Consumers buy with their eyes is a common statement in the produce industry. Not only do they look at the product, the color and design of packaging also have a striking effect on buying decisions. EarthFresh, grower and shipper of potatoes in Canada and the US, does both. They focus on growing a high-quality product while at the same time making it visually appealing for consumers. With its own inhouse Innovation Team that has packaging as a primary focus, product presentation is a key focus for the company. “It’s not just any type of packaging,” explains Jessica Hughes, Director of Innovation for EarthFresh. “We strive to find sustainable, creative and innovative packaging options made from materials that are either recyclable or compostable,” she said.
Left: EarthFresh new packaging for Organic Mixed Baby Potatoes. Right: Jessica Hughes.
New packaging for small packs
The company just introduced new packaging for its 1.5 lb. EarthFresh Organic Mixed Baby Potatoes. “This 100 percent recyclable biobased mesh is made with sugar cane; a widely available and inexpensive alternative that checks off all the boxes,” Hughes commented. The mesh bags for Organic Mixed Baby Potatoes are currently available at Wegmans, but EarthFresh hopes to have them available at other retailers soon. By early Fall, the company will have the biobased mesh packaging available for its 1lb EarthFresh Organic Baby Sweet Potatoes and 1lb EarthFresh Baby Sweet Potatoes. These are new items that will be available once the new potato harvest starts. For now, the biobased mesh bags are unique to the company’s small pack sizes. “However, we are working with suppliers to expand availability to other packs in the near future.”
Expanding into larger pack sizes is driven by the majority of consumers having a preference for earth friendly packaging. “Research has shown that 62 percent of consumers are likely to purchase from companies that they feel are doing good for society,” shared Hughes. “This shows the importance we should place on getting recyclable and compostable bags in the stores,” she added.