“Large packaging is the trend year after year,” said Eric Crawford, president of Fresh Results LLC, Sunrise, Fla.
Crawford says that with the larger quantity of blueberries available this year, bigger pack sizes are a good solution.
“Packaging that used to be just for club stores is now being widely accepted and used by conventional retailers, so you’re seeing a lot of 18-ounce and 2-pound sizes,” he said.
“The 3-pound seems to be a big hit this year,” said Charlie Staka, director of sales for CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif.
“Packing a 3-pounder is really the new thing with a lot of customers,” he said.
Staka says the 3-pounder isn’t replacing another popular large option, the 2-pounder.
“It’s just an additional offering,” he said, referencing that the 3-, 2-, and 1-pound clams are all popular.
“Retailers can have all three on ad at the same time depending on what the consumer demand is,” Staka said.
Summer is a good time for larger sizes, in part because of the increased supply.
“As we get into these moments with a fully supplied market, we’re trying to sell larger pack sizes such as 18- or 24 ounce, and even two pounds. Those certainly help move the crop,” said Tom Richardson, vice president of global development for Giumarra International Berry, Los Angeles.
“Big pack sizes are still a trend, and when the fruit is strong and in the peak of the season, it’s the perfect time to offer customers larger pack sizes,” said Kyla Garnett, marketing manager, Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla.
Garnett says that in addition to having plenty of supply to fill larger sizes, quality is exceptional right now.
“With the peak of the season, it means excellent size and quality of fruit. The flavor is absolutely there,” she said.
These larger pack sizes are especially great for summer, according to Garnett.
“With our lifestyles in the summer with more time outside and the kids home from school, it’s the best time to offer large pack sizes so consumers can always have fruit in the house. It’s a great way to substitute a traditional snack or offer a different fruit alternative to bananas or grapes,” she said.
For strawberries, the 1-pound option is still the king.
“We’re still finding large sizes to be popular, but the one-pound clam is still the most widely distributed,” said Julie Lucido, marketing director, Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., on behalf of Well-Pict Berries, Watsonville, Calif.
Still, Lucido says the larger options offer a good value.
“The 2- and 4-pounders are popular. Consumers really get a lot of bang for their buck,” she said.
Larger sizes are especially popular around the holidays.
“Anyone who bought strawberries for their Fourth of July recipes would have wanted the larger size ... that will happen again come Labor Day,” Lucido said.
Fritz Koontz, owner of Santa Cruz Berry Farming Co., Watsonville, Calif., says the overall size has increased over the years.
“Many years ago, it used to just be pint-sized packs, but now the 2- and 4-pound packs are very popular,” he said.
The larger size success is often about value.
“A lot of stores are following the club store mentality to offer larger sizes because it seems you are offering a little more value to consumers,” Koontz said.