More specialty and branded offerings in the produce department have come with more specialized packaging.
Take potatoes and onions, for example.
One noticeable trend for packaging is mini potatoes, which often go in pouch bags and also some netting and tag-type bags, said Jeff Watkin, graphics and marketing director with Collinsville, Ill.-based packaging manufacturer Sev-Rend Corp.
Pouches are gaining traction because they have the space for branding and recipes, he said, though they are a more expensive packaging option.
Netting with tags is often the choice for companies looking for a more economical choice, Watkin said.
Onions aren’t put in pouch bags so much, because the product needs to breathe. To give onion bags real estate for labeling and recipes, netting is encircled by a film wrap, Watkin said.
Tag-and-netting systems are more popular with smaller onion packs of 1½ to 2 pounds, Watkin said.
What type of packaging to use is an important marketing decision, and the quality of packaging can often clinch the sale at retail, Watkin said.
Shoppers also want packaging that will clearly showcase a product’s origin, Watkin said.
“People like to know where their food is grown, and packs that show where it’s grown and packed is a big plus for companies,” he said.
Citrus marketer Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing with Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus, agrees that highlighting origin can be an effective marketing tool.
“To keep fruit visible at retail, we employ two different marketing initiatives for promoting our Texas produce,” he said.
“Our branded grapefruits from Texas are sold under the Sweet Scarletts brand while the non-branded grapefruits are sold under the Texas Grown label, highlighting the Texas origin.”
Wonderful has found that good packaging paired with with in-store merchandising is extremely important for capturing consumer attention.
“Our Wonderful Halos brand, for example, makes it easy to merchandise in-store because the product arrives in high-graphic packaging and is showcased in eye-catching (point-of-sale) displays,” he said.
Visibility and convenience remain the two key attributes of citrus packaging, said Aaron Fox, executive vice president of McAllen, Texas-based Fox Packaging.
“The only thing that’s really changed, I think, is more use of (a) stand-up pouch bag that has a combo standup with one side mesh so it breathes,” he said.
More citrus seems to be sold in packages than ever, Fox said.