WENATCHEE, WA – Stemilt BB #:113654 is launching the new EZ Band sustainable 4-pack of Rave and SweeTango apple wraps this fall, offering consumers a recyclable packaging option and pushing it even bigger with easy grab-and-go Size fruit sales. to design.
Stemilt Marketing Director Brianna Shales explains how the EZ Band was a first in the US and made it easy for shoppers, retailers and the planet.
“Stemilt’s new EZ Band is a sustainable packaging approach we’re seeing in Europe,” explains Shales. “Our EZ belt is a two-piece 4-pack of apples made from 100% cardboard. It has been designated by How2Recycle for at-home recycling in a recycling container. Packed apples have been in high demand over the past two years and this is a new way to sell larger-sized apples in a packaged form. The EZ Band helps consumers shop online efficiently or help store associates complete pickup orders. It requires less labor to sell items and delivers what today’s consumers are looking for convenience properties.”
According to the Food Industry Association, a recent FMI Food Industry Sustainability Report shows that grocery shoppers express a desire for packaging that is recyclable, sustainable and made from recycled materials. Stemilt designed the EZ Band as a sustainable package using fully recyclable materials and a convenient shape for shoppers and the planet to easily stack into a displayable euro box. The tray will hold 4 large size apples that will be sold, with a UPC at the bottom of the strap for easy knocking at the checkout counter.
“It’s a new way of packaging and selling apples in the United States,” Shales said. “These larger sizes have traditionally been sold in pounds on PLU stickers. This new packaging is a step towards increasing purchase size and brand awareness, while offering retailers a simple and effective way to sell in-store or online The solution. It will easily pass through self-checkout stations. We also foresee the ability to automate the packaging of fruit in the future, bringing efficiencies to packaging designed to please consumers.”
The EZ Band was created in response to the high demand for on-the-go items in grocery stores during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stemilt knows that consumers and today’s Gen Z shoppers lean toward convenience, but want to meet their needs from a sustainable perspective.
“Not long ago, apple sales were about 80 percent in bulk and 20 percent in bags or packages,” Shales said. “The numbers started to skew during and after the pandemic, and we’re now seeing about 60% of our apples being sold in bulk and 40% in bags. We simply couldn’t grow bag-sized fruit, so we focused on Develop a bulk fruit package that is easier for retailers to sell.”
To ensure retailers receive the correct ring at the point of sale, the UPC on the packaging will also be designed to efficiently move apples through checkouts and self-checkouts. The package includes a tray to hold the apples and a paper tape that is machine tightened around the tray to hold the apples. Each unit allows shoppers to see the fruit. Stemilt launched the EZ Band packaging with proprietary Rave and SweeTango apples as it will help increase consumer awareness of each brand and its unique attributes.
“When developing the EZ Band, we knew we wanted to sell apples in a way that would drive apple sales and reduce some of the labor involved in selling apples in bulk,” Shales explained. “The package will be in beta starting this fall with Rave and SweeTango, and we’ll be offering SweeTango both traditional and organic options.”
For more information on Stemilt’s EZ Band, please contact your Stemilt sales representative.
Stemilt is a family-run fruit tree grower, packer and transporter. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to nurture talent and delight consumers with its world-renowned fruit. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruit, and a major supplier of apples and pears. The company manages environmentally sustainable and socially responsible businesses through its Responsible Choice program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information on Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com.