Trying to grab the attention of grab-and-go consumers wanting more healthy snack options, Dole Berry Co. LLC is unveiling convenience-sized blueberry packs called “Brainberries.”

Dole's Brainberries compete for snack market shareWording on the 1.2-ounce retail and 2.6-ounce foodservice packaging highlights the fruit as a washed and ready-to-eat “super antioxidant snack.” The packaging shows an outline of a face on a blueberry that signifies brain power.

The Watsonville, Calif.-based company introduced the bags to foodservice buyers attending the July 20-22 Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference in Monterey, Calif.

Greg Mixon, Dole’s vice president of sales, said Dole plans to increase movement of the product’s initial show “soft launch.”

He said Dole initially plans to market the fruit as seasonal but quickly ramp it up to year-round production through the support of Dole’s extensive blueberry production network, which begins in Florida and ends in the Pacific Northwest before heading to Chile.

Mixon said Dole is determining logistics but said the product received favorable reaction from show buyers.

Strong consumer interest in berries combined with blueberries leading the category’s growth should stoke demand for such convenience products, Mixon said.

“The industry has to find new ways to create demand for blueberries, as production will continue to increase for years and years to come,” Mixon said. “The Brainberry is just one aspect of that and a good example of ways we can help increase fresh blueberry consumption.”

The bags guarantee an 18-day minimum shelf life and are packaged at Dole’s Marina, Calif., processing plant, Mixon said.

Dole’s Brainberry introduction follows Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC last year releasing its blueberry Berry Quick Snacks.

Mixon cited the apple industry’s success with apple slices and said blueberries should experience similar convenience category opportunities. He said value-added products remain a Dole priority.

“We see this product as our starting point (in value-added),” Mixon said.