California Tomatoes VS. Regional Tomatoes

I work for a local franchise where every franchisee makes there own sauce. As you are aware that could lead to an inconsistent product, were looking at a company in the Minnessota( food service specialist) to make a ready sauce and distribute it through Saputo. I was speaking to one of there salesman and were talking about using California Tomatoes vs. There regional tomatoes (Indiana Tomatoes).

My question is what is the base of your Tomato Sauce: California Tomatoes vs. Regional tomatoes and what are the differneces?

Make sure they do a lot of testing…I worked for a small franchise operation a few years back and going to a pre-made canned sauce versus canned tomatoes & spice pack almost did them in…The pre-made sauce did not have anywhere near the same taste…And the customers knew it and let them know…

PS…Why not ON tomatoes?..Is is kind of ironic that lots are exported to the US, processed and packed and sent back to Canada…

Thanks for the quick reply Royster.

We do use Ontario Tomatoes ATM, but i’ve heard so many good things about Cali Tomatoes being sweeter and more desirable for pizza sauce.

Do you think it would be profitable if made the sauce ourselves at corporate h.o and deliver to the distributor?

What kind of equipment do you think we need? A professional mixer and sealer?

I have been out of the business too long to provide much more that is helpful…I just know that consistency is required and hard to accomplish without lots of testing…

What is going into your sauce now?..I would think a good starting point would be the same supplier as you currently use…Is the canned product you are using now consistent from month to month…Some canned product tends to vary from fresh to not so fresh at different times of the year whereas other products are very consistent…

This a huge move and risk and should not be taken lightly…

I use a product that is fresh packed in California. Stanislaus Food Products (800-327-7201) has the tomato in the can within 6 hours of being harvested. The advantage of this is being able to leave the tomatoes on the vine until just the right stage of ripeness. They will also work with your company to devlope custom products if you have enough volume. They may not be the only place that does this but I know first hand of their quality. My customers often comment they have never had a pizza other than mine that does not give them heart burn.

Well I am not in business , but our local packer, who is also a pretty large regional company has certain products that are ONLY New Jersey grown tomatoes. They are available all year round. This would be a big marketing angle for me.

My marketing is specifically tailored to highlight that we use locally-grown produce whenever possible. I also prefer to manage my own recipe. I find that our customers like that, but your area and culture may be different.

make your own sauce. It will save you money im sure. Developing a recipe is pretty easy. This is not my sauce but easily you can combine ground tomatoes (711 i think) and mix some Paste (super dolce) add basil fresh or dried salt pepper garlic and you have yourself a sauce. The names i gave you are all california tomatoes…Stanislauss. They are a good company with a good product. call them and shoot the sh t with them, They will come to you show you samples and give you recipes. at least they did that for me. good luck.

PS. my asnwer was California

Are you concerned about consistency from store to store or regional tomato flavors?

California tomatoes are what’s available here for a certain quality level. I’d like to try Violet from NJ but have not seen it anywhere. Haven’t really looked either… Stanislaus make a tasy product and their service has been stellar.

I think choosing your tomatoes for flavor/cost/consistency reasons would be more helpful than region. Unless that’s part of you marketing…

Royster13: I’m certain that a large portion of the NJ tomato crop is packed in Cananda. There used to be 50+ packers in-state. Now there’s one. http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=14822