Belinda Heidebrink, Product Marketing Lead
More and more shoppers are on the lookout for organic produce, and your packaging is your ‘golden ticket’ to earning a trip to consumers’ refrigerators.
In 2020, the organic food sales surpassed $56 billion, up 12.8% — and the highest recorded in organic in well over a decade. According to an article in The Packer, crops account for the largest share (58%) of total organic agricultural sales.
Despite this growing demand for organic products, how you market yours still remains important. Here are are some ideas to customize your organic produce packaging to help sell your fresh produce.
1. Organic Certification
If you’ve already made the decision to enter the organic produce market, you’ve likely gone through the certifying process. Becoming certified grants you use of the USDA Organic logo – which you should display proudly on your packaging! It’s the quickest way for shoppers to identify your produce as organic and gives credibility to your claim.
If you have yet to accomplish this step, visit the USDA website to learn more about becoming certified organic.
You should also include the word “Organic” somewhere on your packaging. It may seem redundant, but clear identification not only benefits you in displays, but also at the register.
Whether a cashier or customer using self-checkout, the system may produce multiple options for a commodity. The easier it is for the checker to find “organic” on your packaging, the better your chances of not being rung up as a conventional item. Which is important to your bottom line, as conventional items are typically less expensive than organic.
2. Highlight Industry Buzzwords
Highlighting the term “organic” is not only a requirement of your label, but – because of the strength of the industry – it can be considered a marketing term.
But be cautions not to take for granted that every shopper will automatically understand what it means to be organic.
You can use your packaging to add other meaningful buzzwords to be even more specific about what benefits your produce has to offer.
Here are some buzzwords used by the organics industry:
- Pesticide/Herbicide Free
* These claims should only be made if you can support them.
3. Brand Loyalty
Because organic produce customers often pay more than conventional produce shoppers, you need to invest in packaging that will portray your product as a top-quality option.
High-end printing of your organic farm logo and overall package design is an excellent way to send this message to shoppers.
Take it another step further and add a URL or QR Code to your website or a video sharing more about your values as a company or your growing process. Consumers can engage with it once home and see their own values reflected in your story, leading to brand loyalty in the future.
It stands to reason that shoppers who prefer organic produce would also care about the environmental impact of the materials used to package it.
Produce growers understand there are many challenges to creating eco-friendly packaging in the produce aisle. One of the main challenges is finding more sustainable food packaging materials that will hold up in the storage requirements of many fresh produce items.
Nonetheless, the organics produce industry is addressing the challenges.
Of all the different approaches, environmental experts agree: the most eco-friendly choice is reducing (or eliminating) what we consume.
Any professionals working in the fresh produce industry understand why total elimination isn’t an option. The current systems depend on (& require) produce packaging to not only contain produce items, but to provide important traceability data that protects consumers and farmers.
That’s why reduction of packaging, regardless of material, is the most sustainable solution. Swapping produce ties or tags for more bulky packaging like plastic overwrap and clamshells can go a long way in reducing your environmental footprint and with consumer perception.
Another approach to creating more sustainable produce packaging is to use materials that are recyclable. One of the biggest challenges of recycling produce packaging is the wide range of packaging materials and sizes. This inconsistency prevents operating a uniform recycling system, as cities and recycling services have different guidelines regarding what may be placed in curbside recycling bins.
There are new recycling programs emerging to alleviate this problem, like Bedford’s TagBack® program. The program allows consumers to send produce ties and tags back to its manufacturing facility to be upcycled into other usable products. Adding the TagBack logo to your tie or tag educates the consumer of its recyclability. Due to the small nature of these products, there wasn’t a recycle outlet for them prior to the creation of the TagBack program.
Use Packaging to Your Advantage
To recap, here’s how to customize your custom organic produce packaging to reach your marketing potential:
- Receive proper organic certification and display the USDA Certified Organic logo on your packaging.
- Print “Organic” on your produce packaging.
- Add industry-recognized buzzword for extra attention.
- Invest in high-quality design & print capabilities.
- Print website URL or QR code to share company story to encourage repeat purchases.
- Reduce the amount of packaging around your produce.
- Choose recyclable packaging & educate consumers how to recycle it.
Create organic produce packaging that converts
Bedford manufactures many produce identification products that provide all the functionality you need with a high-end look deserving of your organic produce.
Design your own artwork or depend on the team of Bedford’s experienced designers to create a look that will capture shoppers’ attention.
Bedford’s products also use less plastic packaging than many other traditional produce packaging types.