Boxed rather than bagged apples for Vergers Paul Jodoin

Concerned about the complexity of recycling plastic bags, the owners of Vergers Paul Jodoin have developed new cardboard packaging, which has recently appeared in a few targeted supermarkets.

The small cardboard boxes put forward by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste company are thus intended to be a simple and ecological alternative to the plastic bags in which apples have been wrapped for almost half a century, notes the Vice President Sales and Marketing, Pierre Jodoin.

"We are told that this is a good idea, but is it something that people will adopt? It takes a long time [to] change consumer mindsets, especially for a product that has been sold like this for 50 years, "said Jodoin.

According to him, however, apple producers and packers have no choice but to move and opt for an option more in line with the philosophy of sustainable development. The amount of bags of apples purchased annually by Quebec consumers is more than 14 million, he says.

"We said to ourselves that it was also good to move before having things imposed on you," says Pierre Jodoin.

The family business has been working on the project for about a year. In an ideal world, the boxes would be made from recycled cardboard, says the entrepreneur. But the cardboard box manufacturer with which Les Vergers Paul Jodoin works has, for the time being, expressed reservations about the resistance of recycled cardboard.

The new cardboard container, printed in the colors of the trademark “Tradition Verger” - a reminder of Tradition juices from the transformation division of the SME - is nonetheless 100% recyclable in blue bins, rejoices those who work within of the company with his brothers François and Sylvain.


Packing round apples in small square boxes, for example for the format of four kilos, is still complex, says Pierre Jodoin. “There is a management of fruit size to be done to maximize packaging. You can't put big apples with small ones. It won't fit, ”he says.

According to the vice president of sales and marketing, the packaging of fruit in cardboard boxes could possibly be mechanized. "These are investments that pay off well when there is a certain volume. Which we don’t currently have because we are testing the ground and approaching customers with that. We will not embark on investments of $ 100,000, $ 200,000 without knowing how consumers will react, whether they like it or not, "notes Pierre Jodoin.

The new packaging will be put forward for a few months in seven Metro supermarkets in the Montreal region. The retail price is identical to the price of bags of apples of equivalent quantity. "We could have done it elsewhere in other regions, but geographically it's easier to get data and people's reactions. Once a week, we go around to see how it goes, "said the business executive.

The latter believes that Vergers Paul Jodoin is somewhat of a pioneer in the field of apples with this new type of packaging, which is also used, among other things, for the packaging of clementines.

The company met with representatives of the various large food chains, "where decisions are made", to present this novelty. “The decision-makers are thinking. [...] In the meantime, we make ourselves known and we show the good sides, "says Pierre Jodoin.

Les Vergers Paul Jodoin is definitely in innovation mode. Last fall, the SME announced that it has launched the production of Smitten, a new variety of apples with crisp, juicy and sweet flesh, developed by New Zealand researchers. In Quebec, the company is sort of at the head of the "production club" of this variety.

Source: Le Quotidien

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