Produce packaging reflects the industry’s increasing support for breast cancer research during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Pink pink, pink!” said Charlotte Vick, a partner in Vick Family Farms, a Wilson, N.C.-based sweet potato grower-shipper, which changes the color of its Pure Gold brand to pink and donates a portion of proceeds to a Mother’s Day mammogram program for Wilson-area women who can’t afford mammograms.

“We’ve been shipping our Pink Pure Gold label now for four years, and now we have people asking for the pink box all year,” Vick said.


Corn for the Cause

Others have their own pink packages. Tracy, Calif.-based GloriAnn Farms dresses up its sweet corn trays in with pink-lettered Corn for the Cause labels, said Daren Van Dyke, sales and marketing manager at Brawley, Calif.-based Five Crowns Marketing, a sister company.

“Again, when they pick something up and know that something is going on and pair that with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and your NFL players are wearing the pink shoes, it just goes to generate awareness,” he said.

The pink-themed packages also help retailers merchandise the product, Van Dyke said.

“When you’re looking at produce companies using packaging for the cause, you have to work with the retailer to build a display,” he said.

The attention-grabbing aspect of Breast Cancer Awareness packaging is huge for the cause, said Claudia Villalobos, marketing and culinary manager for D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, Salinas.

“As a shopper, you only have a second or two to see something,” she said. “When you’re dealing with the Breast Cancer Foundation, that gets attention.”

Add a few healthful recipes to the package and it only enhances the packaging’s merchandising value, Villalobos said.

“The message is shared with our customers and consumers,” she said.


Mushrooms, onions

It attracts immediate attention, said Hsian Kim, sales and marketing director for Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Mushrooms.

“It definitely does stand out against a traditional pack that the industry has,” she said.

Glennville, Ga.-based sweet onion grower-shipper Bland Farms gives all of its packaging a pink look, starting at the end of September and running through Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Alannah Finnan, marketing specialist.

“Small bags and bins will be completely wrapped in pink to serve as a constant reminder for people to get involved,” she said.

It’s an effective reminder, Finnan said.

“I’d say, is very helpful — all pink and has the breast cancer ribbon all over it,” she said.

Fowler, Calif.-based citrus grower-shipper Bee Sweet affixes the pink ribbon symbol to its 3- and 5-pound bags of its Sweethearts-branded mandarins, said Monique Bienvenue, communications director.

“When it comes to consumer trends, I find consumers do go for the more creative packaging,” she said.

Kids will notice images of “little dancing mandarins” adorning the bag, and the pink ribbon will get mom’s attention, Bienvenue said.

“I’ve gotten e-mails from consumers that are really happy we’re doing something to raise awareness of the disease,” she said.