West Pak offers split box for avocados

12/17/2013 11:08:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Courtesy West Pak Avocado Inc.West Pak's new avocado split pack adds convenience for customers and improves food safety and traceability for the product.West Pak Avocado Inc., Murrieta, Calif., has come up with a split box to better serve the needs of foodservice distributors and wholesalers, said Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing.

Typically, “splits” are packed at distributor or wholesale level, he said, but now the split box has become another pack in the company’s regular lineup.

The split pack adds convenience and cost savings for distributors that were doing their own splits, Meyer said. But more importantly, it enhances traceability, improves food safety and helps maintain cold chain integrity.

The company now offers a full, 48-count box, a single-layer or half box and the split box, which typically contains eight size 48 avocados. The size and count combination varies.

“It works out really well for distributors who have customers with small usages and request several deliveries a week,” Meyer said.

“It eliminates any question about traceability because it’s packed at the source,” he added.

The company also can precondition the product and pack the fruit to size.

Foodservice distributors often need multi levels of ripening.

“We worked with our ripening team to make sure we have the right air-flow properties in the box,” Meyer said.

A foodservice distributor might have one customer that asks for one set of specifications and another that requires another level.

“We can target different pressure ranges for a foodservice customer on the same purchase order,” he said, so a load may include pallets representing varying degrees of ripeness.

“It’s become very sophisticated, and it is very exact in what the requirements are for ripening for the foodservice side of the industry,” Meyer said.

“Most restaurants are on a very tight delivery schedule and just-in-time inventory, and they have limited storage capability at their facilities,” he said, “so they are requiring specifications that are quite exact, based on what their usage is going to be.”

Meyer said the company takes advantage of its ripening to differentiate itself from competitors.

“With our ripening technology and our ripening teams and regional locations, we’re able to service major foodservice programs that reach across multiple regions of the country and involve multiple distributors,” he said.



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