San Antonio-based NatureSweet has driven significant growth in the snacking tomato category.
In 2023, the company aims to do the same for its greenhouse-grown cucumbers and peppers, said Jenny Halpin, external communications manager. Even the company’s new logo now reflects all the greenhouse-grown vegetables it offers, not just tomatoes.
In 2023, NatureSweet plans to launch fun and exciting products that will have a convenience focus sure to resonate with consumers, Halpin said.
“Instead of a big salad, people are choosing the vegetables they enjoy, and eating them as a side to complement a meal or a snack.”
An example is NatureSweet’s Cherubs To Go snack packs, which after their summer 2022 debut quickly surpassed other products to become the No. 1 tomato snack in the category, according to the company. Fans even put them in their car cupholders to snack on when they’re on the go and need a healthy alternative.
“What people can’t get enough of these days is time, so we will continue to make the daily grind a little easier for consumers, offering more bite-sized healthy snacking options,” Halpin said.
Themed packaging and merchandising will continue to be a focus for NatureSweet in 2023, given the huge positive reception it received last year.
The company’s “Snack Like a Champ” sports-themed product, for instance, pays homage to professional sports teams in certain areas. NatureSweet’s “Día de Muertos Medley” promotion has been another retailer and consumer favorite, Halpin said.
“Both are great examples of timely products that encourage consumers to celebrate certain events or holidays and create somewhat of a buzz around these occasions. One product allows consumers to save time and the other encourages them to celebrate the time they have. We’re transforming boring vegetable packaging into something vibrant and fun that helps mark the occasion.”
Also top of mind for NatureSweet going forward, Halpin said, is a continued commitment to the environment.
NatureSweet greenhouses use 58% less water than open farms. The company’s drip irrigation systems help conserve water, and NatureSweet utilizes integrated pest management (IPM), which drives all pest management decisions and reduces the risk to people and the environment.
On the product side, NatureSweet has redesigned the packaging of several of its products using highly recyclable PET plastics. Soon, the company’s snacking tomato packaging will be 100% recycled and recyclable PET.
NatureSweet also has decreased the amount of cardboard in its shipping trays by more than 10%, and its retail boxes have been redesigned so that more product fits into each pallet, reducing transport costs and emissions.