If any branded package design could be considered perfect, what would it be? For exhibit number one, I offer the apple. Typically merchandised in high traffic areas in a wide basket to best display their natural beauty, apples seem to have been plucked straight out of central casting. The fruit ranges in color from yellow dipped in sunshine to pale green with rosy cheeks. Their gentle curves hint of lusciousness within. The unspoken message clearly conveyed is a clean, fresh ready to eat snack. Is it any wonder that the apple was chosen by artists to depict the forbidden fruit that got Eve thrown out of Eden?
Apples have long been seen as temptresses and given mythical powers. Though the Bible does not depict the actual fruit, the famous biblical story of Eve being tempted by an apple gained currency after artists (brand designers?) in the 15th century portrayed Eve holding an apple. In Norse mythology, Thor, god of thunder, gained immortality after eating a golden apple picked by a goddess. And an apple seed-sowing, barefoot journeyman named Johnny Appleseed ferried apple seeds west, bringing a fruit then widely used for making applejack and alcoholic cider to the frontier (quickly followed by temperance activists who demanded that the morally upright burn their apple trees).
Apple’s Health Halo and Next Gen Packaging
Snack retailers purchase apples to boost their own health halo, using the comely fruit to convey a fresh-picked snack experience. The reality, however, is much of the fruit is tossed, unsold. “I’ve seen them throwing out 11 and selling one,” said Kevin Lozier, VP of Business Development for Aero-Cos International, the exclusive representative of a new company on the market, TreeCrisp2Go. “And that one’s mealy.” Enter TreeCrisp2Go. Recognizing the inherent push-back from customers who viewed fresh apple displays as dirty as well as the indeterminate age of the apple (diminishing the apple’s nutritional value), TreeCrisp2Go improved nature’s perfect package. They developed a “patented process and bag, which uses inert gases [to] extend shelf life while preserving crispness and flavor.” The apples are triple-washed, dried and packed within hours of harvest. Oxygen degradation, fresh produce’s main enemy, is limited because of the bag’s design.
TreeCrisp2Go places a limit on shelf life, too, defining their product as saleable for 35 days in ambient temperature or 75 days if refrigerated. ”We want to ensure that the consumer’s experience of the apple is pristine and clean, like it is right off the tree,” said Lozier. And the package changes the perception of the retailer, who now has a saleable product rather than one used only for display. That’s packaging that’s win-win for the retailer and the consumer. TreeCrisp2Go’s bag is not a panacea but the apple inside “meets the minimum expectation of what an apple should be,” said Lozier.
The original healthy snack, apples, just got a bit healthier. And, like those artists of long ago, the apple is still developing its own, unique branded package design.