Cardboard-Covered Strawberries? It’s a Change for the Better


Markon fresh strawberries to arrive in recyclable cardboard packaging.

Strawberries are getting a facelift. Don’t worry, they’ll still be as fresh and vibrant red and as delicious as ever when smothered in cream or dipped in chocolate. What’s changing is the packaging. Starting in July, Gordon Food Service and Markon are introducing a recyclable cardboard clamshell container.

The use of recyclable corrugated cardboard containers allows the packaging to be repurposed after it’s foodservice life and, at the same time, reduces the use of plastic containers.

The impact of plastic on the planet has been well-documented, collecting at landfills and polluting waterways. About 40% of all plastic produced is used in packaging, National Geographic reports.

The switch will start with the conversion of two-pound plastic Markon strawberry clamshells to cardboard, with plans to add one-pound containers. The move is expected to prevent 27 tons of plastic per year from reaching landfills or oceans. That’s the weight of about 60 grand pianos.

“Because Markon’s members span the North American continent and account for more than $27 billion in annual sales, we have significant power to make changes throughout the food chain,” says Rich Wolowski, President and CEO of Gordon Food Service and Markon’s Board Chairman. “We feel this bold move will open the dialogue about reducing plastic across the supply chain, from field to fork.”

The decision not only benefits the environment, it helps operators share a story of sustainability to consumers who are increasingly aware of human impact on the earth.

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