Ayco Farms introduced new asparagus bags in May, just as consumer demand on packaged produce in the produce aisle picked up because of the COVID-19. ( Courtesy Ayco Farms )

Ayco Farms, Pompano Beach, Fla., has seen a “substantial increase” in demand for bagged asparagus from retail customers who are acting on changes in consumer preferences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bagged asparagus grabbed attention and seems to have kept traction due to consumer trends and the convenience of packaged produce,” Avi Nir, Ayco Farms’ CEO, said in the release. “We see consumers buying more bagged products than ever before.”

Fortunately, Ayco Farms had been researching packing in bags before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With many months of testing MAP (modified-atmosphere packaging) and non-MAP materials, we developed a bag and protocol perfect for handling asparagus,” Nir said in the release. “We invested in figuring out what materials worked best for asparagus and adopting our facility for the machines.”

The company’s goals were to increase shelf life of the asparagus and create a consumer-friendly bag. Shanir Nir, marketing coordinator, said the breathable, stand-up bags, introduced in May, have a full-color design, a large window to see the asparagus, nutritional information, and a quick-response code that links to recipes on the company’s website.

Ayco Farms’ tagline, “Got Asparagus?” is on every pacakage.

“In April, our bagged sales began to increase in a serious manner,” Shanir Nir said in the release. “Interest in bags has never been higher. Once retail customers and their shoppers became familiar with the bags, they realized the convenience of our presentation and the benefit in this bag.”

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