ORLANDO, Fla.— Fresh Express brand Artisanal Salads won first place in the fourth annual PMA Impact Packaging awards.

The salads, marketed by Chiquita Brands International, Cincinnati, are packed in NaturSave bags, which the company says reduce plastic by 50% compared to other packaged salads.

This year’s award took a holistic approach, according to a PMA news release. Instead of honoring packaging in separate categories, winners were judged based on their scores in four categories: marketing, food safety, supply chain efficiency/functionality and sustainability.

Fresh Express salads win packaging innovation award

Pamela Riemenschneider

Fresh Express Artisanal Salads won first prize in the PMA Impact Packaging Awards. Winners were announced at Fresh Summit in Orlando.

Judges chose 25 finalists from 74 entries. Other winners included:

  • Second place: Clear Lam Packaging Inc., and Apio Inc., a joint submission for their New Pink Platter to Benefit the Fight Against Breast Cancer;
  • Third place: Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., and Robbie, a joint submission, for their Cored Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple Cylinder in a Flexible Pouch;
  • Fourth place: Hanline Farms for Fresh and Ready Vegetables; and
  • Fifth place (tie): Mastronardi Produce Ltd. For the Sunset Candy Tomato Multipack and T. Marzetti for Simply Dressed salad dressing.

Judges for the awards were:

  • Leonard Batti, general partner with MIXTEC Group;
  • Bridget Bennett, acting category manager/produce operations and headquarters produce specialist for the Defense Commissary Agency;
  • Kip Martin, produce merchandiser for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores;
  • Ron McCormick, senior director of local and sustainable sourcing for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.;
  • Pamela Riemenschneider, editor, Produce Retailer magazine and retail editor of The Packer; and
  • Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer of the Produce Marketing Association.