Veg-Fresh’s Monique McLaws and Carrie Robertson Talk 2018 Plans
- by Kayla Webb
CORONA, CA – Trends like organics and convenience are taking over the produce industry now more than ever and turning into movements. Veg-Fresh is seizing the fresh start the New Year offers and looking to make the most of 2018. With new packaging and new products rolling out now, and expansion on the horizon, I caught up with Veg-Fresh’s marketing team members Monique McLaws and Carrie Robertson to chat about the exciting things the company has in store.
“We have quite a bit of activity planned for this year,” Monique tells me. “There is such a demand for growth, we don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to supply our partners and future partners. We’ve launched every kind of packaging in every configuration, but where we have seen the most demand now is to present a package in an integral way so that consumers not only buy it, but use it too!”
Focusing in on innovative packaging that is both functional and convenient, the Veg-Fresh team has seen retail and consumer offerings marry up with resealable packaging more and more.
“We’ve been working ostensibly with a packaging company for our new resealables,” Carrie shares. “We know that there are so many options, so our question was how do we cut through that noise, and what is the appeal to the consumers for a new package design? Looking at our consumer research, it all came down to something resealable. We designed a very unique square tray with a resealable top that is stackable and appealing to consumers who want to store it. And it has taken off. At this point, we’re just trying to keep up with demand.”
With an emphasis on convenience and keeping both retailers and consumers in mind, the new resealable tray is different from what’s on the market today, they share. Available now for 1lb. organic grape tomatoes, 1lb. Brussels sprouts, and 12-ounce sweet mini peppers, the tray is here to help retailers easily stack fresh produce on grocery shelves and consumers store items at home.
Veg-Fresh’s Handy Candy brand is also receiving a packaging redesign after experiencing increased demand, particularly during the school year. The new Handy Candy design keeps grape tomatoes fresh, current, and kid-friendly, and the launch will include a new grape tomato medley option, featuring yellow, orange, and red grape varieties.
“We’ve had the Handy Candy brand for a good five years. It’s a great, kid-friendly name and the packaging has always been a grab-and-go experience, which makes parents love it because they can put it in kids’ lunches or take it to work themselves. But, moving forward, we wanted to make this brand even more kid-friendly as well as give it some new life and vibrancy. We’re hoping the new design will help the brand continue to expand,” Monique shares with me.
And packaging isn’t the only Veg-Fresh product shaking up grocery aisles. The company is also releasing a new product. Launched this January and extending through the beginning of March, Veg-Fresh is offering its Organic Minneolas, a sweet tangerine, tangelo variety with a short season and program, but great seasonal window, in 3lb Good Life organic mesh bags–the same packaging design as other Veg-Fresh citrus.
And if that wasn’t enough, Veg-Fresh is making no exceptions for organics, with plans to expand acreage for seasonal varieties coming soon.
“Obviously organics across the board are in demand year-round and continuing to increase significantly,” Monique tells me. “After meeting with our consumers, we’re looking to significantly expand our acreage for our onion program to be year-round, beginning now and expanding on red, yellow, and white varieties. For the summer, we’re expanding acreage for our organic melons, with organic cantaloupes a main focus for that commodity. Looking into fall, we’re adding a lot more acreage for hard squash, like spaghetti, acorn, and butternut.”
With lots going on, and even more to come, Veg-Fresh is one to watch in the New Year. Retailer and consumers alike should keep an eye out for new packaging and new products in stores now, and more organics to hit the market soon.
For more on what’s shaking up the produce world, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest.