Packaging gives produce fresh new face

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

Creative packaging ideas can help encourage consumers to eat their veggies.
Creative packaging ideas can help encourage consumers to eat their veggies.
With a creative approach to packaging, processors and packaging companies can encourage shoppers to put more fresh fruit and vegetables in their grocery carts.

The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo gives a glimpse at industry trends and product ideas. Attracting upwards of 18,000 growers, retailers and packaging pros, the event is intended to help attendees build business and stay ahead of the competition.

Among the highlights: recent and upcoming products that feature creative approaches to packaging. Here are some of the packaged product introductions expected to debut at the Fresh Summit.

Avocado multi-packs

C.H. Robinson is presenting Green Giant Fresh branded avocado packaging. The pouch-style bags hold three Hass avocados, designed to encourage shoppers to pick up multiple fruits at the produce stand, rather than just one.

The pouches feature on-pack messaging designed to engage consumers and encourage product trial. A QR code on the pouch guides shoppers to online content, including avocado recipes and storage/usage tips.

The company also is launching Happy Chameleon, a line of packaged pineapple, mango and lime products. The brand’s logos and messaging feature eye-popping colors intended to reflect tropical edibles and evoke positive associations in consumers.

We wanted to convey a light, fresh, friendly and fun feel to the brand​,” said Drew Schwartzhoff, C.H. Robinson’s director of marketing in sourcing.

Produce netting

Conwed is unveiling knitted and extruded produce packaging in its Carry Bag Mesh line. The netting design has flattened joints, intended to reduce abrasion and avoid product damage.

Providing a superior level of protection to produce without sacrificing display appeal is our main goal​,” said Bart Sistrunk, packaging business unit manager.

Other Conwed items include Vexar tubular netting and header bags. Company consultants can help firms develop customized packaging configurations as well.

Fresh veggie meals

Mann Packaging, specializing in ready-to-eat vegetables, is relaunching its Veggie Mac-n-Cheese portfolio. The kits include fresh broccoli, partnered with ready-to-heat fresh pasta and cheese sauce.

Available in two varieties (classic cheddar, and bacon cheddar), each pack contains three one-cup servings. The packaged product is a finalist in the 2013 PMA Impact Awards.

Convenient cherry packaging

Chelan Fresh Marketing is showing Cup o’ Cherries, a 16-ounce cup of fresh cherries. The container is designed to highlight convenience and minimize the mess associated with eating cherries—the stems are removed, and the lid is designed to hold discarded pits.

Chelan Fresh marketing director Mac Riggan said, “It's car-friendly and fits into the cup holder​.”

The company also is introducing a new miniaturized apple variety, imported from New Zealand. The tiny fruits are packaged in plastic tubes that protected the thin-skinned fruits during transit.

The 2013 Fresh Summit is scheduled October 18-20 in New Orleans.

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