Atlas Produce Sees Success from Recently Launched Sustainable Bag, Coachella Facility, and More; Luke Fountain Discusses
BAKERSFIELD, CA - With a new bag, a spike in volume, and one of the newest facilities in town hitting its stride, Atlas Produce is poised for the fall date season.
“Our new bag launched spring of 2022 and we are very excited about what we are seeing,” Luke Fountain, Sales, shares. “Our team committed to reducing our plastics by 40 percent by 2023, and this new 1 lb bag for Medjool dates accomplishes not only that, but offers a lot of front-facing, easy-to-read marketing.”
Additionally, Atlas has leaned into more automation, securing quality and cost-savings for its customers as labor, materials, and miscellaneous cost inputs continue to cause challenges.
“Bag machine packs reduce labor costs, which drives prices down all around. We are always looking to trim cost while maintaining quality, providing products easy to pack while ensuring they still implement the tools to sell,” Luke points out.
Atlas even designed its new bag to allow dates to settle in the pack with fewer layers, maintaining each fruit’s best shape and quality.
“We are very intentional on how products will be packed and maintained through their journey from us to the store level when innovating our packaging. We are adaptable and versatile in what we offer, with care in how we go about those offers,” he explains. “We are in the third year since finishing our Coachella, California-based, state-of-the-art facility, which is BRCGS certified and the newest of its kind in the area. At 90 percent automation, using laser optics to sort dates for consistency while giving overall savings even in this unprecedented economic situation, these are key moves we were able to implement before they became necessary.”
Watching the upward trend in costs combined with demands for less plastics, Luke says, is what drove Atlas to go into automation, making changes on a timeline which enabled the company to get ahead of those potential hikes and adapt quickly to market changes.
“Most importantly, we ensured this and any other new pack we explore is more accessible to retailers, meaning dates will be increasingly accessible to consumers in the near future,” Luke concludes.
And the timing couldn’t be better, with increased volume over last year there is plenty of fruit to be sold. With packaged goods offering opportunity for marketing and branding advocacy, as well as riding the waves of healthy eating, it looks to be a strong date season for Atlas and those it serves.