When buyer-segment demand spurred Tanimura & Antle to reintroduce it's field-fresh packaged leaf lettuce, the Salinas-based company had a trick up its sleeve, or at least on its packaging: a personal trip from T&A's fields through its shipping process, into the grocery store and then the kitchen.
Diana McClean, director of marketing for T&A, said the company often entertains its retail trading partners on field tours. "They are always very impressed as to how quickly the product is packed and how very few hands touch that product," she said.
T&A decided that if industry members are impressed, so will consumers. "The most effective way for us to tell this story to shoppers is with video that brings them right into the field with us," she said.
QR codes on the packaging for T&A's field-fresh leaf lettuce do just that by redirecting consumers to videos that take them into the field and offer consumer-specific information, including serving suggestions as well as storage and preparation tips.
"The addition of the video series and the QR code on the packaging emphasizes just how fresh these products are and conveys the limited amount of handling they experience throughout the harvest and packaging process," said Rick Antle, chief executive officer of T&A. "This is critical in distinguishing our products from processed varieties."
T&A's packaging also increases shelf life by 11 days and reduces shrink in the produce departments an average of 20 percent. Consumers share in the benefits: "With our field-fresh wrapped leaf lettuce, you get a full head of beautiful fresh lettuce that hasn't already been trimmed down at the store," Caitlin Antle points out to consumers in one of the videos. "Our field-fresh wrapped leaf lettuce is a great value because of how much more lettuce you get in each bag."
T&A spends most of its promotional dollars promoting to the trade, but its packaging, complete with the QR code and other information, is a very effective way to communicate directly with the consumer.
"We remain committed to building up our video library to meet consumer and trade demand for engaging content about our products that is easy to consume and share," McClean said.
As part of its ongoing promotional and educational program, the Georgia Peach Council has launched a YouTube channel to inform consumers about one of the state’s more popular crops.
The YouTube channel includes videos to introduce consumers to the prominent growers who bring their sweet Georgia peaches to grocery stores, as well as informational segments on how to pick the perfect peach, ways to know if a peach is ripe and why Georgia peaches are so sweet.
“More and more people want to know where their produce comes from and who grows it,” said Will McGehee of the Georgia Peach Council. “These videos will help us better engage and connect to consumers by providing useful tips and information.”
Here’s the first of the Georgia peach videos — find out more by following the council at www.facebook.com/SweetGeorgiaPeaches and www.twitter.com/GAPeachCouncil.
The Growing California video series, a partnership betweeen CDFA and California Grown produced in association with California State University-Sacramento, has been recognized with two 2013 Telly Awards, a video competition now in its 34th year.
The two segments that won, “Chef’s Guide” and “Free-Spirit Farmer,” were honored in the category of Online Video – Information.
Growing California is an in-depth look at the many ways farming and ranching touches our lives – going beyond food production, although that is certainly featured prominently. The series also highlights food access, the diversity of California agriculture and protection against invasive species.
Bulk produce may have a traditional farm-fresh appearance, but Tanimura & Antle’s field-packed lettuce actually delivers field freshness.
“We select special packaging materials to maximize freshness,” said Caitlin Antle. “[The] crinkly bag not only sounds fresh, but it keeps the lettuce really fresh too, plus this special packaging helps protect each head of lettuce from excessive handling at the store.”
The packaging for Tanimura & Antle’s line of field-fresh packed lettuce can also increase shelf life by 11 days and reduce shrink by 20 percent as compared to naked product.
"Packaging is critical when looking to reduce shrink, take labor out of the stores and improve quality,” said Rick Antle, chief executive officer of Tanimura & Antle. “My grandfather, Bud Antle, was the first to wrap lettuce in the early 1960s and it took until the 1980s before retailers universally adopted it. Change today is happening much faster, as consumers vote with their spending dollars for packaging that will help preserve freshness and quality as well as help product last longer."
Packaging for T&A’s field-fresh lettuce also protects against contamination, includes consumer information and is attractive on displays.
Because of T&A’s special packaging, constant refrigeration, and its quick and efficient delivery, the company is able to make sure there is field-fresh lettuce at grocery stores every day.
MIAMI — Kara Adanalian of Fresno, CA, took top honors in the Del Monte Fresh "Find Your Inner Chef" competition, besting runner-up Karen Gulkin of Greeley, CO, in a cook off held at the Miami Culinary Institute, here.
"The cook off event was as exciting to witness as it was to judge the entire span of the contest from launch to today's cooking competition," said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing, North America, for Del Monte Fresh, based in Coral Gables, FL. "We're amazed at each finalist's culinary skills and at their creativity in using specific ingredients such as our Del Monte fresh fruits and vegetables during this intense competition."
Christou told The Produce News that the goal of the contest was to try to get fresh fruits and vegetables more integrated into everyday life.
"Consumers want ideas about how to use fresh fruits and vegetables, so we thought this would be a great idea to introduce people who regularly use them," he said. "At Del Monte, we are trying to become more relevant to consumers, and this contest was a way to do that, and it was extremely successful. We hope to build on this in the future."