Are you tired of emptying half of your fruits and vegetables into the green bin at the end of each week? You’re not alone! According to Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends 2018, over 61 percent of fruit and vegetable consumers are interested in packaging that keeps foods fresher for longer. Not only is this an effective way of saving the consumer money, it also addresses the issue of sustainability. People are looking for recyclable and innovative options that reduce their environmental footprint. The produce industry is listening, and companies have put in the time and money necessary to meet consumer demands. Innovations range from plant-based, biodegradable plastics to containers made out of recycled cardboard and bags designed with light-blocking technology to prolong freshness and shelf life.
One example of a company pioneering the world of packaging is EarthFresh Foods. With its head office in Burlington, ON, they are involved in everything from seed production and potato breeding to packaging and distribution. In its quest to innovate the potato world, EarthFresh has developed a new series of recyclable potato bags with light-blocking technology. While this “invention” came as a response to potato greening, which is caused by fluorescent lighting at the grocery level, it opens up the conversation around what else can be done to prevent waste across the industry.
Over 61% of fruit and vegetable consumers are interested in packaging that keeps foods fresher for longer.
Another great example of industry innovation comes from Nature Knows, a company that thrives in innovation and technology. President of the company Andrea Watson takes pride in creating products that are both delicious and environmentally-sustainable. “We’re proudly disrupting one of the largest food categories currently using plastic while keeping what the consumers want top of mind, fresh convenience and the environment” she says. Through a combination of breathable, corn-based packaging and a natural cleaning process, Nature Knows has been able to increase the freshness of its products by 50 percent in comparison to those wrapped in plastic. Much like EarthFresh’s light-blocking technology, this results in less wasted product and ultimately saves the consumer money.
The produce industry has always worked to meet consumer demands with innovative flavours, colours, and textures. Environmental impact and sustainability are pieces of the growing puzzle that push the industry to adapt to change and keep moving forward.