Trevelyan's Pack and Cool has won a gold medal at the print industry's annual national Pride in Print Awards in the packaging category for its new avocado box.
The Te Puke company won the award for avocados packaged for the BayFarms brand for the domestic New Zealand market. The box was designed by Tauranga agency King St and was submitted to the awards by printer Oji Fibre Solutions.
Trevelyan's avocado manager, Daniel Birnie, said BayFarms was a well-established grower-owned company known for its high-quality fruit and consistent supply.
"We pack avocados 12 months of the year for them, but we were using blank, standard industry boxes," he said. "We saw a great opportunity to increase BayFarms' brand awareness and create something that would really stand out from our competitors.
"Together with King St, we came up with BayFarms' new 'seal' or stamp of approval, attached to a woven background, which has an orchard feel to it."
King St general manager Tim Paton said the aim was to design a box that felt authentic, familiar and trustworthy. "We wanted to create that farmer's market look and give people a sense of the fresh, high-quality fruit that is waiting inside."
Trevelyan's has packed more than 400,000 trays of avocados in the past 12 months, but estimated that figure would double to 700,000 trays as the industry prepares for a record-breaking new season.
Avocados typically bear more heavily in alternate years, and in the past season supply has been low and prices have been high.
"This year has been one of the best years in the last two decades in terms of returns to growers," said Mr Birnie.
"Next season is due to get under way about mid-June and consumers will have access to a lot more fruit, as avocado trees have set an enormous crop."
According to Avocado New Zealand data, in the 2014-15 season, New Zealand produced a total of 7.1 million tray equivalents, 4.5 million of which were exported.
Final figures for 2015-16 have not yet been released.