Citrus shoppers pick up more consumer packs

10/06/2009 11:44:09 AM
Tom Burfield

“(Bags are) a good way to move smaller fruit and give consumers value,” Mabs said.

Bags are effective because they can offer a low price point, and they offer attractive merchandising opportunities, he said.

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International Inc. offers a variety of bags for its citrus program, said category manager Gene Coughlin. Many conventional supermarkets offer 2-pound bags of Choice Grade citrus, while some club stores sell 5-pound bags of Fancy Grade product, he said. The company also offers RPCs.

You can get just about every bag configuration there is from Crown Jewels Marketing & Distribution LLC, Fresno, Calif., said partner Atomic Torosian.

The company offer 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 8- and 10-pounders, and that’s a good thing because they help move more volume, Torosian said.

Despite the variety of packaging the company offers, packing in so many different formats does not slow down the packing operation, he said.

But the extensive variety of packaging choices the industry offers may not be the optimum situation, said Joel Nelsen, president of Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual.

There was a time when packers offered uniform packages of basically 8-pound bags and 40-pound cartons, he said.

Today’s extensive selection of packaging options can be a major cost to shippers who must manufacture and inventory them, and uniformity of packages has all but disappeared, he said, creating challenges at shipping point.


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