(Nov. 12, 11:17 a.m.) WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Entering the convenience market, central Florida citrus grower-shipper Wm. G. Roe & Sons Inc. is trying to encourage young people to eat healthy by introducing a grab-and-go clementines pack.

Roe is releasing its Go Healthy Snack sweet clementines packs in new polylactide packs.

The 6-ounce packs feature three seedless and easy-to-peel clementines for a healthy snack any time, said Quentin Roe, president, who developed the pack.

Shipments are expected to increase in volume in December. Noble Worldwide, Roe’s sales division, markets the new product.

It’s the second time the company has introduced the snack packs. An earlier attempt was unsuccessful because of shorter clementine supplies during the summer of 2007, when Roe first introduced the packs. At that time, the marketplace wasn’t conducive to starting up new clementine packaging and didn’t fit in with what retailers were doing, Roe said.

“The whole snack concept is a coming trend,” Roe said, “that just hadn’t come upon a lot of them yet. We think this product has tremendous mileage in it.”

The packs come in 16-count display-ready cartons that feature a pop-up flap showing consumers the highly visible product and don’t require labor for product pack removal, Roe said.

Roe plans to target young people by selling the packs at universities and convenience stores through foodservice distributors, said Darrell Genthner, Noble Worldwide’s director of marketing and business development.

Genthner said produce marketers have some catching up to do.

“Produce is not as far along with what we call lifestyle packs, like what’s in meat cases and Lunchables,” he said. “Produce is about value-added, but not lifestyle yet. That’s why we’re going to colleges first, foodservice operators second and conventional retailers later.”

Roe also promotes the packaging, Minneapolis-based NatureWorks LLC polylactic corn plastic containers, which are compostable under certain conditions.

Roe imports clementines from Northern and Southern hemisphere growing regions. Roe plans to market the packs throughout the year.

Roe & Sons launches clementine snack packs
Wm. G. Roe & Sons Inc., Winter Haven, Fla., is entering the convenience market by introducing a grab-and-go pack of clementines. The Go Healthy Snack packs — marketed through Roe’s Noble World Wide sales division — are aimed at introducing healthy snacking to young people through college and convenience store sales.