Packaging increases in greenhouse industry

03/15/2013 02:05:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Growers and marketers of greenhouse vegetables report an increase in packaged product.

Mike Aiton, marketing director at Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., said packaging across the board remains a steady trend in greenhouse vegetable production at the company’s Coachella, mainland Mexico and Baja California facilities.

“There’s still a lot of bagging going on in our greenhouses,” he said.

But the trend isn’t limited to bags. More Prime Time customers are shipping produce using reusable plastic containers.

“There’s a lot more interest in recyclable plastics,” Aiton said. “It’s gaining traction and continues to expand.”

In pepper packaging, stoplight packs — with two red peppers, two greens and two yellows — continue to be a big seller on the greenhouse side for Prime Time, Aiton said.

Six-packs of one color also are popular.

On the tomato side, bulk is still the preferred option for the company’s vine-ripe rounds and romas, but Prime Time packs a lot of grape tomatoes in 1-pint clamshells, Aiton said.

Doug Kling, chief sales and marketing officer for Eatontown, N.J.-based Village Farms LP, said he sees an increase in packaging of greenhouse colored bell peppers industrywide.

“Retailers like them for handling and hygiene,” he said.



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