January 25, 2016

Snack jar opens opportunities beyond greenhouse

The first Outrageously Fresh specialty tomato mason jar bags are rolling off the line this week at SunSelect’s Tehachapi, Calif. facility, signifying the first step in a larger plan for these packs to become the bag of choice at retail—in the greenhouse section and beyond.

A unique partnership between British Columbia’s SunSelect Produce and Danish company Schur Star Systems, Inc.—the originator of the mason jar shaped bag—positions the pack style to contain more than the greenhouse mini cucumbers, mini peppers and snacking tomatoes unveiled along with Divemex and Oppy at Fresh Summit last fall, according to SunSelect Director Reinhold Krahn.

“SunSelect has secured the exclusive rights to Schur’s mason jar bag across several categories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” Krahn said. “Our discussions with retailers have illustrated the great promise of this pack. We believe it could have enormous influence on how healthy snacks are profitably merchandised at retail and easily enjoyed at home.”

SunSelect’s exclusive includes peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherries, red and green grapes, cranberries, apples, kiwifruit, and blueberries, with potential extensions of the jar bag concept for other products. In the coming months, SunSelect and Oppy will offer the concept to producers of many of these items.

The “Schur Jar Bag” was discovered by members of the Krahn family, owners of SunSelect, at Fruit Logistica last year.

“We felt the design would be a great fit for snacking items, and a differentiator on the shelf,” Krahn said. “It’s more stable than other packaging options within clamshells and cello bags, and plays on the popularity of home canning and use of mason jars in decorative and useful ways around the house.”

Hans Christian Schur, Schur’s Oceanside-Calif. based CEO, shares Krahn’s enthusiasm about the partnership and the promise of the bag concept for many types of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“It’s a new venture for us to have a partner in produce,” he said. “The enterprise is based on SunSelect’s desire to differentiate in the fresh category, and Schur’s commitment to deliver a solution to help them achieve that. We are excited to expand the concept with SunSelect, bringing in associated companies like Oppy who work with growers of other items.”

Schur specializes in developing and engineering new bags, innovating in both material and in shape, and serves as a “one stop shop,” manufacturing the packs and providing the equipment to fill them.

“Our Schur Star System is very flexible, so SunSelect can run bags of various sizes and its range of associated products on the same machine, undertaking small or large runs, with just a few minutes to change in between,” Schur said. “We offer high quality printing and materials, which makes an enormous difference at the point of sale.”

The Schur Star packing process is underway now at SunSelect’s Tehachapi, Calif. greenhouse, teeing up the delivery of the first jar bags filled with Outrageously Fresh snacks.

The re-sealable Outrageously Fresh mason jar bags include: 10.5 oz, grape, cherry and gourmet medley tomatoes grown by SunSelect, 14-oz. mini cucumbers, and 1-lb mini peppers grown by Divemex and are available exclusively from Oppy.

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