Inc. published a short feature this month about our Baker’s Dozen Egg Carton. Ordinarily, I might have indulged in an exclamation-pointed announcement about this. I’m duly flattered, of course, to be mentioned in a national publication.
It seems moot (even tone-deaf) however, for me to be crowing about business publicity during our shared global pandemic. But, if not now, when?…
Remaking a Classic Packaging Design
The 13-egg carton was a design exercise for Randy Ludacer.
Then an egg farmer called.
Randy Ludacer likes tweaking classics. As a graphic and packaging designer, he’s designed a package for coat hangers that resembles a shirt, a puzzle cube-like box that holds souvenir candies, and a pasta sauce label whose barcode wraps around a fork like spaghetti. But he had no client or market in mind when he was fooling around on the web one day and thinking about egg cartons. Why not, he wondered, make a carton for a baker’s dozen of eggs? Not that it would have any practical benefits. After all, he had no egg farms as clients…
… Some 1,200 miles away, in Gretna, Nebraska, on the outskirts of Omaha, Chad Wegener was collecting eggs from the chickens he raises at Willow Valley Farms, a 40-acre spread by the Elkhorn River. One morning’s harvest with his 9-year old nephew yielded 13 eggs, a baker’s dozen. If only there were a carton for 13 eggs, thought Wegener, it would certainly set Willow Valley Farms apart from the crowd at Omaha’s farmer’s markets. Scouring the web for a baker’s dozen egg crate, he came across Ludacer’s blog. A few phone calls later, and the two were in business, aiming to produce and sell the odd-shaped cartons…
…But the pair discovered that industrial egg producers can’t use the innovative carton because their packing machines are set up to fill only two row egg boxes. Instead, they envision selling to small farms, which can use the carton to differentiate themselves at local markets…
But, all tone-deaf crowing aside, things are actually pretty quiet here at BEACH right now. We’re self-isolating at home (like we always do) so Covid-19 wouldn’t have prevent us from doing our (mostly non-essential) work. But, with so many stores closed (and not accepting deliveries of new merchandise), most of our projects are currently on hold.
Closing of Farmers’ Markets
Ironically, although they provide wholesome (and essential) foods during this time, some regions (citing the pandemic) have closed their farmers markets. Mainly in congested areas.
While New York State specifically exempts farmers’ markets from the “mass gathering” prohibition, GrowNYC has selectively closed certain greenmarkets. And we see some similarly selective closings in California.
USDA waives Egg Grading Rule
And about eggs, in particular, this just in:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking immediate action to assist the American egg industry in redistributing the current inventory of safe, high quality table eggs from foodservice warehouses to retail distribution to support the surge in consumer demand for this staple food.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rapid and dramatic shift in demand away from eggs produced and packaged for foodservice use towards those suitable for sale at supermarkets. This shift has created a temporary misalignment in the supply chain.
To support a robust supply of high quality table eggs, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is immediately waiving the provision which prohibits official grading for eggs over 21 days in age or which have previously shipped for sale (7 CFR 70.3). This temporary deviation from the voluntary grading regulations will help meet consumer demand by allowing eggs recently shipped to foodservice to be returned to the origin farms for reprocessing, repackaging and grading for retail distribution.