(June 4, 5:38 p.m.) Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, Wash., has designed FlowFresh packs, a new series of molded plastic trays in response to growing consumer concern about food safety.

Sealed with a breathable, perforated wrap, the FlowFresh packs create a controlled moisture environment specifically formulated for the respiration needs of fresh cherries and other fruits, said vice president of marketing Mac Riggan.

“(Breathable packaging) was something we saw in Europe at the Fruit Logistica (trade) show,” Riggan said. “Things in Europe generally gravitate over here … (so) we worked jointly with Frontier Packaging to bring the design here.”

Seattle-based Frontier Packaging Inc. developed the breathable, perforated film, which features a pattern of laser-sealed holes for moisture control, Riggan said.

“The laser holes maintain the moisture in the cherries and it lets the gases escape,” he said. “This will allow us to not only store cherries longer, but present them in stores longer.”

Additionally, the package is tamper-proof and is a convenient refrigerator container for consumers, Riggan said.

A result of 15 months of development from conceptualization to market, Riggans said Chelan plans on the packaging being available for the first summer cherries in June.

Cost wise, FlowFresh will be similar to traditional clamshell packaging, Riggan said.

“On a $30 box of fruit, it will probably cost around 10% or $3 per case,” he said. “On the larger boxes it will be even less, so it will be slightly more than poly-bags or bulk, but slightly less than clamshells, which typically have an up charge of $4.”

Tamper-proof FlowFresh packs control moisture
Chelan Fresh Marketing's FlowFresh packs feature a continuous pattern of laser-seared holes in the wrap, thus creating a moisture-controlled environment specially formulated for the respiration requirements of fruit such as fresh cherries.