LAS VEGAS, NV -- After nearly a year in development in close consultation
with experienced package designers and several key retail customers, and
after evaluating dozens of concepts, Pandol. Bros. Inc. in Delano, CA, is close
to launching a truly innovative consumer packaging concept for fresh grapes
-- a type of packaging that "has never been seen or used before in produce,"
according to Tristan Kieva, director of business development and marketing.
The new packaging was being test marketed but was still about a month away
from an official announcement and a nationwide launch when Ms. Kieva
talked with The Produce News about the concept at the United Fresh 2010
show, here, April 21. Specifics of the packaging were not disclosed for
publication, but Ms. Kieva did talk on the record about some of the concept's
"It is a consumer packaging that delivers grapes in a more convenient way
and has the highest amount of impact of any package in the category at
retail," she said. It displays the product well and yet is made of recyclable
material, and "it has increased the amount of units per case more than any
other product that exists today," which allows more product to be put on a
truck with a resulting reduction in freight costs.
"It doesn't have the dead space of a clamshell," she said.
As early as last year, "we sat down with [selected] retailers and showed them
some of the ideas that we had and gathered their feedback," Ms. Kieva said.
"We have been working almost a year to launch something new and
revolutionary to the grape category. We are about a month shy from
However, the company did take advantage of the United show to give some
additional retail customers a pre-launch preview of the new packaging
The firm's new packaging is currently being used with some grapes from
Mexico for test marketing with a major West Coast retailer and an East Coast
retailer that will feature it during June. "Our intention is to roll it out
nationwide come the California season in early July," she said. "From a
merchandising standpoint, it really takes into consideration not only the
retailer's need for something efficient but also the consumer's need for
convenience and functionality."