“Retailers are demanding the pouch bag with a handle. I think everybody will be packing in those,” said Jared Lane, vice president of marketing for Bakersfield, Calif.-based Stevco Inc.
Others agree the new bag is going to be the main option on store shelves this year.
Fruit Royale Inc., Delano, Calif., will ship all its grapes in handle bags this year, according to managing partner Louie Galvan.
“It seems more people want these bags than not,” he said.
There are numerous advantages to this style.
Marc Serpa, director of domestic grapes for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, said the bags display well and are easy to handle.
“Our customers have commented that the convenience and appealing displays of the handle bags have increased sales for the grape category in recent years,” he said in an e-mail.
Other benefits include increased visual appeal of the fruit.
“It displays the grapes with higher clarity and makes them appear fresher and prettier to the eye that the other bags were able to do,” Lane said.
In addition to having a better view of the fruit, new bags also have more visual appeal in terms of design capabilities.
“The bags are more appealing with regard to the brilliant high quality graphics. It’s just better to look at overall,” Millburn said.
“We are seeing the industry heavily adopt the high graphic handle bag as the bag of choice. The graphics catch the eye of the consumer, the handle urges takeaway and the film is clearer than the standard polypropylene bag,” said
Natalie Erlendson, marketing manager for Sun World International LLC, Bakersfield, Calif.
In addition, the new bags offer convenience to shoppers because they are easy to pick up off the shelf with one hand.
“The bags are a more cutting edge design that’s easier for shoppers to grab and go,” said Rene Millburn, Missouri-based public relations director for King Fresh Produce LLC, Dinuba, Calif.
The pouch bag can be more effort to pack than other bag styles, according to Steve Monroe, sales, Monroe & Sons Produce Distributors, Bakersfield, Calif.
Of course, when considering the other packaging alternative, the clamshell, pouch bags are easier to pack.
“The hope is that customers would use a pouch bag instead of a clam, so in that case it actually saves time,” Monroe said.