Pouch bags are “kind of displacing the interest in clamshells,” he said.
Variable-weight pouch bags are much more economical for consumers in the long run compared to fixed-weight packages like clamshells, he said.
“The smaller the unit you buy in a fixed-weight package, the more you have to accommodate potential shrink that may or may not occur,” he said.
Packers generally put a total of about 17 pounds of fruit in 16 1-pound containers to ensure that each container weighs at least a pound, he said.
“You have to charge more money because you’re using over 17 pounds of fruit for a 16-pound sale,” he said.
“The pouch bag that’s variable weight eliminates that because it’s (weighed) at the register, and you can sell 16 pounds, and the retailer can sell 16 pounds and it works better.”
Cherries are a relatively expensive item, Pepperl said, so it’s appropriate to pack them in attractive pouch bags.
They also allow grower-shippers to brand their product.
“Consumers want to know who grew their food,” he said.
Stemilt’s pouch bags have a quick-response code with a link to a video that talks about the company.
The company packs almost all of its cherries in pouch bags. Only 11-row and smaller sizes are packed in poly bags. The company still packs some cherries in clamshells, but clamshells have “lost some steam to pouch bags,” Pepperl said.