Twenty-five finalists have been tapped for the fourth annual Produce Marketing Association Impact Awards.

PMA Impact Awards recognize packaging innovation

Winners of the awards, which recognize innovation and excellence in produce packaging, will be announced at the Newark, Del.-based association’s annual Fresh Summit convention and trade show Oct. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla., said Meg Miller, PMA’s public relations manager.

Miller said the association is impressed by the number of companies making their inaugural attempt at an Impact Award.

“We’re really excited to see that the vast majority of entries are first-timers,” she said.

PMA received 74 entries for this year’s competition, Miller said.

Finalists will be judged based on four criteria: marketing excellence, food safety excellence, supply chain efficiency/functionality excellence and sustainability excellence.

Products from the 25 finalists will be on display at the convention, Miller said.

This year’s judging is a departure from previous contests, when winners were chosen in different categories:

  •  environment/sustainability
  •  food safety/traceability;
  •  functionality/technology;
  •  marketing design;
  •  marketing messaging/content; and
  •  supply chain efficiencies.

Finalists for the 2010 awards include:

• Chiquita Brands International;
• Christopher Ranch;
• Clear Lam Packaging Inc./Apio Inc.;
• Del Monte;
• Grimmway Farms;
• Hanline Farms;
• Mastronardi Produce Ltd.;
• Oppenheimer/Enza;
• Pandol Bros.;
• Stemilt Growers;
• Sun World International;
• Vidalia Onion Committee; and
• Wada Farms Marketing Group

Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing is a finalist for its meat and cheese platter.

The platter offers cheddar cubes and beef with carrots, celery, broccoli and a Ranch dip. It was Mann’s occasion- and season-based labels and graphics that caught the award panel’s eye.

Always changing, the labels touted Luck of the Irish for St. Patrick’s Day; Heart Healthy Veggie Lovers for Valentine’s Day and Heart Health month; and Stars & Stripes for July 4, among other holiday entries. Sports-themed labels included Tailgater for football season and Grand Slam for baseball.

“We’re not the only one that has done a party platter, but we have differentiated ourselves from others,” said Elena Hernandez, Mann’s marketing coordinator. “The Impact Awards mean a lot to the company. We want the produce industry and retailers to know we are always looking to the future to bring something new.”

Mann has been a finalist in each of the four years it’s competed for the Impact Award, and won twice.

Staff writer Mike Hornick contributed to this article.