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Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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22 E VISIT US AT MTOLIVEPICKLES.COM MADE IN WAYNE COUNTY SINCE 1926 Continued from 20 Pickles Pickles Look for three lines more rolling out this spring, she said. But you will have to wait to see what they are, she said. The company has utilized information gleaned from lis- tening to consumers. Ingredients in the traditional line have not changed in almost 50 years, she said. But people are reading labels now, and they are paying attention to what is in the jar, and what the ingredients are, she said. "The 'Simply Pickles' items, the product line is designed to have fewer ingredients," Mrs. Williams said. "Simpler ingredients. The biggest difference is we have taken Yellow No. 5, the color, and exchanged it for turmeric, which is a natural color. It gives the yellow color. "On our sweet products, more like in the organics, but in the sweet products, we have gone from the high-fructose syrup to sweetening with sugar. That is a distinction between our traditional line." People have really responded to that change, she said. "But they are just now beginning to pay attention to the labels," Mrs. Williams said. "Simply Pickles is a way to address those consumer concerns about ingredients. Of course, the organics just takes that a step further." Sea salt items have also contributed to the sales growth. "People think it is really cool that we salt our products with sea salt, and sea salt is good for you," she said. The company used to offer 80 different flavors and styles, but now it is probably closer to 100, she said. All of the company's products are gluten free, Mrs. Williams said. The company tried an organic product several years ago, but it did not do well at the time, she said. Perhaps the company was a little bit ahead of the curve where organic products are concerned, she said. Company officials are optimistic the new organic line will do well because the market is ripe for it, Mrs. Williams said. As the company has grown, so has need for more ware- house space. Currently, total warehouse and distribution square footage is just over 840,000 square feet, plus another 266,000 for production space. That totals to more than 1.1 million square feet, the majority of which is in the Mount Olive area. The company does maintain some square footage on the West Coast to hold products to serve customers there more quickly, Mrs. Williams said. "We pretty much pack our fresh pack items in the sum- mertime and processed items pretty much in the winter," she said. "So we have to have greater inventories to meet customer orders throughout the year. So that means we have had to have more room to put pickles." Early on Mt. Olive Pickle Co. packed pickles under a number of brands including Little Sister, Waypack, Little Rebel, Carolina Beauty and Pick of Carolina. "In some cases, we were packing pickles for different cus- tomers," Mrs. Williams said. "But they were all considered Mt. Olive, but there really wasn't a Mt. Olive brand." President Emeritus Johnny Walker was visionary back in the 1950s to say that all of the brands needed to be con- solidated under one Mt. Olive brand, she said. "At the time Carolina Beauty was our best-selling brand," she said. "We did consolidate back then, and you saw the Mt. Olive brand logo on the cap, and eventual- ly we added it to the label. Eventually everything was consol- idated into the single Mt. Olive brand."

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