Simone Austing on the new T.O. Plastics 450 Square Pot

“We added tag slots to our pots to meet requirements from growers and retailers”

“Building on our 450 Square Pot, we added tag slots on each side of the pot to provide ample and flexible branding opportunities. Hanging tags of all sizes easily slide into the tag slots on the superior engineered guide ramp,” Simone Austing, Marketing Manager at T.O. Plastics, explains about their newest product, the 450 Square Pot with Tag Slots, one of their highlights on display at Cultivate’21. During the development, they took the latest requirements of growers and retailers into account, and they are already receiving positive feedback of growers appreciating the convenience and versatility of the design.

The team of T.O. Plastics at Cultivate’21 

New requirements of retail and growers as inspiration
Austing explains that the development of this new pot was the result of retailers and growers having new requirements. “The first trend that led us to product development was retail making a shift to tagged product, and they wanted the tags fastened to the container, not in the soil. Secondly, customers were asking for a 1-quart pot with an in-container tagging capability. With this information we saw the opportunity to pursue a new generation of our legacy SVD-450, redesigned to meet the new requirements growers and retailers desired.” As a result, T.O. Plastics spent a lot of time in the research and prototyping phases of product development to ensure they were hitting every pain point for growers, while also considering the varying requirements from retailers. “We worked closely with several industry partners, including automation equipment companies, tag manufacturers, and labeling equipment manufacturers, to ensure compatibility for most growers’ requirements; then we presented a solution to some of our grower partners to prove out our proposed design.”

The 450 Square Pot with Tag Slots 

The advantages
According to Austing, after nearly 18 months of market research, engineering, designing, testing, and adjusting, the 450 Square Pot with Tag Slots hit the market with a number of advantages. “First, we engineered a guide ramp for easy and efficient tag slot entry. Second, there is a tag slot on each side of our square pot for built in redundancy, while also streamlining set up in grower operations. Lastly, the pot, in combination with the low-profile carry tray provides ample space for branding plus holds 10 pots securely in place for safe transportation and production. Because there were already similar products in the market, we made it a priority to enhance the key features of this pot.”

“A small but mighty addition”
The primary differentiator from the traditional pot is the tag slot, located on each side of the square pot. “This small but mighty addition makes it possible for growers to add branding to their products and accommodate any variation of retailer branding requirements, including hanging tags, adhesive tags, or stake tags. It also allows smaller grower operations to utilize the press fill system (a productivity alternative when automation isn’t available) with a tag slot feature which has not been available on the market until now.”

“Growers appreciate its versatility”
This one-quart square pot is recommended for edibles, bedding plants, nursery stock, perennials, and berries. Austing mentions that the tag slot pot and low profile carry tray (the 10-Count Carry Tray) makes this product set a great option for plants that will end up in a retail environment. “At the moment, a number of growers are reviewing and assessing this pot for their unique operations, and many are placing product orders to begin using as early as the autumn, and others for spring. So far, we have received extremely positive feedback from growers, as they appreciate the versatility of the design. The tag’s guide ramp design and the 4 slot locations on each side of the pot have been the favorite features, with automation compatibility being another well-appreciated benefit to this square pot and tray duo.”

For more information:
T.O. Plastics
Simone Austing 


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