A new year has started and the kids are back at school. Parents everywhere are looking for healthy snacks to pack in their children’s lunchboxes, and pre-sliced, packaged fresh fruit is the answer to many prayers! Thankfully, with the scientifically advanced fresh fruit packaging available today from companies such as PerfoTec, pre-cut fresh fruit stays fresh for far longer than with conventional packaging.
A fascinating pilot study conducted at several schools in the States revealed that fresh fruit consumption in the school cafeteria rose by an average of 61% when the fruit was sliced instead of being served whole. Many children find whole fruit difficult to eat because they have missing front teeth, or they wear orthodontic braces. Sliced fruit, on the other hand, is quick, easy and fun to eat.
And it’s not just children who like eating pre-cut fruit. In another study, figures show that people, in general, consume up to 40% more fruit if it’s already peeled and cut. These days, convenience food definitely doesn’t mean junk food – there is a growing demand for healthy and convenient options that are easy to eat on the go. The study even went so far as to predict that within the next few years, because of the continuing demand for healthy convenience food, many consumers will only eat fruit that has already been peeled and cut.
Ready-sliced fruit is also ideal for disabled people, such as those suffering from arthritis and other diseases affecting the mobility and dexterity of their hands. Jennifer Hacker, for example, suffers from peripheral neuropathy and poor grip strength. “Pre-cut fruit and vegetables are a lifesaver,” she says. “I have stopped cooking anything I have to chop or slice first because the pain is so bad.”
Fresh Fruit Packaging – The Case For The Environment
Many environmental groups are very vocal in their disapproval of pre-sliced fruit and vegetables, saying it creates unnecessary packaging, which is harmful to our planet. But there are many valid counter-arguments to this.
Firstly, if the fresh fruit packaging used is recyclable or compostable, such as with PerfoTec’s modified atmosphere packaging, the effect on the environment is greatly reduced. And secondly, selling fruit and vegetables pre-sliced encourages more people to buy them, which supports the global move towards eating a more vegetarian diet. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in the US concluded that eating less meat could reduce global mortality by up to 10%, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70%! The authors of the study found that over 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to our food system, of which up to 80% of is associated with the production of livestock.
There is no doubt that the pre-sliced and peeled fresh fruit market is growing – for a variety of reasons. Which is not surprising when the value of a single pear increases by over 700% when sliced! Experts predict that the fresh sliced pear market could be worth $100 million in the US alone within the next five years. The fresh-sliced apple market is already worth around $500 million.
Mapflex is excited to be part of this growing evolution in consumer preferences. We are the proud supplier of PerfoTec’s polymeric modified atmosphere packaging film, which is biodegradable by composting, and can also be recycled. It’s the ideal fresh fruit packaging solution. If you’d like to know more about this amazing product, please contact us today.