With the vision of creating an exciting destination in produce departments and addressing the changing sustainability goals of today’s shoppers, SunFed, Rio Rico, Ariz., launched new packaging for its Almost Famous produce, available in stores nationwide.

“Sustainability has a changing definition for consumers, and one of those shifting aspects is the desire to find programs that seek to decrease food waste,” says Brett Burdsal, vice president of marketing. “We have always used this imperfect produce outlet, and have continued to look for ways to maximize output from the farm in terms of production and find homes for the fruits and vegetables. When we saw that opportunity to start something new and noticed people were responding to reducing food waste, we saw the perfect opportunity to make an actual program on a consistent basis.”

Currently, SunFed offers items ranging from eggplant, green bell peppers, colored bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and yellow squash, dependent on time of year and product availability.

The Almost Famous program brings imperfect produce items to consumers that are just as fresh as other brands.

“We don’t see this just as a value-buy and an opportunity to increase sales,” says Matt Mandel, vice president of operations. “We see this as a movement that will grow and continue. It is an opportunity to change the produce industry for the better, as well as retail for the better.”

With the value-proposition of a grab-and-go bag item, this program addresses the challenge of selling the items in bulk for retailers.

“This packaging concept is the best way to tell the story of SunFed’s Almost Famous program, and helps retailers differentiate in the produce department,” says Craig Slate, vice president of sales. "It comes down to the execution, and we have it in spades. SunFed offers an entire merchandising and marketing program that will generate more brand-value for the retailer, while creating opportunities for consumers to purchase produce items that fit into their buying behaviors, sustainability goals and their budget.”

“As we continue to see fresh produce move toward the center of the plate, this program is a great strategic way to build on those trends,” adds Mark Cassius, executive vice president and general manager. “Whether its bringing freshness to people of all socio-economic backgrounds that may not typically buy produce or fulfilling the different needs of a diverse range of shoppers, this program supports our goal of expanding where, and what, we grow as a one-stop shop and true partner for retailers.”