A two-piece, display-ready asparagus shipper from Gourmet Trading Co. has won the AmeriStar award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

The 11-pound corrugated polypropylene shipper has a removable top and was designed to quickly convert to display without a box cutter. Gourmet Trading and the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, developed it in 2010, according to a news release.

Gourmet Trading asparagus package wins awardIt holds bunches of asparagus upright and keeps the base ends in contact with a water-moistened pad. The display was designed for store shelves with a 2-inch lip inclined at a 60-degree angle.

“It was a great opportunity for Gourmet to work with Cal Poly San Luis’ packaging department on a real world challenge and we’re ecstatic with the results: a box that saves time at the front end of the store and allows for fresher product and less shrink for retailers,” Julia Inestroza, Gourmet Trading Co. marketing director, said in the April 5 release.

Gourmet Trading asparagus package wins awardJudging took place Feb. 16 at the institute’s headquarters in Naperville, Ill. More than 150 packages were submitted by a wide range of industries. Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading was one of six winners in the food category, and the only one representing produce.

Gourmet Trading Co. and other winners will be honored May 22 at the AmeriStar awards reception and dinner at the Marriott Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.