Linda Fritz is a farmer in Verona, Kentucky, but she is making waves in grocery stores around the country with her eco-friendly packaging. Calling herself an eco-warrior, Fritz refuses to use the traditional plastic clam shells for her fruits and vegetables.
Fritz’s distinctive cardboard boxes are food-safe, biodegradable, compostable, and cut out with nature-themed shapes like sun-rays, flowers, wind, and earthworms to allow for natural ventilation. She is currently marketing these boxes to other farmers and stores.
Grocery stores like Clifton Market and Kroger have had overwhelmingly positive reactions to Fritz’s eco-friendly packaging. When she tells them that the boxes are sustainable, they often don’t even need to try the produce but are sold by the environmental consciousness of her business. The produce manager at Clifton Market, Chris Payne, confirms that the reaction of customers has also been very complimentary. He remembers one woman who specifically did not want the plastic clam shells and pledged her loyalty to Fritz’s boxes when she first saw them.
Fritz concedes that her boxes cost slightly more than the traditional containers. By her estimates, a quart box adds about five or six cents to the 24 cents it costs for a plastic clam shell. However, this extra expense is balanced by a lower shipping cost, as her boxes are sold flat.
Using recycled boxes and bags to ship goods beyond fruits and vegetables could propel the entire transportation industry towards being more eco-friendly. When a company uses lightweight, sustainable packaging, they reduce their carbon footprint because they are not consuming as much of the environment’s finite resources.
A company can also improve their brand image when they turn to eco-friendly production. Young people are especially likely to favor brands with an eco-friendly message As with the customers’ positive reactions to Fritz’s produce seen in Clifton Market, eco-friendly packaging shows that the company cares about the environment and is making tangible efforts to help it. In a recent study, 78% of customers between the ages of 18 and 72 felt more positive about a product when its packaging was made of recycled items.
Going green undoubtedly attracts customers to a business, and as businesses start to recognize that, they are looking for innovations like Fritz’s boxes to incorporate into their stock.