As they are treated to new crop onions hitting coming into season around the country, consumers are also seeing new packaging that is eye-catching, informative and, in the spirit of upcoming Earth Day, eco-friendly.
Two prime examples are the colorful and history-relating bags, boxes and bins from sweet onion grower/shippers G&R Farms in Glennville, GA, and the innovatively designed and biogradable display-ready cartons from Owyhee Produce in Nyssa, OR, and Parma, ID.
G&R’s new redesign is part of the company’s new brand image that showcases the third-generation family farm and conveys the tagline “Grown with Passion, Served with Pride.”
The operation, which provides year-round sweet onions from Georgia and Peru, has a terrific story to share and does so on the new Vidalia bag, which will be in stores starting in late April.
Walt Dasher, G&R Vice President, said, “We’re proud of our roots and our long history with sweet onions. My grandfather, Walter L. Dasher, was one of the pioneers who helped put Vidalia onions on the map as a widely popular brand.” He added, “The new look has provided us with an opportunity to tell our story especially on our new Vidalia bag packaging.”
The back of the bag features download info for a free recipe booklet from G&R Farms website entitled “Taste the Memories.” The e-book highlights the family’s history, features their tried-and-true recipes and provides information on how to store and prepare sweet onions.
G&R Farms grows approximately 1,500 acres of Vidalia onions each year, including certified organics, which also are in a new bag this season.
“Our organic Vidalia bag packaging has a similar look with a different color palate so shoppers can easily distinguish this on the shelf,” Walt said. Sustainability efforts are highlighted on the back, and he noted that “consumers who purchase organic produce also tend to purchase eco-friendly products. We’re proud of our sustainability program. Our goal is to protect the environment for future generations while ensuring the health and well-being of our farmworkers.”
Westward in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-E. Oregon, Owyhee Produce introduced its new display-ready carton, or DRC, with the 2020-21 crop, and it has met with enthusiastic approval from both foodservice and retail receivers.
According to Owyhee Marketing Director Blake Branen, the Biogradable 50-40 carton is the efficient combination of an RPC and a standard 50-pound onion box.
He told OnionBusiness the container was in development for two years before its debut last season.
“We were looking for a way to be more sustainable with our packaging, and we were having some issues getting RPCs. So, we went to our carton manufacturer with the idea of using the footprint of the RPC but using biogradable corrugated cardboard,” he said.
“We also developed a lid that doesn’t need tape,” Blake added. The new design has provided an alternative bags and taped boxes, is aesthetically pleasing and is retail-ready.
The DRC has been a complete replacement for Owyhee’s previously used boxes with flaps, and with dimensions similar to the old-style carton, the 50-40 is on major retailer shelves throughout North America. It’s also a hit with foodservice.
“We’re using the DRC for anything that requires cartons,” Blake said. That includes, with the addition of an inner liner, being used for Buck Naked whole peeled onions. Buck Naked is a separate but sister company with its own program, Blake said. And the pre-peeled onions are packed in 30-pound DRCs. “Plans are in the works for sliced and diced as well,” he added.
“We’re seeing a good increase in foodservice business overall,” Blake continued. “We expect to see more volume increase over the summer as well. We’re hearing that more and more restaurants are upping their volume, and demand across the board is increasing.”