Cook-in food packaging is making it easier than ever to prepare individual servings of fresh corn on the cob. Each ear of Fresh Life Harvest Whole Ear Gourmet Sweet Corn comes packed in a microwavable film pouch. The packaging design also includes a decorative, branded paperboard carton with a large window to display the film-wrapped ears.
Fresh Life Harvest sweet corn —a premium, non-GMO strain—is packed in cartons of one, four and eight ears. In all cases, the fresh ears are shucked and washed before being individually wrapped in film and packed in a carton.
The ears cook in less than two minutes in a microwave oven. Included in each carton is a packet of Tajin seasoning, which is a blend of Mexican chilies, lime juice and sea salt.
Brand owner Next Level Fresh LLC intends to market the product throughout the United States, year-round, and is specifically targeting the 40-and-younger demographic. Because the corn is perishable, the products are merchandised in retailers’ refrigerated cases.
Daniel Whittles, managing partner at Next Level Fresh, answers a few questions about the product and the packaging.
Is there much of a market for a single-serve package of corn?
Whittles: We believe that there is a gigantic and mostly untapped market for fresh, upscale, convenient foodie-esque meal or snack solutions that are built on a foundation of high-quality fresh produce. The basic footprint is single-ear packaging, but we use the unique single-ear approach even in our 4-pack and 8-pack options, because of the convenience of cooking ears one at a time or all at once.
Why are you targeting the 40-and-younger demographic for this product?
Whittles: They don't love massive piles of produce or value these awesome displays of fresh produce in the same way as older demographics appreciate the option of bulk selling. What 40-and-younger shoppers do appreciate is informative and high-graphic packaging that offers a functional value, as well. They love the safety of hand-selected and -packed fresh products. They love things that are hip, upscale and offer a high-quality fresh-food eating experience and which provide a superior overall value as a complete snack.
What type of film are you using to individually wrap the ears?
Whittles: The film is a high-tech, laminated film engineered to provide perfect storage conditions for fully shucked, fresh sweet corn; work like magic in the microwave; and store the corn in perfect conditions for at least 14 days.
Does the carton window have film over it? Or is it open?
Whittles: It is open, and extra materials are unnecessary.
Is the ear of corn and seasoning packet inserted into the carton manually or automatically?
Whittles: The corn is packed with as much automation as possible. We add the seasoning in at the moment we package the fresh corn. Each package is assembled to order.
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