and new product arrives every four days,” mentioned Battle. Right now, the product is available in Kansas City with expansion into the Chicago area next week, followed by the Midwest and East Coast. Once supplies have fully built up, they will also be available on the West Coast with arrival into Los Angeles, a 5.5-day journey from Guatemala.