Villita Avocados has debuted a new bag for retailers seeking to make their produce departments more sustainable. With a label made of paper film and netting composed of cellulose fiber yarn from Forest Stewardship Council-certified eucalyptus wood, the bag is 100% plastic-free. The netting is TÜV certified home compostable and industrial compostable. Villita is the first produce company to offer this innovative packaging in North America.
Consumer demand for sustainable products has been well established; 47% of consumers surveyed are concerned about the environmental impact of fresh produce packaging, according to the 2023 Sustainable Packaging Report from Winsight Grocery Business, and 37% of those who consider the environmental impact of packaging would be willing to pay more for sustainably packaged produce.
Villita’s pursuit of a plastic-free bag, however, began with an internal demand for sustainability – from owner Alfredo Rodriguez Sr. He challenged his team to find more ways for the company to contribute to protecting the environment. Avocado bags presented a significant opportunity; essential for driving consumption, bags represent a large portion of Villita’s business, and that business continues to grow.
“We knew that the more bagged avocados we sold, the more taxing on the environment, because what are you going to do with the bags?” said executive vice president Rob Ybarra. “We knew that we needed to take a big step forward and put our stake in the ground for sustainability. You have to be committed to do it, and the company is. We feel it’s worth it. We feel it’s essential for the future, and we’re all in.”
The bags will be available for organic and conventional avocados beginning in late 2023. Ybarra noted that initial interest in the bags has been strong.
“Everybody wants to do their part to protect the environment,” Ybarra said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this. When we partner on sustainability initiatives, we’re part of something bigger, something that’s so consequential. Can you imagine the huge positive impact? Then as we tell that story to consumers, the effect multiplies. This is a game-changer for bagged avocados, and we’re proud to be part of it.”
Retailers interested in learning more about the new bag may contact Villita executive vice president Rob Ybarra at email@example.com.
About Villita Avocados
Pharr, Texas-based Villita Avocados has grown, packed and shipped Hass avocados from Mexico for 30 years. Villita recently increased its volume substantially with the addition of fruit from Jalisco, which opened to the U.S. market for the first time earlier this year. A third-generation family business, Villita is run by Alfredo Rodriguez Sr., CEO; his son Alfredo Rodriguez Jr., CFO; and his daughter Laura Rodriguez, vice president of human resources and marketing. Alfredo Sr.’s wife, also named Laura, is co-founder.