Dole Fresh Vegetables has big plans for salads.

The Monterey, Calif.-based company is unveiling its ambitious “reinvention” of bagged salads — after more than a year of extensive consumer research — during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit.

All 32 of the company’s salads and nine salad kits have been redesigned under the plan and now feature a “salad guide” and pairing recommendations.

The new salads will be available in October in the U.S. and November in Canada, along with an advertising campaign.

Russell Evans, senior brand manager at Dole, said the goal is to encourage greater salad and produce consumption and also “inspire” consumers to experiment more with Dole salads.

“Instead of just a redesign, we see the salad-line change as a comprehensive reinvention of the bagged salad category, not just a redesign but a complete reinvention,” Evans said.

Dole’s salad ‘reinvention’ debuting at Fresh Summit

Courtesy Dole Fresh Vegetables

One of the major changes to the salad packaging includes the addition of two scales with rankings from one to five to the specific taste and texture characteristics of the salads, from mild to bold, and tender to crunchy.

The packaging also includes pairing suggestions for dressing, fruits, vegetables and other fresh ingredients, according to the company, such as balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled goat cheese, julienne sliced sun-dried tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs, for its spring mix.

What Dole found through its consumer research is people often won’t buy bagged salads at all if a store is out of a specific blend the person is looking for, Evans said.

“Consumers are far less engaged to purchase prepackaged salads,” Evans said.

The research also found consumers often prepare salads in the same way each time they eat it and don’t often experiment with adding new ingredients or trying new blends, Evans said.

Faced with a category seeing flat sales and Americans increasingly eating unhealthy produce-poor diets, Evans said Dole wants to improve people’s health and show them they can have the same high-quality, high-flavor salads they enjoy in restaurants at home.

Starting in November, Dole’s national advertising campaign will be lead by a “salad guide spokesperson” whose identity will be revealed during Fresh Summit.

Evans said the national campaign will feature large in-store floor graphics and shelf embellishments, grocery cart ads, some of which will be up for several months or longer depending on the store, and cooking demonstrations.

According to the company, Dole is planning TV ads, print ads, online and digital promotions, and use of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to push its salads.

“Dole is committed to improving the health and wellness of Americans,” Evans said.