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Grillo’s Pickles Packs Flavor, Freshness Into Each Bite

Kelsey Wheelhouse

Grillo’s Pickles, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is the nation’s No. 2 refrigerated pickle brand. It was established in 2008 when Travis Grillo decided to take a 100-year-old family recipe and make pickles from his backyard garden. Grillo eventually sold the pickles two for $1 from a cart. 

The pickles can now be found in Whole Foods Market, Publix, Kroger, Amazon’s grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh and other retailers nationwide, according to Kelsey Wheelhouse, a company representative.

Grillo’s is part of the Irresistible Food Group, which also includes Shaka Tea Hawaii and King’s Hawaiian brands. While each operates independently, IFG consolidates their sales and salesforce into a “shared resource,” Wheelhouse explained. 

What makes Grillo’s Pickles different from competitors is its commitment to freshness and a process Wheelhouse called “burping the pickle.”

“We are preservative free, we have an extremely clean ingredients panel, which is really difficult to do,” she said. “Because when you don’t put preservatives in the product, yeast can develop more quickly, resulting in a fermented pickle.

“We actually just make a very fresh pickle with no bad ingredients. Part of the secret to that is actually making sure that you get all the air out of the package. Whenever you package the pickles, the actual term is you got to ‘burp’ the pickle.”

She continued by noting that maintaining a refrigerated temperature from “end to end” is incredibly important. This will ensure the pickles’ shelf life and help prevent yeast formation.

The shelf life of the pickles is about 55 to 70 days, depending on the product. The brand is pursuing non-GMO and all-natural certifications. 

The company offers a variety of products including classic dill pickle spears, hot dill pickle spears, half-sour pickles, sandwich makers, pickle chips and Utz Grillo’s Pickle flavored potato chips. 

Most recently, the brand debuted pickle de gallo. According to the company’s website, it has “a little thick, a little chunky, a lot of flavor.”

“Our thick and chunky pickle de gallo hits all the spots with a little more of everything you love…add it to your favorite sandwiches, burgers or dogs or enjoy straight up. You’ll thank us later.” 

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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