Prizes recognise consumer-friendly produce packaging

Last month's Produce Marketing Association 2012 Fresh Summit in California, USA, demonstrated the increasing sophistication of consumer-friendly packaging for fresh produce.

Six innovations out of a field of 78 submissions were selected by a six-strong industry panel to take Excellence in Packaging awards, based on criteria of marketing, food safety, supply chain efficiency, sustainability and consumer convenience.

The six award recipients at the summit were:

- Earthbound Farm for its easy-open zip clamshell pack for salads. The design has already claimed a Responsible Packaging Award because it does not require virgin PVC.

- Flavor Pic Tomato Company for its "Handy Candy"-branded 4oz (110g) resealable cups of cherry tomatoes.

- Dutch grower group The Greenery for Tommies Snack Tomatoes, similar in concept to Handy Candy but also including bag and bucket formats.

- Ocean Mist Farms for its Steamfast Microwavable Brussels Sprouts, in 1lb (450g) zip-lock bags that allow consumers to season vegetables before cooking.

- Ready Pac Foods for its Disney-themed Ready Pac Cool Cuts Mini Meals, a four-strong range of nutritionally balanced packed lunches that include stickers and temporary tattoos.

- Rock Garden, part of Coosemans Worldwide, for its Go Micro! MicroGreens Modified Atmosphere Bag, which retains freshness of its four different selections of ready-to-eat baby leaves.

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