The Packaging Pitch: adding value through "occasion marketing" and recycling trays -

The Packaging Pitch: adding value through "occasion marketing" and recycling trays

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The Packaging Pitch: adding value through "occasion marketing" and recycling trays

By Fresh Produce Marketing founder Lisa Cork

In my last column I wrote about story power and how powerful stories can be helpful in creating effective branding and packaging messages. Particularly with value added produce, telling a compelling story via your on-pack message is important for the product's success.

In October, I was fortunate enough to be a speaker at the PMA Convention in the U.S. Given I only attend this conference every two years, it is easier to spot changes and trends show to show. What caught my attention in 2011 was not the myriad of companies adding value to fresh produce, but the way these companies were customizing and communicating the value added message on pack. Let me share some examples with you.

Veggie Tray Gets a Makeover

Five to 10 years ago when veggie trays were new, they reminded me of a bowl of French Onion dip - delicious, but at the end of the night, barely touched. Granted, our dietary habits have had a shakedown since then but up until recently, Veggie Trays were often called just that, Veggie Trays.

Old style veggie tray. No compelling on-pack message

So it was great to see most veggie trays at the PMA had been though a makeover. Take a look at the photos here - they have now moved towards “occasion” marketing and it’s a very proactive shift.

“Occasion” marketing drives new consumption opportunities - just consider Hallmark Cards or Halloween candy - because it links a product to an event trigger.

Events are often timeline specific and they have a sense of occasion. Both are powerful purchasing catalysts. Occasion branding is a subtle reminder to shoppers to stock up before the event. By changing the on-pack marketing of Veggie Trays to special occasion-linked trays, they’ve created an opportunity to drive increased sales.

New style veggie tray with a strong, event-based on-pack message

The other packaging I feel in love with at the PMA was the new Monterey Mushroom packs. The new recyclable trays, while seeming so logical in hindsight, were an award winning innovation for the company.

The trays themselves are fantastic, but then then couple the tray with the new, powerful on-pack health message and you have an exciting shift away from tradition.

Free packaging review for Fresh Fruit Portal readers

Like what you’ve read? At Fresh Produce Marketing, one of the services we offer is a packaging communication review. As a value added offer for Fresh Fruit Portal readers, you could have your packaging reviewed just because you’ve read this column.

New Monterey Mushroom packaging

Simply submit a front and back photo of one of your fresh produce packages and tell me a bit about your company and your story. For each column written, we will pick one company and review their packaging as part of this column. Send your packaging photos to

Remember, your packaging is an in-store, mini billboard seen by thousands of potential buyers every day. Make sure every word on your packaging counts by ensuring it adds value and ‘sells’ the benefit the shopper is looking to buy.

Lisa Cork helps fresh produce companies get more sales by improving their packaging communication. You can follow her on Twitter: @broccolilady or visit her website.

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