Produce packaging trends continue to revolve around sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as compostable or biodegradable packaging, as well as innovative solutions to extend shelf life and reduce food waste, said Dole Food Co.’s Rachel Young.

“There’s a push towards more recyclable packaging solutions to also reduce plastic waste. Single-serve and portioned packaging options are gaining traction to cater to on-the-go consumers and smaller households.”

In addition, she said, packaging that extends the shelf life of produce while preserving its freshness and nutritional value is becoming increasingly popular.

In the near future, packaging trends are set to significantly influence the realm of produce, said Fresh Del Monte’s Melissa Mackay.

Consumers’ concerns about plastic have led to a growing disillusionment with plastic recycling, spurring the demand for plastic-free alternatives, she said. As a result, the number of plastic alternatives is increasing rapidly, accommodating consumers’ aspirations for packaging solutions that align with their values.

Del Monte is committed to reducing plastic — one of the company’s sustainability goals is to reduce virgin plastic across its supply chain by 25% by 2025 from a 2020 base year.

It’s just one part, Mackay said, of Del Monte’s long-term strategic approach to meeting the fresh produce needs of its customers and consumers.

“We’re forging partnerships with likeminded, values-driven enterprises that share a commitment to fostering positive impacts on communities.”

By embracing partnerships and innovative product development, she added, Fresh Del Monte is positioning itself to address evolving consumer demands and lead the way in delivering impactful and relevant products to the market.

“With a global team and our category management team, we strive to stay attuned to changing consumer attitudes and behaviors through proprietary research, industry news, secondary research sources as well as having close relationships with our retailer and operator partners.”

This article is an excerpt from the September 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Value Proposition feature and more in the digital edition here.