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Packaging & pallet covers under one roof

Image Plastics & Packaging and PEAKfresh USA share several distinctions: same California address, same ownership and same core customers.

Greg Ganzerla, who is president of the two firms, said both companies are DBAs of Ganzerla & Associates, and both companies have products designed specifically for the fresh produce industry.

Strawberries-300x256 PEAKfresh USA sells pallet covers, box liners and retail bags. Photo courtesy of PEAKfresh USA.Image Plastics & Packaging offers many different items but the product that has gained the most notoriety in the produce industry is the stretch vent top designed for RPCs (returnable plastic containers). The RPC has gained much market share in the produce industry over the last decade, but it does have its challenges. Ganzerla said possibly the biggest is the open top, which exposes produce to cold blowing from a refrigeration unit on a truck or cooler and other environmental factors such as dehydration. To combat that disadvantage, IPP has created what he calls a “very strong” plastic cover that solves this issue.

IPP is also gaining a lot of traction in the produce industry with its stand-up pouch. Many different commodities, especially for fresh cut or value-added offerings, have added this display-ready, retail pouch. Ganzerla said it can be adorned with a company logo and high-color graphics making it a very attractive container. It also can utilize modified atmosphere to extend shelf life.

Extending shelf life is also the calling card of PEAKfresh USA. That firm sells pallet covers, box liners and retail bags that utilize “a low-density polyethylene film impregnated with a natural occurring mineral that significantly increases gas permeability, allowing ethylene and other damaging gases to be removed,” according to the company website. Ganzerla said test after test has proven that this “intelligent film” will significantly extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

Strawberry shipments are one of the core users of the pallet cover, while shippers of many different commodities have purchased the box liners. Besides extending shelf life, Ganzerla touts the easy use of the pallet cover as its main selling point. He said the pallet cover can be applied much easier than modified atmosphere systems also used for the same reason. In addition, he said the cover can be easily peeled back for inspection and then be put back in place to do its intended job of extending shelf life.

The product designed for retail has the same basic properties. The retail pack includes 10 bags that can be used by the consumer in her refrigerator to greatly extend shelf life. Ganzerla said the consumer needs to put her fresh produce in these reusable bags when returning from the supermarket. “Use of the bags will eliminate 24 pounds of waste per month,” he said.

While noting good movement at smaller, independent retail operations, Ganzerla said he has not had the same success getting larger retail outlets to merchandise the bags. He said while they are great for consumers, they do tend to decrease produce sales as consumers achieve greater utilization of their produce purchases.