Earthbound Farm sees what’s typically called the packaged salad category as evolving into a packaged greens category, said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of communications and marketing.

The San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based organic grower-shipper is updating labeling on its leafy greens packaging, a move that groups some products together for consumers drawn to a category.

Earthbound Farm’s Baby Kale, Power and Zen blends, for example, are about to appear under a Deep Green Blends banner. Washed romaine, butter lettuce and red and green petite leaves will carry the Easy Leaves banner.

The new labels hit retail shelves in early August, Cabaluna said.

“These labels make a family segment, but are distinct from our everyday greens like spring mix and spinach,” she said.

The packaging includes recipes illustrating the versatility of the product. The recipes also are available on the Earthbound Farm website.

“We’re also providing other point-of-purchase and promotional support specifically for these segments,” Cabaluna said.

“With sales of these items showing strong growth already, we expect this positioning, which capitalizes on existing consumer trends, to catalyze growth even further.”

Organic remains one of the growth drivers in packaged greens. For customers tracked in Nielsen’s Dollar Volume Index, sales of organic salads were up 17.2% for the year ending June 22.

“What’s exciting to see is that organic continues to grow as a percentage of the category,” Cabaluna said.
“It currently represents 21% of all sales of packaged greens. That is significantly higher share for organic than in any other food category.”

Organic consumers tend to be adventurous and helped lead the surge in such items as baby kale and power greens. The Deep Green-type products are finding their way into smoothies, juicing, soups, sautés and main dishes, Cabaluna said.

“It’s the versatility, flavor, nutrition and convenience of these greens that’s encouraging their use in different types of meals and recipes,” she said.

The other trend has been toward washed, whole mature leaves — romaine, butter and petites.