Pouches galore at Fresh SummitANAHEIM, Calif. — Wherever you turned at Fresh Summit 2012, transparent pouches and bags showcased fresh vegetables and fruits. They’re an increasingly conspicuous packing choice.

“It’s kind of a new trend for retailers,” said Kori Tuggle, director of marketing and business development at Castroville, Calif.-based Ocean Mist Farms. “They’re asking for more of a forward-facing feature than the traditional 1-pound clamshell, and bag presentation on the shelf provides that.”

Ocean Mist’s 1-pound brussels sprouts in a microwavable zipper lock bag was one of six Produce Marketing Association Impact Award winners. Another was Rock Garden’s MicroGreens in resealable modified atmosphere pouches.

With artichokes and then brussels sprouts, Ocean Mist targeted items suitable for microwaving. The broader aim, though, is to catch shoppers’ attention in retail displays.

Green Giant Fresh added 15 fruits and vegetables to its product line; eight ship in resealable pouches.

“Pouch bags are becoming quite popular,” said Julie DeWolf, director of retail marketing for Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers. “That’s a bandwagon we absolutely want to be on. It showcases our fruit very well.”

“We can do great high graphics and it’s just a very different look from anything else we merchandise,” DeWolf said. “We’ve got net bags, poly bags. This is just another offering that really elevates the level of the fruit.”

Sunkist showed off a new 2-pound lemon pouch at Fresh Summit, but its big announcement was a licensing agreement with Stemilt Growers. Starting in January, Sunkist will ship smaller citrus for children under Stemilt’s Lil Snappers label — in pouches.