Aurora Products Inc. in Stratford, CT, has introduced several new consumer packages over the last year, according to Paul Bellacero, a salesman for the company.
“I think top on our list is our single-serve bags,” Mr. Bellacero told The Produce News on Aug. 29. “These are small individual bags that you can put in lunch boxes or in a purse. They are between 1.35- ounces and 1.5-ounces.”
Currently, the new single-serving pack style is available in three varieties: “Cranberry Health Mix,” raw almonds and “Salad Fixins,” the latter designed to add a little “crunch” to an individual salad, he said.
“Of course, everything is all natural,” he said. “All of the ingredients are natural [with] no additives or preservatives.”
Aurora offers the products to retailers in various pack options to provide flexibility in displaying at store level. “You can do a floor display, which hold 200 [of the single-serve bags]” which can, for example, be placed near the cash register, he said. Alternatively, “you can do a countertop display” which comes with 24 bags of product. The products can also be shipped in regular cardboard cartons, with 100 bags per box “if you have your own bins you want to use.”
In addition to the single individual bags, “for parents who want to buy more than just one” at a time, Aurora offers a six-pack of the single-serving bags, he said.
The new single-serving line “has really been very good for us,” Mr. Bellacero said. One major national chain “took 1,200 cases” and put it at the cash registers in every one of their stores, “and that went very well.”
With the holidays approaching, “we are starting to do more and more holiday packs,” Mr. Bellacero said. “We have the traditional four-section and six-section trays” of mixed nuts and also of dried fruit. New in that line are three “trio trays.” One is an almond trail mix trio with three different trail mixes — the Cranberry Health Mix, the Pacific Almond Mix and the Rocky Mountain Mix. Another is a “tavern tray” with a spicy pub mix and two other mixes. The third is “Cranberry Delight” which has yogurt-covered cranberries, dark chocolate-covered cranberries and orange-flavored cranberries.
“Not new to the produce industry but new to us” is one-pound re-sealable pillow packs of baking items for the holidays, Mr. Bellacero said.
“During the holiday season, a lot of stores put out these large cello pillow bags with a pound of, say, walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds or slivered almonds.”
Instead of the traditional pillow packs, Aurora has “actually made them re-sealable,” so that if a consumer does not use an entire bag in one baking session, the remaining product “will stay fresh.”
That product line was introduced in November 2010, so “we don’t even have a full year of that under our belts,” he said. The company plans to show the product line at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit expo in October, “because it is a very big item during the holidays.”
According to Michelle Berritelli, marketing coordinator, the company’s organic line has been “very successful.” It consists of about 50 items, and they are not necessarily just organic versions of products in the conventional line. Some of them, she said, are “completely unique.”
Organics “continue to grow, not only for us but nationally,” Mr. Bellacero said. “We specialize in organics in our segment, so we have one of the largest selections of organics” available in the dried fruit, nuts and trail mixes category.
“We are constantly trying to come up with new items,” he said. For example, a few years ago, “everybody was talking about Goji berries” because they are high in antioxidants, “and we had those. Now the Goldenberries are the new high anti-oxidant [fruit],” and Aurora is carrying those.
In all, Aurora sells more than 200 all-natural products, many of them in the dried nuts and dried fruit category, along with a wide assortment of trail mixes and granolas, several types of veggie chips and salad toppings, Ms. Berritelli said.