AU: The new avocado tray aiming to deliver fresher fruit to the consumer

A new form of avocado packing tray is helping to increase sales and reduce waste, according to its co-creator, Fresh Partners Australia.

The six-pack tray is aimed at increasing consumption, by reducing on-shelf damage by up to 20 per cent compared to selling loose avocados. Fresh Partners Director, Mike Evans, says so far it has proven to be a great approach for retailers, and ensures that consumers can enjoy quality fruit.

"We aimed to make buying avocado less of a mystery and have less damage from handling on a loose display," said Mr Evans. "The tray is packed on-farm the majority of the year, which means less handling damage when repacked.”

According to Mr Evans, consumers in general like avocados but they have their concerns in terms of shopping. A common question, he says is: "how do I select good fruit?" and, "I often get ones that are not good to eat. How can I buy more than I need so I can make sure I have enough to eat?"

The product was developed by the Favco avocado team in conjunction with Fresh Partners Australia, and the tray is designed to hold and transport half a dozen avocados from the packing shed, to the shop to the consumer’s home so that no damage occurs in transit. It contains an insert that provides a cushioning support to minimise roll and damage, while the packaging also aims to limit customer handling (squeezing/bruising) in store.

Most of the fruit is mature green at purchase, and thanks to the insert, consumers can make their ‘six pack’ last longer by following the tray instructions at home. The packaging also contains details on the ripening and storage information, showing techniques to identify and manage ripeness, and avoid fruit wastage.

"Cheaper is not the focus – value is," said Mr Evans. "A consumer rarely selects six avocados to take home, but when presented as an appealing solution, at fair value, sales are good. This has created repeated sales and is a point of difference that educates consumers about avocado. The retailers selling the tray also are supported with a low labour, quality offer that merchandises really well in store and sets them apart. And, consumers appreciate education and support that builds their trust in a brand."

Fresh Partners Australia says the main benefit for growers is increased sales volumes, as this type of marketing helps to ensure the quality of the product, enables larger-scale purchases, and educates the consumer.

"A select group of growers have a greater control of a percentage of their sales," said Mr Evans. "It is targeted and managed nationally to store orders so their stock is sold at its prime with less damage at store. This makes it easier for growers to sell more fruit at a better price."

This line sells at selected retailers, with the avocados rotating seasonally between regions and varieties; Australian Hass, Shepard, and Reed and a few weeks of Hass from New Zealand.

"One particular chain has chosen to only sell this avocado pack in Australia for the majority of the year. It stands out and provides a good solution at store level as well as to consumers,” said Mr Evans.

For more information:
Mike Evans 
Fresh Partners Australia
Phone: +61 419 843 253

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