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Consumer Research

Capturing profit where healthy meets on-the-go

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A recent Sonoco study found that 31% of consumers snack on fresh fruits and vegetables 3-4 times per week, and 51% of respondents said they snack on fresh fruits and vegetables 5 or more times each week.

Value-added offerings like fruit and veggie pairings, dips and pre-sliced produce make it that much easier for consumers to grab and go while remaining healthy. What Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers are looking for has collided in a fairly homogenous set of desires—fresh, natural, simple, organic, nutritious, good for you and convenient, just to name a few.

Offering fresh produce naturally means minimal ingredients and processing—a huge plus for today’s more educated consumer. In fact, “freshly made” and “natural” are the main descriptors associated with foods that shoppers consider to be healthy.

But it’s crucial to pair this healthy and natural outlook with convenience for busy snackers on the go. According to a recent Nielsen study, sales of staple produce like bananas, grapes and apples are falling, while snacks incorporating both health and convenience (such as pre-popped popcorn, granola bars and mandarins) grew sales by double digits.

According to IRI, one of the best ways to capitalize on this growth opportunity is to “ensure innovative packaging (source and design) are part of your portfolio.” This packaging can add value to fruits and veggies, making them more convenient and portable for on-the-go consumers—important, since a recent Sonoco study showed that 43% of consumers say they snack on fruits and vegetables when they’re on the go, and 64% said they eat them away from home.

It’s partly about design. An IRI study showed that 52% of consumers say that labels and packaging influence their snack decision-making, including about 60% of shoppers aged 18-34. Brands that go the extra mile with functional packaging that adds convenience and value while standing out on the shelf will reap rewards.

That’s where we come in. Our fresh food packaging offerings include: 

  • Rigid plastics – we’re an industry leader in hinged containers, bowls, trays and tubs for the fruit and vegetable markets—as well as portion-control cups for sauces and dips.
  • Flexible plastics – our Top Seal and SmartSeal® peel/reseal technology provides added freshness and convenience for snackers, and we also offer windowed flexible pouches for healthy snacks. 
  • Paperboard containers – we offer paper containers in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to help you stand out on the shelf while maintaining product protection. 
  • Display and packaging – our signage and displays can help you properly position snacks to win at the point of purchase with your consumers. 

Download our fresh snacking white paper to learn more, or contact us to see how we can help your business capture sales in this growing segment.