Despite the bigger size profile in Peru, Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif., and other importers of Peruvian avocados are bullish on packaging Peruvian product.
“We have a really healthy bagging program out of Peru,” said Index Fresh president and CEO Dana Thomas.
Through mid-June, Index Fresh had packed 32s, 36s, 40s and 48s for its U.S. retailers, and later in the summer could add 60s to the packaging mix.
Peruvian Avocado CommissionWorkers process boxes of Peruvian avocados at a packing facility. Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif., bags most of its avocados to customer specifications, while Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce offers bagged fruit and a range of volume-fill and tray pack box options.No size of bag is predominant, Thomas said — it’s whatever the customers want.
“There are a lot of variations, and most of them are designed by customers,” he said. “There’s no standard program.”
Index Fresh supports the big marketing push by the Peruvian Avocado Commission this summer, and the packaging-related aspects of that program, but it’s still up to the customer to determine the shape and design the package eventually takes.
“We think the commission is doing a good job, and we support them, but some of our customers have a consistent design across all packs” regardless of origin, Thomas said.
As part of its major 2014 campaign, the Washington, D.C.-based commission is offering 23x15x30 retail bins and 38x64 demo skirts to showcase fruit at retail this summer, said Xavier Equihua, the commission’s CEO.
Both high-graphic displays feature the “Monumental Flavor” tagline, a photo of Machu Picchu and other graphics and text.
About a third of all Wal-Marts on the East Coast will have wraps for their RPCs containing Peruvian avocados this summer, Equihua said.
Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce’s packaging program for Peruvian avocados this summer will be very similar to its program for Mexican and California fruit, said Ron Araiza, vice president of sales.
“Even with the size, the Peruvian bag program has been a success.”
Another packaging option for Mission’s avocados is its bag rack. The 5-foot-high rack features four rows of bags and is capable of holding about 18 bags.
The rack can be cross-merchandised with guacamole kits, which can be attached to the rack. Signage can include the slogan “The Perfect Match,” highlighting avocados’ use in guacamole.
Mission also expects to continue to ship more Peruvian fruit in RPCs this year, Araiza said.
Most of Mission’s standard packaging options come in volume-fill and tray pack options.
The company’s standard packaging lineup for 2014 includes:
- 25-pound standard lug, 24-84 count;
- 12.5-pound standard flat, 18-35 count;
- 37.5-pound euro box, 54-105 count (can ship hard or ripe fruit);
- 37.5-pound RPC, 54-105 count; and
- Ripe-fruit RPC, tray-packed only, 54-105 count.