Ready Pac Foods Inc. dominates the single-serve salad market, with more than 85% of sales, according to Nielsen Total U.S. Food data.
The company’s Bistro Bowl sales are up 20% for the year, suggesting the importance consumers place on protein-included salads. Most Bistro Bowl products include a protein.
The latest addition to the line, a baby kale turkey Bistro Bowl, made its debut at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit. The product is targeted at shoppers who might otherwise shy away from kale.
“We’ve talked to many consumers who say that new superfoods like kale can be intimidating because recipes and uses aren’t as intuitive as traditional lettuce,” said Tristan Simpson, Ready Pac senior director of marketing and corporate communications. “We are confident we can capture an entirely new audience.”
Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac is further responding to the kale trend by introducing a bagged Baby Kale Blend mixing that green with baby spinach, baby arugula and chard.
“Super greens like spinach remain popular as well, particularly within organic varieties,” Simpson said. “Recent juicing trends have also turned the spotlight back to dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.”
At PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, Ready Pac and Clear Lam Packaging Inc. were among five Impact Award winners for Ready Pac’s peel-and-reseal clamshell trays. The trays also won this year’s Wal-Mart Sustainability Award.
The innovation cut plastic use by a third, according to the company. That made room for another layer of product on pallet shipments.
“This Clear Lam lidding film system replaces preformed rigid lids used in lettuce clamshell containers, using significantly less material than its predecessor,” Simpson said. “The corresponding space savings resulted in the elimination of truck shipments, decreased fuel consumption, lowering amount of warehouse space needed to store raw materials, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Clear Lam also has launched peel-and-reseal lidding film products with companies that also include Pure Pacific Organics LLC, Salinas, Calif.
In September, the Irwindale Chamber of Commerce honored Ready Pac with its 2013 Waste Reduction Award in recognition of various sustainability efforts at the company.
Ready Pac also debuted on Instagram this fall with a consumer photo contest. Consumers were asked to post their photos with a Bistro Bowl Salad using the hashtag #bistrobowl. Besides Instagram, entries could be made through Twitter and Facebook for a grand prize of a $500 Visa gift card.