Courtesy Dole Vegetables
Dole will replace the number-based taste and texture scales with words, said Chris Mayhew, director of marketing at Monterey-based Dole Fresh Vegetables.
“It’s an evolution of the Salad Guide that we launched a year ago,” she said. “We heard it made salad purchasing easier, so we wanted to move that one step further to a verbal scale.”
Dole’s taste scale will range from sweet and subtle (blue and green) to zesty and bold (yellow and orange) or complex and robust (pink and purple), while the texture scale includes tender, crisp and crunchy.
It’s not the only change in store for Dole packaging. To establish better brand continuity, Mayhew said, salads and commodities will share color schemes as well as design elements that include information about nutritional benefits, preparation and storage.
Dole announced the changes at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October in Orlando, Fla.
The company also will keep its spokesman, a character known as the Dole Salad Guide, recognizable by his beard, glasses and apron. On-pack or online, the feature’s been a success, Mayhew said.
“[Consumers] said they are more motivated to try new blends, are interacting more with our product and are less likely to walk away if their regular blend is out of stock,” she said.
Fresh Express, a division of Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International, redesigned its salad kit packages with the recent launch of some new kits. The design focuses on the word “kit.” Some of the new varieties come with on-pack coupons.
Fresh Express also won first place in the PMA Impact Packaging Awards in October for its Artisanal salads packed in NaturSave bags, which reduce plastic use by 50%, according to the company.
Other companies continue to emphasize environment-friendly packaging. Taylor Farms and Earthbound Farm, for example, both use clamshells made from 100% recycled beverage bottles. Ready Pac Foods says its salad bowls are made in a plant that uses 50% solar energy.
At Ocean Mist Farms, cello spinach is the Castroville, Calif., grower-shipper’s only value-added bagged item. This year’s package redesign features purple as the contrast color to the leaves.
“[It] coordinates with the rest of our product line,” said Kori Tuggle, marketing director at Ocean Mist. “We also were very conscious to create as much product visibility as possible.”