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Packaged With A Promise: A Q&A With Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging

Packaged With A Promise: A Q&A With Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging

Onion—an aromatic, versatile vegetable with a distinct flavor that has been harnessed by the cuisine of countless cultures.

Sweet potato—a consumer-favorite root veg that finds itself in a variety of creative dishes, whether it be in the middle of a family dinner table or centered in a simple, healthy snack.

Citrus—from grapefruit to limes, lemons, and oranges, it’s a category that knows no limits in terms of application. Salads, proteins, cocktails, and more have all benefited from the addition of high-quality citrus varieties.

At this point, you may be questioning, “Peggy, why are you listing out the alluring qualities of these high-traffic produce categories?” Better yet, “What do they all have in common?”

This is where Fox Packaging comes in. Each of the aforementioned categories is being uplifted by the innovator’s Fresh Mesh Wicketed® packaging, which establishes a platform for increased efficiency and convenience while paving the way for aesthetic brand enhancements.

From the information I’ve gleaned from Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, I can assure you this is a fresh produce game-changer.

Peggy Packer: Let’s start from the beginning! When Fox Packaging first developed its Fresh Mesh Wicketed packaging, what was the primary goal?

Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging: Our main objective was to create a bag design that would add convenience and efficiency to packing on standard poly bag-filling equipment. Slightly different from our Fox Fresh Mesh counterpart, the wicketed bag design incorporates a horizontal band that wraps around the middle of the bag. It features wicket holes on the lip for automatic packing on our Fox Solutions Wicketed Bagger in the single or double model. This packaging application maintains ample print space to brand your products with custom graphics and messaging.

One of the primary benefits is that it extends shelf-life by letting the product breathe better. Because moisture and air can easily pass through the bag, products can be misted or iced with no negative impact on the material. Once packed, the Fox Fresh Mesh Wicketed bag offers a structured design that showcases products in an upright, customer-front-facing application that enhances the look and feel of a brand.

“This [Fox Fresh Mesh Wicketed®] bag has increased sales and customer satisfaction for our clients—including major retailers and fresh produce growers—due to its automation compatibility.”

Aaron Fox, Executive Vice President, Fox Packaging

PP: Convenience, productivity, and visibility all seem to be key draws for the bag. What has been the overall market response to this cutting-edge packaging development?

AF: The response to the Fox Fresh Mesh Wicketed bag has been impressively positive. This bag has increased sales and customer satisfaction for our clients—including major retailers and fresh produce growers—due to its automation compatibility. Another bonus is the ability of the Wicketed bagger to run multiple configurations such as the Fox Fresh Mesh Combo, Fox Combo Ultra Shield, and Fox Poly bags.

PP: Complementary to driving sales in the produce department, how does this innovation boost functionality and convenience for fresh produce providers and retailers?

AF: First, it can speed up the packing process by using automated or semi-automated machines that hold the wicket and fill the bags. It can also reduce the cost of packaging by using simple and lightweight materials, including the polyethylene materials we use to build our packaging application.


PP: Packaging is a crucial factor in optimizing the return on investment (ROI) of both the suppliers and buyers of a product. What role does this innovative offering play in increasing ROI?

AF: Ultimately, packaging is designed to extend ease-of-use to each of the touchpoints within the produce supply chain.

On the supply-side, packaging development can reduce the costs of production, transportation, and storage by using efficient materials and designs. It can also enhance the quality and safety of a product, as well as its shelf-life and the overall appeal of the application itself.

For buyers, packaging development can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing convenience, functionality, and information. Beyond that, it can influence the purchasing behavior and preferences of consumers by establishing a distinctive brand identity and value proposition.

PP: The Fox operation is clearly geared toward innovation and elevation. How do technology and other industry advancements play into the strategies and successes of Fox Packaging?

AF: Automation is important for flexible packaging because it offers many benefits for the industry and the environment. Among these advantages is the improvement of quality and consistency by reducing human errors and ensuring precise measurements and alignments—all while increasing the production speed and efficiency of flexible packaging by minimizing downtime and maximizing output.

Be it top-quality onions, flavorful sweet potatoes, or a curated selection of grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges, this ingenious packaging holds more than fresh produce. Inside the Fresh Mesh Wicketed bag is an ambitious operational promise—one that Fox Packaging intends to keep.