Agrow also worked with the supplier of the steaming bag, M&Q Packaging, to come up with a folding process that makes It easy to insert the steaming bag on an automated packaging line. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Mike Recchia, Agrow Fresh president.
The 11 x 17-inch MQ36 bag is a 1-mil, oil-resistant, nylon structure that is oven-safe up to and including 400 deg F and meets FDA standards for high-temperature cooking. It’s delivered to Agrow Fresh pre-folded to the size of a match book and inserted into a 24-oz bag of fresh potatoes. At meal time, just open the MQ36, fill it with potatoes and seasonings, close the bag using the plastic tie provided, and pop into the microwave for 12 minutes.
According to Recchia, Agrow Fresh is the only one at this time providing shoppers with a steam bag packed with the fresh potatoes. “Agrow Fresh is about understanding what consumers are looking for and answering it,” says Recchia. “We wanted to take fresh and convenient, and put them together.” They tested many seasonings combinations in their kitchen and liked the results, but had to hunt for steam bags in the supermarkets without success. “We came to M&Q with the challenge and they not only had the right bag, they came up with folding process that makes inserting them easy.”
Currently, Agrow Fresh has “Simply Season & Steam” and private label packages in supermarkets from the mid-west to the mid-Atlantic region and can see broadening the product line by moving into purple, Yukon, and white potatoes. “They’re all fantastic in a steam bag,” adds Recchia.