As we move into fall when foods fresh from harvest abound, this season really is the perfect time for nature’s candy, produce. And while we still grab the unwrapped pieces from the store or market, we also pick the packaged varieties for easy snacking and on the go meals. Packaging for produce is a growing market; according to a study from The Freedonia Group (, U.S. demand for produce packaging is forecast to increase 3.3% per year to $5.7 billion in 2017.

And while produce as a whole is growing, fruit applications are expected to see growth outpacing the overall produce packaging average. According to analyst Esther Palevsky, this growth will be “supported by population growth, trends toward healthier eating and the increased availability of ready-to-eat fruit marketed for convenience and as a healthy snack option.”

As far as materials used in produce packaging is concerned, plastic containers are forecast to experience the fastest gains among major packaging types. According to the study, advances will be propelled by growth in berry applications and widening usage with other produce items.

Whether you say tomato or “to-mah-to”, cherry and grape tomatoes are popular choices for snacking, salad toppings and dipping.  Earlier this year, Pure Flavor launched an exclusive “all-in-one” oval packaging for snacking tomatoes. This new packaging will hold a mixture of Pure Flavor’s popular tomatoes.

The oval clamshells are designed for the convenience of retailers and consumers alike. The package gives retailers the option of stacking multiple layers of clamshells to maximize shelf space in the store or the new “vertical – stack” option which features the clamshell displayed in an upright position. Not only is this new packaging a great choice for retailers, but consumers are also sure to love this easy “all-in-one” package. The packaging acts as a washing tray as well as a serving container for easy snacking.

Packaged fruit and vegetables save consumers prep time and allow for healthier eating on the go. It has never been easier to get the recommended 5 servings a day, proving that more than ever, fresh is in. Want to see innovative produce packaging examples and prototypes? Visit PACK EXPO International to see what’s on display and network with peers about current trends and future opportunities.