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Why Didn’t I Think of That?

With door hangers and trade ads, Dole has been asking PMA attendees to come by its booth this year and check out what it’s calling “Produce With Benefits.”

As it turns out, Produce With Benefits is simply a new packaging lineup for the company’s commodity produce, and it features a remarkably simple, common-sense idea.

Basically, the new packages sport a label that highlights the basic nutritional benefits of the item inside, along with a preparation suggestion. Celery for example, reads “Celery. A good source of Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin. Have you tried it grilled? See” Flip the package over, and instead of asking if you’ve tried it grilled, the package suggests a strawberry salad with mandarin oranges, along with a more complete nutrition facts panel.

As CarrieAnn Arias, one of Dole’s senior marketing managers explained, shoppers know produce is supposed to be good for them, but a lot of them don’t know why. Or, they don’t understand the physiological benefits of eating produce. Also, many of them don’t know how to cook very well, and they’re looking for meal and snack ideas.

The new packaging will start arriving in stores in January, so it remains to be seen how shoppers will respond. But, retailers are constantly looking for ways to communicate meal ideas to shoppers, and it’s funny to think that this will be one of the first times that commodity produce is throwing its hat in that particular ring.