Have you ever found yourself grocery shopping, faced with the choice of two very similar products? Let’s say you are making salad for dinner and you need to purchase romaine lettuce. While holding a different bunch of lettuce in each hand you want to make a decision that will create the best salad for dinner tonight. After looking each over carefully, you place one in the basket. What are some things that might have driven your final decision? No matter the reason, the packaging on the produce you chose probably had a lot to do with it. Packaging impacts not only the health and appearance of produce but can affect other things like price and safety.
Branding (or labeling) is a major focus for any product on the shelf, and it’s especially important for produce packaging. Does the label convey the proper message? Will the consumer realize that they’re purchasing an organic product when they look at the label? Do they trust in the quality of carrots or tomatoes when they see a certain logo? Many times, the impact a brand name has on an item massively affects which of the two products will be purchased. When consumers know they can trust in a certain level of quality from a particular grower, they are much more likely to purchase that product over and over again.
One particular challenge that is unique to labeling produce is the impact packaging has on the quality of the product. Choosing the wrong packaging can be seriously detrimental to the overall health and freshness it retains from the field to the shelf. If a product does not look healthy or fresh on the shelf, consumers are not likely to purchase it. In the case of romaine lettuce, wilting of the outer leaves is to be expected. Even though the underlying leaves may be fresh and perfectly good for consumption, the consumer might not think so. That is why it’s important that packaging not hinder the employees at the store level from trimming, watering, and presenting the produce looking its very best.
Something else that is important to most consumers is the overall price of the product. Perhaps a consumer isn’t particularly concerned about buying a specific brand. Maybe they are, but they also have a tight budget to adhere to. The overall price of a product is greatly affected by everything that goes into manufacturing it. From the cost to transport the produce to the merchandisers, to the cost of the packaging. If the merchandisers are spending more on an item to get it to their shelves, the consumers inherit that cost by having to pay more. One such way growers and merchandisers keep the cost down is to be mindful of the cost associated with each step along the way. Keeping down the cost of things, like packaging, will have a huge impact on the final price.
One more thing that affects a consumer’s decision is safety. That is incredibly important when it comes to consumables. A consumer that picks up a bunch of leafy greens and sees unsightly rust stains (left behind from a twist tie) is probably going to perceive the product as unsafe for consumption. Produce that is maintained on the shelf is sprayed with water to help it retain freshness, therefore it’s very important that anything that comes in contact with it is not going to leach unsafe chemicals or damage the delicate leaves or stems.
So, you chose the lettuce you wanted for dinner. Does it make since why you chose that head of lettuce now? The message (or labeling), quality, affordability, and safety are the most likely reasons that led to your final decision.
ProTape® is a unique solution for all of the above! It’s unique in that:
It not only allows the grower to showcase the important features of their produce but also their name and logo.
It contains barcoding to ensure the correct item will be rung up at the point-of-sale.
It’s waterproof, easy to open, and can be resealed for trimming at the store level.
The minimal design of ProTape® is great for both the consumers and merchandisers. It is affordable and easy to apply.
It is FDA compliant for direct food contact and will not damage delicate leaves or stems.