The start of 2014 is particularly reflective for Ready Pac Foods Inc. because it marks the company’s 45th anniversary of providing innovative fresh-cut produce solutions to customers across the country.
From its humble beginnings as a produce supplier to the foodservice industry in 1969, Ready Pac first came into being when founder Dennis Gertmenian received an urgent request from his father’s largest customer for ready-to-eat salads.Pressed for time and eager to please its customers, Gertmenian bought French knives, cutting boards and a bathtub for washing the produce in order to prepare and deliver his pressing customized orders. Upon delivery of the freshly prepared salads, Ready Pac was born.
Since its inception, Ready Pac has steadily positioned itself as a family-oriented trend setter within the produce industry. It has utilized strategies set forth by CPG companies to cultivate a strong history of product and packaging innovation by combining consumer and culinary insights to understand and better serve the needs of its customers.
Through its keen eye for modernization, Ready Pac first secured its reputation as an innovative supplier in fresh-cut foods by being among the first to bring the concept of European salad blends to the U.S. From there, it created the pillow pack for bagged salads and later introduced a unique, proprietary crisp packaging for bagged salads, which allowed for superior visual graphics and communicated better product freshness to consumers. When it pioneered the triple wash system, Ready Pac set the standard for bagged salad processing, and went on to lead the way in sustainable packaging and processing through its recycled plastic packaging materials and significant usage of solar power within its processing plants.
Today, under the strong leadership of Tony Sarsam, chief executive officer, Ready Pac produces a wide variety of award-winning fresh foods for both foodservice and retail, generating buzz within the CPG industry through its commitment to creative product development and great-tasting fresh foods.
“My favorite thing about working for Ready Pac is the rapid pace for progress that we’ve set for ourselves,” Tristan Simpson, senior director of marketing and corporate communications, said in a press release. “The fresh foods industry is built on the concept of moving product quickly and efficiently — but Ready Pac’s passion for innovation takes that idea one step further. While other companies seem to get comfortable playing their role within the industry, we are working as a team to find new ways to bring our fresh foods to completely new arenas. That’s precisely how we became the first company to introduce a single-serve complete salad in 2001 with our Ready Pac Bistro Bowl salads.”
Serving as a symbol for the success of Ready Pac, single-serve salads are now among the fastest-growing salad segments in the packaged salad market today, and Ready Pac’s Bistro Bowls remain at its helm.
With its extensive and versatile product line, dedication to environmentally sustainable packaging, freshness and cutting-edge flavor profiles, Ready Pac has continued to develop innovative, fresh and delicious meal solutions, and it anticipates the next 45 years will bring about more milestones to contribute to their incredible story.