Potatoes and onions are staples in the produce department, but with more varieties than ever and the demand for more information from consumers, shippers are using packaging to educate.

Packaging in the produce department includes more information — storage tips, recipes and nutrition details — and signs to educate and promote, said Marty Kamer, vice president of Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc.

Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce introduced a high-graphic fall sweet onion bag this season. The bags feature recipe suggestions and nutritional information, along with a quick-response code that sends consumers to the company’s website.

The company’s RealSweet Vidalia sweet onion bag was named a finalist for the Produce Marketing Association’s Packaging Impact Award this year.

Smaller packaging for potatoes has been a trend for years, said Mike Carter, chief executive officer of Rosholt, Wis.-based Bushman’s Inc. Carter attributed the trend to smaller family units and the appeal of a lower price point for both consumers and produce buyers.

Paul Dolan, general manager of Associated Potato Growers, Grand Forks, N.D., said he’s seeing more potatoes being sold in bins that can be taken directly from the pallet to the sales floor.

Red and yellow potatoes grown in North Dakota and Minnesota’s Red River Valley are typically sold in 5-pound or smaller bags.

Dolan said he’s also noticing a trend toward private labeling.