My job as a retail produce supervisor allows me the opportunity to see new packaging daily.
I’m increasingly impressed by the innovative use of packaging in the produce industry.
Innovative packaging supports the environment, adds convenience, improves food safety, and also educates the consumer about nutrition, cooking and the story behind the company — all wrapped up in one.
Good packaging also gives products that aren’t easy to take to market an edge, not only by differentiating these brands, but also by facilitating the job of department managers when it comes to merchandising.
Retailers notice convenience.
Innovative packaging can signal that good ideas come from these supply partners, that they are committed to the highest standards in marketing, sustainability, consumer convenience, food safety and supply chain efficiency, and that they value the credibility of their brands and companies.
Working in retail — and entering my third year as one of the judges for Produce Marketing Association’s Packaging Impact Award — I see no end in sight to packaging’s innovative use in delivering consumer and industry solutions.
Plus, with the intensifying use of smartphones, I predict packaging ideas for connecting shoppers (right there in the produce department) to the company, product and information on nutrition, product origin, food safety, sustainability, recipes, and storage and handling are only going to snowball.
Being able to communicate on these points simply and easily adds value that works beyond price and triggers sales of fresh fruits and vegetables.
In this day and age of produce marketing, if pursuit of packaging innovation isn’t one of your company priorities, you need to re-evaluate.
If I’m not convincing enough about the importance of packaging, listen to the wisdom this repeat Impact Award winner has to share.
Q: What winning tips would you give to package developers?
A: I’d suggest building things that are bright, colorful and fun, and thinking about what contemporary new things are important, like a QR code, bringing the family farm into it, bringing nutrition into it — those types of things.
Also, I think being respectful of the retail industry and that they have a very hard job to do and need to have things easy to execute is important.