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Friday, February 24, 2006

Trend: Shopping 2.0: Peel-Free Fruit

The Tyranny of the Fruit Peel

What fruit needs is a snazzier package! The peels and rinds are simply not cutting it with consumers who would rather peel open a snack bag than a fresh orange. Sunkist Growers Inc. announces a plan to appeal with a line of grab-and-go cut fruit. Small bags of sliced Sunkist fruit 2.0 will be sold in grocery stores, schools and fast-food chains this year through a joint venture with Taylor Farms of Salinas

According to a recent article in LA Times, the idea is to make eating fruit as simple as munching on potato chips, said Sunkist Chief Executive Jeff Gargiulo, "Not even my kids will peel an orange."

The packaged fruit venture could grow to several hundred million dollars in sales over the next two years, said Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms, which sells more than $750 million of cut lettuce and vegetables to clients such as McDonald's Corp., Subway, Burger King Corp. and Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns Red Lobster and the Olive Garden.

"A big barrier to getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables is convenience, the packaging and accessibility," said Barbara Rolls, a nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University, who sampled several packages of Sunkist fruit at an American Dietetic Assn. meeting last year and liked what she tasted.

"This could be great if they make it easy for people, if it tastes good and it is affordable," Rolls said. In the past, sales of cut fruits and vegetables have suffered because the packaging couldn't keep them fresh and appetizing, she said.

Taylor acknowledged that the venture would work only if Sunkist could deliver consistently good-tasting fruit and if his firm could get it to customers while it was still fresh.

"People won't buy fruits and vegetables because you tell them it is good for them," he said. "They will buy them only if they taste good."

Although the venture faces some "technical" challenges, Taylor Farms has pioneered the delivery of prepared lettuce and vegetables to the food service industry and could apply many of those techniques to distributing Sunkist branded snacks.

Expect the fruit to hit the market in the fall, primarily in supermarkets and schools. The initial selection will be made up of small bags of sliced oranges, apples, pineapple and seedless grapes.

Some Sunkist growers said they supported anything that might widen the market for their crops.

Competition from salty snacks and candy bars "is brutal," said Charles Sheldon, a citrus farmer. "I am all for this. Our crop comes in assorted shapes and sizes and maybe this is a way for us to utilize more of what we grow than we are doing now. That could be a great advantage."

via LA Times

Taste it all here:,1,4428875.story?coll=la-headlines-business

AKI COMMENT: Watch for another trend to then develop of Moms pre-chewing the fruit and spitting it into the mouths of their kids. This burgeoning custom will likely take place thru the kids' high-school graduation, after that, the kids are heartlessly on their own...

On a serious note, I am kinda curious what the design brief for peel-free fruit 2.0 will be! I mean, how do you top the world's most functional packaging? Well, with packaging. Perhaps it would be like the notorious Coke can design which highlights imagery of the old Coke bottle design on it. Brief: Replace the classic bottle with a can, then draw the bottle back on the can so consumers can feel nostalgic for the bygone era denoted by the classic bottle.

I, myself, would like to submit a SQUARE PACKAGE RE-DESIGN. Cuz nothing is more annoying than analog round fruit rolling around all over the floor. Square fruit will stack much better on-shelf and in-fridge. Perhaps Sunkist may grow them square on the tree. Think of all the savings in packing+shipping just by going square. Also consider a LASER-CUT PERFORATION, that leaves a dotted line that tears open effortlessly and splits the fruit into fun slices. These design ideas are on the house. No charge. Really. I do it in the name of progress.


murray said...

Oh I see....mother nature has provided us with the perfectly wrapped, highly nutritional food and we have to go screw the whole thing up with processing plants and plastic packaging. Has the world of marketing gone totally bonkers?

David Wen said...

I love y'all's blog. I'm planning on referencing it for a future post. And it's going on the University of Texas advertising blog's blog roll.

The posts are very enthralling.

How did y'all come up with the idea for an account planning blog?

y'all = you + all (Texas-language)

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

thanks for the vote, dwen. send us a link to your blog when u got a sec. we are steadily amazed that ANYONE outside of ourselves even has interest in this blog. so i am always curious how people such as yourself came to find us?

we'll try to keep it up, lots of updates are in the works (just a matter of finding the time,really). so keep watching.

to answer your q about "how we came up with the idea for an account planning blog". well, we're account planners. but we suspect that we all get smarter if we collect our individual knowledge and insights into one place for collective review+use...trends, tips, stats...everybody has a useful nugget which may be lifesaving gold to someone not in your panhandling streams. the trick is for us all to stop hiding our nuggets. so put your nuggets out there for all to see. maybe that didn't come out right...but u get it, that is why you're here reading. so thanks.

check this nugget i just got on my rss about modelling swarm behaviour:

Lachlan said...

"Bonkers". Great word! Much underused in the US. I miss it.