Growers have Mexican grapes in the bag - The Packer

Growers have Mexican grapes in the bag

04/19/2013 11:23:00 AM
Cynthia David

Courtesy Sun World InternationalSun World International offers its seedless green grapes in a new cast polypropylene film standup pouch bag with a resealable slider zip. The technology allows shoppers to see the grapes inside more clearly, marketing manager Natalie Erlendson says. Fixed or random weight. Handle or no handle. Square or V-shaped zip. Polypropylene or polyethylene. Stand-up or regular.

These are just some of the many bag requests Mexican grape growers deal with.

While many shippers offered new gusseted bags and reusable plastic containers last year, John Pandol, special projects manager for Delano, Calif.-based Pandol Bros. Inc., said few retailers used them.

“We heard a lot of talk, but a lot of those bags went unused, and lot of those RPCs were trucked to other places at the end of the season,” said Pandol, who’s planning a modest gusseted bag program this spring.

The new pouch is not without issues, he said. When packed in the heat and then cooled in a wind tunnel, the polymer may become brittle and crack.

“Then you get bag failure,” he said. “Merchandisers like them, but we’ve heard the store-level guys had trouble with them.”

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International says it’s raising the bar with several new bags, including a cast polypropylene (CPP) film pouch bag for better product visibility and stand-up merchandising.

“Polyethylene tends to amplify bag cloudiness, one of the top five negative influencers at point of purchase,” marketing manager Natalie Erlendson said.

The Sun World pouch also comes with a resealable slider zip.

Josh Leichter, general manager of Fresno, Calif.-based Pacific Trellis Fruit LLC, said the new bags worked well last year, and more upscale supermarkets are asking for them.

“It takes a little more labor, a little more time to pack them,” Leichter said, “but for a premium product, it’s adding value, and the marketplace seems to be recognizing that.”

Jeff Olsen, vice president of the Visalia, Calif.-based Chuck Olsen Co., agrees the bags are attractive, if a bit expensive.

“At 80 to 90 cents a box, that’s $800 to $900 an acre,” he said, “so you have to try to recoup some of those costs.”

After using gusseted bags for three years, Louie Galvan, managing partner of Delano, Calif.-based Fruit Royale Inc., says he’s getting even more requests this year.

“The colors jump out at you, and the bag gives retailers more point-of-sale marketing opportunities,” Galvan said.

“With the convenient handle, there’s no excuse not to pick it up.”

Galvan and Fruit Royale offer zipper lock bags preprinted with the company's Global Trade Item Number.

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