“With a big crop and to have this type of quality, it’s kind of a blessing,” he said. “It makes things that much easier to deal with.”
Sales in the bag
High-graphic handled pouches also appear to be taking the industry by storm. Many grower-shippers say the stand-up, pleated bags have become the norm and have displaced older cloudy slider bags in most markets in just the few short years since they were introduced.
“It just displays so much better and it’s so much cleaner — it’s just a nicer bag,” Wikum said. “I don’t expect to pack any zip bags next year.”
Stockton has seen a similar response at retail.
“It’s become a high-demand item across the board in the table grape industry,” he said. “We’ve seen a significant increase over the last two years, and this year it’s a dominate factor in the marketplace.”
Nevertheless, Stockton described the pouches as a double-edged sword. Although they do display the grapes better, they also cost significantly more than the old slider bags.
Even if retailers request slider bags, Matoian said they want the newer, clear ones that lend themselves to colorful printing and better showcasing the fruit.
Depending on the style, some handleless slider bags also have pleats on the bottom, allowing for stand-up displays.