This post is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods.
Organics account for about a quarter of the total packaged salad category, a figure that increased 6.3% last year compared to 2015, according to Nielsen data. Health and wellness are key motivators for organic shoppers, and food manufacturers can engage consumers with nutritious offerings that tout organic ingredients and interesting flavor combinations.
“With a majority of consumers trying to eat healthier foods, we have seen consumer demand increase rapidly for organic packaged salads, especially with millennials and Gen Z consumers. In fact, the organic salad category is the second fastest growing category today” she said. “As a result, sales have been strongest for Ready Pac Foods Organic Salad Kits, Organic Salad Blends and Organic Single-Serve complete meals (i.e. Bistro Bowl salad).”
Last year, the company launched its Organic Chopped Salad Kits to capitalize on the popularity of the organic salad category. The first product of its kind when it launched in June, the Organic Chopped Salad line includes Caesar, Zesty Greek, Kickin’ Southwest and Sweet Kale varieties that contain a mix of organic greens, vegetables, cheeses and other toppings paired with organic dressings.
Offering a variety of flavor options -- especially global flavors -- gives brands an advantage in the growing organic marketplace. Organic shoppers have an interest in other cultures and are more inclined toward foreign foods than other consumer groups, according to a Simmons NHCS Adult Study from 2015.
“Consumers are seeking bolder flavors within the value added fresh produce space and this carries well into organic options,” Simpson said. “Functional blends are also popular with the organic consumer.”
Ready Pac Foods launched its elevAte salad line featuring five organic varieties last year to appeal to consumers looking for nutrient-dense options with the functional benefits of superfoods such as dark leafy greens, ancient grains, seeds, berries and nuts.
Transparency and informational labeling are also crucial for brands looking to engage organic consumers, Simpson said.
“As more and more consumers look for cleaner ingredients, it is critical to ensure packaging and messaging is consistent and clear across the portfolio,” she explained. “This is why we rolled out a packaging renovation to the elevAte line of organic and superfood salads, designed to bring the salad’s fresh ingredients and flavors to the forefront, while also increasing the visual impact and reinforcing the brand’s positioning with the Ready Pac Foods promise and organic focus.”
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