Companies develop products to serve families - The Packer

Companies develop products to serve families

08/07/2014 12:22:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Stemilt Growers LLCStemilt Growers' Lil Snappers bags feature kid friendly characters, but still allow a good view of the fruit inside. Stemilt offers apples and pears in the Lil Snappers bags.Produce marketers have developed a mix of ideas to promote produce for families.

The tried-and-true formula involves packaging and characters that attract children and encourage interaction, paired with a product designed to meet a specific need for parents and young kids.

Sometimes just the product itself can be kid-friendly in nature.

“While many products use a special character to target children, we like to let our proprietary berries speak for themselves, thanks to their size, flavor, color and shine that attract kids and their moms,” said Jim Grabowski, director of marketing for Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict Berries.

“I personally believe it’s more important what you put into your package than what you put on the outside of your package,” he said.

Other fruits and vegetables also fit into this idea, although taking the idea one step further can create a balance between a product and a brand.

“Apples are great for kids, and pears especially have been really popular, because they are very sweet and are softer. We’ve seen phenomenal growth on the pear side,” said Brianna Shales, communications manager for Stemilt Growers LLC, Wenatchee, Wash.

Stemilt offers kid-friendly apples and pears in its Lil Snappers line, along with Sunkist Growers citrus.

Some companies focus on providing a more child-friendly, convenient product for parents that also appeals to kids.

Stemilt’s Lil Snappers bags are bright and kid-friendly with a character on them, but the bag design allows parents to see the fruit inside and to store the produce easily on the top shelf in the fridge.

“It’s a perfect bag to grab for the fridge, and it will basically feed two kids an apple or pear every day for a week,” Shales said. “It’s really convenient.”

Companies often choose smaller fruit so small appetites aren’t wasting a larger apple.

Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash., is launching its Hero program this fall with small sweet apples.

“It’s a product you can give to a kid and not worry about them eating only half of it,” said Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing.

Mac Riggan, marketing director for Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, Wash., said his company targets families with bags of smaller apples in hopes that it will encourage those families to grow with the company in the years to come.

“Kids want to eat a smaller apple and it provides values for moms, but as they get older, we hope they transition to buying more of the larger fruit,” Riggan said.

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