Specialty strawberries from Australia’s newest producer, BerryWorld Australia, will be appear on supermarket shelves this week in a heat-sealed 350g punnet aimed at winning shoppers’ attention, before they have even eaten a berry.
BerryWorld Australia managing director, Gavin Scurr, said the new line achieved several significant points of difference for strawberry marketing.
“If we’re launching a premium brand, we want as many points of difference as possible, from packaging and presentation, through to berry taste and appearance,” Mr Scurr said.
“Australian strawberries are generally sold in 250g or 450g punnets and there are some 1kg punnets. We’ve decided on a 350g punnet to give Australian consumers more choice. Globally, it’s already a size that is instantly associated with strawberries. We’re confident Australian consumers will appreciate it as a convenient, family friendly size.”
The square punnets, made of standard 100 per cent recyclable PET (polyethylene), present BerryWorld strawberries in a single layer with the barcode at the base for easy scanning. Heat-sealed film is perforated with eight air vents to keep fruit cool and fresh in-store and after purchase.
Pre-printed film was also more aesthetically pleasing than labeled lids, he said.
“As few Australian strawberries are consistently sold in heat-sealed punnets, this will be a positive change for strawberry consumers. Heat-sealing, which is standard in berry production throughout Europe, not only keeps fruit fresh, but it is tamper proof,” he said.
Punnet features at a glance:
- Heat-sealed with polymer film
- Perforated with eight air vents
- 350g and square
- Made of 100 per cent recyclable PET (polyethylene)
Packaging achieves production efficiencies
Mr Scurr said the BerryWorld Australia packaging would also deliver production and cost efficiencies and energy savings.
“Heat-sealing utilises approximately 30 per cent less packaging materials than a punnet with a lid." “Heat-sealing has also been shown to perform slightly better in maintaining fruit weight up to purchase. With strawberries, there’s always a slight margin of weight loss after packing. To achieve the 350g weight by the time of purchase, we allow for loss by slightly overpacking, typically by about 20 grams per punnet.”
Mr Scurr said automated heat-sealing would also create significant production efficiencies in the packhouse because the film could be applied faster.
Once opened, the punnets are not re-sealable. However, re-sealing is an option BerryWorld Australia would consider in the future, Mr Scurr said.
BerryWorld Australia’s raw packaging materials are imported from China and manufactured to specification by Victorian-based packaging producer, Multisteps Industries.
BerryWorld strawberries are grown and packed at Queensland-based Piñata Farms, the growing arm of joint venture company, BerryWorld Australia. A customised production line has been installed at the Wamuran packhouse to pack the specialty berries.
Strawberries are sorted and hand-packed into punnets prior to heat-sealing.
Retail display sets branding apart
BerryWorld Australia negotiated with retail partner, Woolworths, to display strawberries in the fridge section of supermarket outlets, rather than the lounge where other Australian strawberries are displayed.
“Berries last longer if they are chilled. Fridge placement is another point of difference. Other future BerryWorld Australia lines, such as raspberries and blackberries, will also be found in the fridge,” Mr Scurr said.
August 17, 2017