SAN DIEGO — Fresh produce companies seldom poke fun at themselves, but Mann Packing Co. seems willing to be the butt of the joke if it brings attention to the environmental benefits of their switch to lidless vegetable trays.
Gina Nucci, director of healthy culinary innovation at Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing, portrays Gina Broccolini, the anchor of a fictitious newscast who reports the packaging change in no-brainer fashion in an online video.
The video played at the grower-shipper’s United Fresh booth and has spread through its website, YouTube and Twitter accounts.
Mann’s old vegetable platters came with a black lid intended for serving, but research showed 92% of consumers didn’t use it for that purpose.
The lid was eliminated, cutting the company’s plastic use by 2 million pounds annually. But not before Mann’s research and development department brainstormed alternate uses for it — at least according to the fake newscast.
Fly swatter. Fan. Paint pallet. One researcher bends the lid over his head and then licks it, evidently to strike a blow for science.
Gina Broccolini is a longtime nickname for Nucci, based on her past work with that item. But it’s Broccolini’s debut as a newscaster.
“There isn’t a lot of humor in produce marketing,” Nucci said. “It’s pretty stagnant and boring most of the time. Being creative with it, especially with social media, is a lot of fun. It’s making a happy story versus a sad one — asking what are we doing to do with all these plastic trays, instead of what are they all doing in a landfill.”
“We have a new videographer on contract,” Nucci said. “We have a few. I usually focus them on sales trainings or product or cooking information. We have a huge cooking channel.”