United Fresh 2009: Expo notes part 1

05/05/2009 01:09:00 PM
The Packer Staff

Saleswoman Thelma Rockhold said the company began shipping the products nationwide in April after test marketing it last year in California markets.

She said the bags are designed for retail and convenience stores with a recommended retail price of about $1 per spear.

Colorful Harvest

Salinas, Calif.-based Colorful Harvest LLC began shipping its rainbow baby carrot line in 3-ounce packs in mid-April.

The bags come in 98-count boxes and are designed for school and commissary customers, said Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner.

Conwed

Conwed Global Netting Solutions is in the process of converting its extruded and mesh bags to Ecocycle technology, said Brad Budde, strategic business manager for the Minneapolis-based company.

Budde said the technology, delivered at the same price as conventional material, gives the biodegradable bags a five-year lifespan.

The company expects to convert 70% of all netting products to Ecocycle technology in 2009, Budde said. The company makes the netting for automated produce packaging equipment, including vertical form fill and seal machines.

Cool Pak

Cool Pak LLC, Oxnard, Calif., is venturing into new product packing by creating three tills for mushrooms, said Vanessa Lawrence, sales.

The tills come in 8-ounce, 10-ounce, and 12-ounce sizes, Lawrence said. All but the 8-ounce pack are still in the prototype stage.

The company also showed its 4-pound clamshell for grapes and a hinged plastic spring mix case that will be out in mid-August, Lawrence said.

Crunch Pak

Tony Freytag, marketing director of sliced apple marketer Crunch Pak LLC, Cashmere, Wash., said the company's consumer bag offerings of organic sliced apples are finding a good reception from retailers.

"About 30% to 40% of retailers are taking organic and we're seeing that expand," he said.

Although the recession has apparently slowed demand for organic produce, Freytag said he expects the effect to be temporary.

"We're laying the groundwork for the future and we're trying to get a reasonable price and lower the price point differential between conventional and organic to be more palatable for consumers," he said.

He said the company is also exploring further expansion of 2-ounce or 3-ounce bags of sliced apples to break the dollar price barrier for consumers.


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