Villita Avocados has debuted a new bag for retailers seeking to make their produce departments more sustainable. With a label made of paper film and netting composed of cellulose fiber yarn from Forest Stewardship Council-certified eucalyptus wood, the bag is 100 percent plastic-free. The netting is TÜV certified home compostable and industrial compostable.
Consumer demand for sustainable products has been well established; 47 percent of consumers surveyed are concerned about the environmental impact of fresh produce packaging, according to the 2023 Sustainable Packaging Report from Winsight Grocery Business and 37 percent of those who consider the environmental impact of packaging would be willing to pay more for sustainably packaged produce.
Villita’s pursuit of a plastic-free bag, however, began with an internal demand for sustainability from owner Alfredo Rodriguez Sr. He challenged his team to find more ways for the company to contribute to protecting the environment. Avocado bags presented a significant opportunity. Essential for driving consumption, bags represent a large portion of Villita’s business and that business continues to grow.
With a label made of paper film and netting composed of cellulose fiber yarn from Forest Stewardship Council-certified eucalyptus wood, the bag is 100 percent plastic-free.
“We knew that the more bagged avocados we sold, the more taxing on the environment because what are you going to do with the bags?” said executive vice president Rob Ybarra. “We needed to take a big step forward and put our stake in the ground for sustainability. You have to be committed to doing it and the company is. We feel it’s essential for the future and we’re all in.”
The bags will be available for organic and conventional avocados beginning in late 2023. Ybarra noted that initial interest in the bags has been strong.
“Everybody wants to do their part to protect the environment,” Ybarra said. “When we partner on sustainability initiatives, we’re part of something bigger, something that’s so consequential. This is a game-changer for bagged avocados and we’re proud to be part of it.”