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Bags are a natural for organic cereals

In May, 2000, Barbara’s Bakery, a Petaluma, CA-based natural foods maker, began using oriented polypropylene “eco” bags to sell family-sized packages of its Organic Shredded Oats and Organic Puffins cereals.

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The 24- and 32-oz bags are new to the company’s line of organic cereals, joining 12- and 16-oz sizes in the traditional bag-in-box format.

According to marketing manager Linda Gerwig, flexible packaging for the new packs is appealing not only because it better accommodates large quantities, but also because it’s “greener.” Supplied by Progressive Packaging (Aurora, Ontario, Canada), the bag consists of a 0.7-mil layer of OPP adhesive-laminated to a 2 ½-mil layer of polyethylene. This structure provides the same nine-month shelf life as the B-I-B format the company uses.

Gerwig says the flexible packaging is less costly than a B-I-B format, which means Barbara’s Bakery can price its product 10% to 20% lower than it would if B-I-B packaging were used.

According to Gerwig, the product has been well received in natural food stores across the United States, where it retails for $6.99. “This has been our first opportunity to sell our organic product in environmentally preferred packaging, and we’ve had a very good reception,” she says.

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