A Well-Packaged Produce Brand Starts with Packaging

Packaged produce is a growing industry trend. The days of bulk-stacked, volume-packaged fruits and vegetables have passed. Consumers want healthier-for-them fresh, quality produce and healthier-for-the-planet growing, sourcing, and packaging. Retailers, adapting to these demands and other pressures in their markets, look for inventory unitization, longer shelf life, and less damage in transport and handling. Co-packers, upstream of the retailer and consumer, must adapt to these demands. While disruptive, co-packers know that in challenge, opportunity lurks.

Consumers are becoming savvier every day. Worldwide, traditional and social media reverberate with stories of environment cataclysm. Evocative and thought-provoking imagery reinforces these stories. Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II documentary showed viewers up-close the effects that plastic pollution has on wildlife. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area off the coast of California and Mexico that teams with plastic and marine life, he showed turtles caught in netting and sperm whales trying to eat plastic sheeting. It’s footage that is hard to un-see.

Growing awareness is changing opinions and behaviors. Consumers, for example, are willing to pay more for sustainable, earth-friendly products. GlobalWebIndex, in its 2019 study of US and UK consumers, reported that 58% of consumers claimed that they would speak with their wallets. Their data, though, that earth-consciousness is only a top concern for 42% of the population. It competes with traditional shopping concerns like price (72%) and brand awareness (52%). Retailers are reacting to these shifting demands – they are launching sustainability efforts. Aldi, for example, has a goal to use only compostable, recyclable, or reusable packaging in its brand-exclusive products by 2025.

Smart food brands will seize the opportunity in this shifting consciousness. Between price and sustainability, in the consumer survey, was a well-known/trusted brand, a top concern for 52% of US and UK shoppers. With retailers demanding packaged produce, co-packers have the opportunity to create new brand trust. Using bright colors, consistent branding that expresses freshness, health, and taste is a great start. The brand identity isn’t just the graphics; it’s the message. Include in your messaging your environmental and sustainability story – tell the consumer how your growing, packing, and distribution process improves their world.

A great brand and brand message get you most of the way there. If you tell a great story and have a clear, crisp, inviting design and put it on single-use plastics, then you’re likely to confuse the consumer. You should match your message with your packaging. Using fully-recyclable, renewable, sustainable paperboard packaging from Greif CPG’s GreenTray tells your consumer that you match your words with your actions. You build authentic trust in the customer’s mind.

Greif CPG helps our customers build sustainable packaging success. We do this with our 6P onboarding process that puts your product, process, and people at the center of our collaborative packaging solution. If you’re looking to grow your sustainability story, reach out.