Delmar Packing may have found the solution to the age-old problem of apricot bruising.

Delmar debuts tray-clamshell for apricots

Courtesy Delmar Packing

The answer for the Westley, Calif.-based grower-shipper is to put a custom tray inside a clamshell.

“It basically gives each apricot its own compartment,” said Brian Wright, salesman.

The fruit is sized and color sorted before being hand packed into the 11-count trays, he said.

The clear clamshell also gives Delmar the opportunity to print an apricot cobbler recipe on the reverse side of the label.     

Until it came up with the tray pack-clamshell combo, Delmar had the past two seasons experimented with clamshells, but some of the apricots were bruised during shipping, Wright said. The tray pack-clamshell package seems to have resolved the problem, he said.

An unusually cool California spring has delayed by at least a week shipping of the fruit. Packing was scheduled to begin the week of May 31, Wright said.

“We’ll peak about June 15 and should go through July 6,” he said.

A byproduct of the cool spring is that the apricots have sized well, because they have been on the trees much longer. Temperatures finally climbed into the low 90s in late May, which Wright said will boost the fruits’ sugar content.

Delmar packs more than a half dozen different varieties of apricots starting with robadas and gold bars and winding up with trigems and pattersons, which are the company’s biggest variety, Wright said.