Clamshells and standard bags will be offered to some accounts, in addition to some bulk shipments.
Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, rolled out a high-graphic pouch bag for its dark sweet cherries last year, and this year the marketer will also offer the pouch bag for rainiers, said Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager.
The pouch bag is expected to account for about 75% of the company’s bag business this year, largely replacing the traditional catch-weight poly bag. Next year the pouch bag could account for 100% of bag volume, he said.
“From a marketing standpoint, (the pouch bag) gives us more recognition on the shelf, with bright colors and headers that stand above the fruit to draw attention.”
Retailers who want smaller cherries can receive them in the traditional poly catch-weight bag, but premium quality and larger-size cherries are generally offered in high-graphic pouches, said Suzanne Wolter, marketing director for Selah-based Rainier Fruit Co.
Chris Falk, vice president of Washington Fruit & Produce, Yakima, said the pouch bags are rapidly gaining influence, though a few chains have said they want to stay with the traditional slider bag.
Two common boxes for the pouch bag are the Euro carton holding 12 2.25-pound pouch bags, and the standard carton featuring eight bags of 2.25 pounds.
“The Euro carton is actually a better format to transport a pouch bag,” said Jon Bailey, with The Dalles, Ore.-based Orchard View Farms, whose cherries are marketed by Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group.
Bailey said he thinks the industry will migrate to the Euro carton as the carton of choice for cherries in pouch bags, since the pouch bags stands up easier and have more room in the Euro carton.