Environmental concerns guide mushroom packaging

01/14/2014 03:17:00 PM
Cynthia David

“That was the biggest concern for retailers new to the product,” Caldwell said, “but it has not detracted one bit from consumer acceptance. … The response has been amazing.”

In Olympia, Wash., family-owned Ostrom’s Mushrooms has almost completed its switch from a glossy white to a coated kraft paper till.

The recyclable but not compostable till is made of recycled material sourced 20 minutes from the farm and cut and printed two hours away.

“It’s hard to take the step of paying more for your packaging,” said Fletcher Street, Ostrom’s director of marketing and sales, “but being a small company in the Pacific Northwest, where we’re all hugging trees and worrying about water quality, it’s really important for our customers.”

Finding a paper tray to replace foam for portobello caps and sliced has proved more challenging, Street said.

“The longer the trays are, the more there’s torque if you’re wrapping them and there are stability issues,” she said.

Though the colors aren’t as vibrant on the new kraft tills, Ostrom’s still color-codes its packages by variety.

“Mushrooms tend to be an impulse item,” Street said. “Any way you can make that section of the store look a little more interesting with different colors, sizes and package shapes, it helps.”


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