Trends in Michigan fruit, vegetable shipping industry include larger cartons, reusable, recyclable packaging

LOS ANGELES , June 11, 2012 () – Major trends in the Michigan produce shipping industry include larger cartons and reusable/recyclable packaging, The Packer reported June 6.

Examples of larger cartons include:

        • Retailers, including club stores and traditional retailers, are increasingly calling for larger packs of blueberries. In comparison to four to six years ago, more retailers are selling blueberries in 18-ounce and 2-pound packages, Naturipe Farms LLC vice president of product management Brian Bocock told The Packer. The trend has been driven by consumers’ increasing interest in value, he added.

Examples of reusable/recyclable packaging include:

        • Superior Sales Inc. is switching to recyclable dry boxes, away from waxed boxes, driven partially by increased customer demand, sales manager Todd DeWaard said. The company is also considering using reusable plastic containers, according to the report.

        • Todd Greiner Farms sales manager Tyler Hodges told The Packer that, while there is an increased trend toward using bags in the asparagus industry, the company does not intend to change its packaging. Demand for its 11-pound and 28-pound boxes remains high, and the Michigan growing season is so short that it hinders experimentation, he added.

Hearty Fresh Inc. has additionally begun using a machine that envelops 60 broccoli crowns in breathable, anti-fogging film per minute, general manager Talbert Nething said in the article. This type of technology could be used to wrap other commodities including English cucumbers, cabbage and pepper, he added, noting the company has already used it to wrap asparagus. In terms of broccoli packaging, the machine has yielded a 65% reduction in the company’s labor hours, reported The Packer. 

The primary source of this article is The Packer, Lenexa, Kansas, on June 6, 2012.

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