Alliance Rubber earns multiple awards

Alliance Rubber Co., Hot Springs, Ark., has received a number of awards recently. In May, Alliance was one of four companies to receive the 2013 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade, said Vickie Linder, Alliance agricultural market manager.

Alliance was selected as the recipient for the medium manufacturer category. Winners were selected by the Arkansas District Export Council.

Also in May, Alliance received the Made in USA Certified Product Innovation of the Year Award, which honored the company for exhibiting excellence in U.S. manufacturing best practices and standards. In July, the company was named one of two recipients of the Top American Manufacturer honors in the office supplies category by Made in the USA Foundation and Made Movement.

Alliance Rubber Co. is a manufacturer of imprinted Price-Look-Up bands for the produce and floral markets.


Crunch Pak puts out new club store pack

Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak has a new club store package, said spokeswoman Kari Volyn.

The 2-pound peel-and-reseal tray, featuring Crunch Pak’s sliced sweet apples, is convenient for shoppers because it allows users to open and close multiple times, she said.


FormTex to introduce containers at PMA

FormTex Plastics Corp., Houston, plans to release a new line of two-piece containers — one designed for berries and one designed for tomatoes — as well as a line of trays for Flo-Wrap packages in October at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention, salesman David Grice said.

The company also has moved into a new facility in Mexico and expanded its manufacturing facility there for the second time in three years. FormTex also has warehousing and a distribution center in Canada.


Chains switching to Fox protective bag

More and more grocery chains are switching to a specially designed potato bag that Fox Packaging, McAllen, Texas, developed as a result of research conducted at the Michigan State University School of Packaging, said Gabriel Cuellar, the company’s vice president of business development.

The research showed exposure to light is responsible for potatoes turning green, so Fox Packaging developed a bag that has a protective film called Fox Combo Ultra Shield that blocks more than 99% of the light on one side of the bag but has a mesh covering on the other side that allows the product to breathe.


IFCO offers Fresh Market Advantage

Tampa, Fla.-based IFCO Systems has developed Fresh Market Advantage merchandising solutions in collaboration with leading retailers and growers “to ensure requirements of the supply and demand sides of the industry are met with the ultimate goal of increasing fresh produce sales for RPC users,” said Hillary Femal, director of strategic market development.

These solutions combine the correct reusable plastic container design, efficient supply chain logistics and impactful retail merchandising support, she said.

Solutions include the Versa Clip and Channel Banner, which hold graphics cards for price, branding or other messaging, and the X-wing Divider, which separates the RPC into two or four sections for display.


Kwik Lok to bring Autoprint printer to PMA

Kwik Lok Corp., Yakima, Wash., plans to show its 901C Autoprint printer at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit this fall in New Orleans, said Gary Ellington, divisional sales manager.

The printer is mounted on a bag-closing machine and can print information such as lot numbers, country of origin and even a 2-D bar code/quick-response code on Kwik Lok plastic clip locks.

The company can attach coupons to its locks that can be redeemed instantly for cross promotions or other special offers, he said.

The company has six plants worldwide and offers about 50 kinds of locks that vary with package size and makeup of the bags.

Ellington, who has been with Kwik Lok for 17 years, recently was promoted from regional sales manager.

Mann Packing redesigns platter

Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing Co. Inc. has redesigned its vegetable platter and removed the familiar black plastic portion of the package commonly used as the lid, said Gina Nucci, director of healthy culinary innovation.

The company decided to redesign the platters after conducting research into what consumers want in fresh-item packaging.

Research found that 92% of consumers asked said they did not use the black trays for serving as intended, even when instructions prompt them to do so, she said.

When told about the positive impact removing the lids would have on the environment, the same 92% said they would be happy without them.


Naturipe launches innovative packaging

Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla., has released a number of innovative packages, said Janis McIntosh, marketing manager.

Its bouquet long-stem strawberry color co-extruded clamshell was custom created for Naturipe Farms.

The company’s Peel and Reseal Ready-to-Serve Pack won the new product launch competition at the 2013 Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Expo in Monterey, Calif., in July.

The package holds 18 ounces of ready-to-serve fresh blueberries, uses 30% less plastic than traditional containers and has a convenient peel-and-reseal opening, she said.

Naturipe’s new Earthcycle environmentally responsible packaging appeals to organic and natural consumers, she said. The plant-based fiber tray and Flo-Wrap overwrap reduces PET plastics by 85% and is tamper proof.


Ocean Mist has new microwaveable pack

Cooking artichokes just got faster thanks to new microwaveable artichoke packs from Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., that are designed to decrease cooking time, said spokeswoman Kari Volyn.

Consumers just open the bag, season, seal and steam them in their microwaves and they are ready to eat in minutes, she said.

The award-winning steam-in-bag technology also is available with brussels sprouts.


Rainier installs mesh bagging equipment

Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash., installed mesh bagging equipment this summer, which, in addition to its current mesh header bag, allows the company to pack a wraparound mesh pouch bag, said Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing. 

“The band completely wraps down the front and back, allowing the bag to stand up on display and giving us more labeling area to call out the variety,” she said. 

The bag will help consumers more easily identify Rainier’s limited availability and exclusive varieties — the Junami and Lady Alice, she said, along with Rainier-brand Honeycrisps.


Stemilt to offer new Lil Snapper bags soon

Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., plans to release two new pear Lil Snapper bags in September, said Roger Pepperl, director of marketing.

One bag will be for bosc pears, and the other will be for red pears.

“Both, we feel, will add value to the category as pears in general have excelled in our program,” he said.


Wish Farms offers tray of 3-pound clamshells

Wish Farms, Plant City, Fla., now offers trays with a four 3-pound clamshell configuration for strawberries, said Gary Wishnatzki, chief executive officer and president.

The configuration offers freight savings over the traditional eight 1-pound trays, he said, and should help retailers, especially club stores, sell more berries.

Wish Farms also has started in-line scanning for blueberries. Each package has a unique quick-response code that is scanned by a high-speed scanner and associates a container with a particular run, which is initialized with data such as field location, pack date and other information. The QR code also includes a mobile web address for consumers.


Yerecic develops new two-layer label

Yerecic Label, New Kensington, Pa., has developed an Easy Fresh Cooking brand one-peel, two-layer label, said Rich Thoma, vice president of sales and marketing.

The label has a top layer that can be peeled back to reveal recipes, company facts or additional information that allows a producer to connect with consumers.

The company also is adding attention-getting processes using, for example, sparkle, metallic inks or holographic overprints for a 3-D look usually seen only with high-margin items or health and beauty aid products. These come with little or no up charge, in keeping with perishable product producers’ need to keep costs under control, Thoma said.

Yerecic also has developed recyclable label liners — the backing from which adhesive labels are peeled, which traditionally end up in landfills.

The company is exploring anti-counterfeiting technology that allows the authenticity of a label to be determined by scanning it with a special device.