Shippers say goodbye to standard bag sizes - The Packer

Shippers say goodbye to standard bag sizes

08/18/2014 09:10:00 AM
Melissa Shipman

Curry & Co.Matt Curry, president of Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., said the two-pound sweet onion bag helps it stand out.Onion shippers are prepared to pack in a variety of sizes and styles. In fact, some shippers have said that despite some trends, standard sizes have gone out the window.

Delbert Bland, president of Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms, said there’s really no normal pack size for onions anymore.

“There’s really no such thing as a standard pack anymore. It’s a very wide variation of all sizes,” he said.

Many companies say that packing to order is the best way to manage all these pack styles.

“We run each order to order. We don’t pack them ahead,” Bland said.

Others agree that there are multiple popular bag sizes.

“We pack in cartons and all sizes of packs, mainly the 2-, 3-, 5- and 10-pound bags, with a lot of different carton sizes as well.” said Bill Coombs, sales, Desert Spring Produce, Hatch, N.M.

Shippers say advances in packing technology have helped get the industry to this point.

“We can be a lot more precise with sizing now, so that allows us to size to the exact consumer need,” Bland said.

Others agree that new packing technology is helpful when it comes to accuracy, as well as speed.

“The speed and accuracy with which we can pack allows us to stage loads prior to the truck arriving to pick up. This is important to trucking companies since they no longer can afford to wait to get loaded,” said Chris Franzoy, president of Young Guns Produce Inc., Deming, N.M.

Retailers have also played a part in developing the many onion pack sizes and styles, because they often seek to offer multiple options to shoppers, particular in bagged and bulk options.

“It seems the trend is for retailers to present onions in more than one format, which is great because it provides more exposure for the category,” said Dan Borer, general manager for Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc.

Despite sizing differences, more and more bags seem to be used.

“The trend over the last several years is for more consumer bags,” Bland said.

John Shuman, president and director of sales, Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga., agreed bags are gaining ground in the market.

“We’ve seen the popularity of our consumer bags steadily increase since their introduction to the market. They currently account for just under half of our total annual volume shipped to market,” he said in an e-mail.

In addition, Matt Curry, president of Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., said bag sales are strongest at the beginning of each month.

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