Organic shoppers are discerning customers who are concerned about the quality of their food as well as their impact on the environment. To compete in big box retail, Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) knew they would have to change their packaging to communicate quality and recyclability and help them stand out in the crowded, competitive organic chicken market.
In addition to meeting shopper expectations, SVO had to address the needs of big-box retailers, including ways to extend product shelf life, prevent leaks and eliminate storage complications.
SVO and Sealed Air Food Care (Sealed Air) had previously collaborated on packaging solutions and SVO knew that Sealed Air was the right partner for their big box packaging. With a keen understanding of SVO’s needs, budgets and market position, Sealed Air recommended Cryovac® Darfresh® tray/skin vacuum packaging. The solution provided SVO with a number of important benefits:
- Extended shelf life of case-ready fresh poultry
- Smaller trays that, unlike foam trays, are recyclable
- Easy-open, leak-proof packages that are freezer ready
The response from retailers has been overwhelmingly positive. The smaller trays give retailers a more consistent product with longer shelf life and reduced shrink. Vertical display capabilities allow retailers to stock more in a case and reduce restocking frequency. In fact, retailer adoption has set a new pace record for SVO.
The real proof of success is in the almost fourfold increase in retail sales. SVO’s new packaging is delivering the quality perception that organic shoppers look for when choosing their products. Not only do shoppers get an unobstructed 360° view of the chicken product, but the reduction in packaging and elimination of the soaker pad means less overall waste and better recyclability. SVO is gaining net new customers as well as increasing repeat shoppers.
In evaluating the success of the packaging change SVO found that their business gains more than offset the cost of the new equipment. As they look at expanding their product offering, SVO is continuing to partner with Sealed Air to get the best packaging solutions in place from the start.