HPP Expert Q & A Keith E. Sirois President & CEO of HPP Fresh Florida

Q: How many years have you been working with HPP technology?
A: We opened in May 2018. It has been quite a short but interesting ride these past 18 months.

Q: Why did HPP Fresh Florida decide to buy a JBTAvure HPP machine?
A: When I did our due diligence, I found that while Avure technology was more expensive up front, it was more cost-effective and reliable when you factored in the maintenance. Case in point, I am receiving a significant load of product tomorrow morning because a competitor (who uses brand X) is experiencing machine downtime and cannot keep up.

Q: What are the advantages of using a toller like HPP Fresh Florida?
A: There are a number of advantages. It is what we do, and we are very good at doing HPP. We have a library of validation studies that show that an HPP toller can save a customer significant up-front money. We can provide some value-added functions like packing, shrink bundling, labeling, order palletizing, storage, etc. Our customers are experts at manufacturing their products, and we are the HPP experts who bear the cost of the equipment, labor and maintenance. Our alliance with Avure labs is also a strong plus when we are selling our services to customers.

Q: What are popular foods and beverages that HPP Fresh Florida HPP’s?
A: We do a lot of juices (we are in Florida, after all), some meats, seafood, salsas, hummus. We have even done some one-off work for alcoholic beverage people, and we will soon be doing some cosmetics. There is a broad spectrum of products that are compatible with HPP, and we explore all of them.

Q: What do you, as an HPP toller, think are the top three drivers sparking HPP’s fast growth?
A: Different foods have different priorities, but I think shelf life extension is the big one. Manufacturers want to expand their sales footprint, and they can either add chemical preservatives or HPP to get the necessary shelf life. The bigger retailers require 60-plus days upon delivery, so having a 90-to-120-day shelf life is essential if you want a big retailer’s business. Of course, pathogen reduction is also important and comes into play when manufacturers experience a recall due to listeria or salmonella. HPP is an easier sell after that.

Q: What HPP product do you have in your fridge?
A: I have a variety of juices and salsas in the fridge. There is some hummus and guacamole in there as well.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: Never did. When I finished high school, I went into the navy, and when I got out, I went into the restaurant industry, where I spent the next 45 years.