Berry shippers say packaging is important to successful marketing. That means new styles and designs must be released as trends change.
For example, Estero, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms developed a compostable blueberry pack to be used for its organic blueberries.
“The new packaging style is resulting in a 90% reduction of plastic used,” said marketing manager Kyla Oberman.
The new packs are biodegradable and recyclable, while the fibrous material they are made of is gentle on the fruit.
For now, the pack style will be used on the organic berries only.
“The sustainability message and story it allows us to tell has resonated very well with our organic audience,” Oberman said.
Naturipe also recently redesigned its ready-to-eat blueberry packs to help them stand out on retail shelves. It also allows a clearer view of the product in each package, Oberman said.
The health message is also front and center on the new pack design.
“The messaging assists in conveying the health and use attributes of this ‘ready-to-snack’ product,” Oberman said.
The product has already been popular with increased demand for the convenient snack-ready package.
“Retail, convenience and foodservice customers have all found value in our ready-to-eat blueberries,” Oberman said.
The new design was debuted at the recent United Fresh show and was set to begin shipping in early July.
Both of these updates follow the company’s belief that packaging is important to marketing.
“It’s an advertising billboard both in the grocery store as well as in our home refrigerators,” Oberman said.
It provides a place to communicate stories to consumers.
For Naturipe, that story is that “Naturipe’s ready-to-eat blueberries are an easy, smart snack choice,” Oberman said.
Consumers are buying more berries, and that means grower-shippers are using larger pack sizes to meet those needs.
“A few years ago, the Strawberry Commission talked a lot about how larger containers were on the rise, and we’ve definitely seen that with our retail customers. Everything is shifting to larger packs,” said Cindy Jewell, director of marketing, California Giant Berry Farms Inc., Watsonville, Calif.
Club store sizes are now mainstream.
“The 2-pound pack is especially popular. We’re seeing a lot of retailers request those,” Jewell said.
In addition, larger pack sizes help shippers manage large crops.
Blueberry shippers plan to look to larger pack sizes as they expect a larger-than-normal crop for the summer.
British Columbia, in particular, will create the opportunity for retailers to put large packs on promotion, said Nolan Quinn, berry category director for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We’re working to push larger sizes to take advantage of the volumes we’ll have this year,” he said.