lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Right Idea, Right Time

Angie VanWashenova, Sales & Business Development Manager, Four Star 
Dave Konsoer, Director of Sales for Proven Winners.

The search for a groundbreaking new container started a few years ago at Proven Winners®, resulting in the exciting new Eco+ Grande™ branded container, available for 2022. See how this container was developed to benefit growers, retailers and consumers.

It was 2019 and the folks at Proven Winners were looking for ways to reduce dependence on single-use plastic products, says Dave Konsoer, Director of Sales for Proven Winners. “We looked at where the plastic industry was going and realized that we would have to do something different. Foreign countries had just recently stopped accepting American waste for recycling and some places were starting to ban plastic materials. The plastic recycling model was broken.”

“Proven Winners has been a leader in our industry,” he recalls. “Our goal was to be proactive by creating the first of what we hope will be many eco-friendly containers that will resonate with consumers. We started searching for alternatives that will help reduce the amount of single-use plastic going into the environment. We looked before at a lot of materials, but they were either too expensive or didn’t fit with Proven Winners’ white branded container identity.”

Something for Everyone

“In addition to finding the right materials for a new container, we wanted to create something that would do the job for everyone — the grower, retailer and consumer,” Konsoer says. “What we needed was a container that would hold up in various grower production systems, from flood floors to benches with overhead watering. We wanted to make sure that there wouldn’t be any disruption to the growers’ existing production schemes. Then, we needed something that would hold up and look good on the retail bench. Finally, we wanted something that could be planted directly in the ground by the consumer and was compostable,” Konsoer explains.

Proven Winners tested many different materials under different conditions, as well as different rates of nutrients built into the wall of the containers. He said the tests were done in greenhouses as well as in typical retail conditions. “To simulate plants being held in the retail environment, we kept them multiple additional weeks on the bench, which is longer than most plants stay there,” he adds.

Angie VanWashenova, Sales & Business Development Manager, Four Star 
Nutrients in the walls of Eco+ Grande containers feed the plant at the roots.  Shown here is SUPERBELLS® DOUBLE TWILIGHT™ Calibrachoa.
Angie VanWashenova, Sales & Business Development Manager, Four Star 
Snap-off tabs on the Eco+ Grande container allow this SUPERTUNIA VISTA® BUBBLEGUM® Petunia to be planted directly into the soil.

The version that Proven Winners selected works for everyone — the result was the Eco+ Grande container. Konsoer explains, “It was exciting. When planted in the ground as a consumer would, the Eco+ Grande container, with its nutrients in the container wall, grew plants as big, and with as many flowers, as if a consumer had added continuous release plant food and grown in a traditional plastic container! And growers won’t need to adjust their fertilization practices because the nutrients in the container release over time. For retail display, we included four tag slots and use the patented Self-Symmetricize™ container and tray system (the Eco+ Grande fits into the existing plastic Grande™ container trays).”

“The Eco+ Grande container is made from plants, which I believe will resonate within our industry but most importantly, with consumers,” he says. “Additionally, to create even greater success for the home gardener, nutrients in the walls of the container feed the plant where the roots are, reducing fertilizer run-off that can come from overhead watering and feeding. The container will then break down over time, turning into inert, organic compounds.”

Seeing the Vision

With most plastic pots ending up in the landfill, this alternative may be the ideal answer for today’s market. Konsoer says the response to the Eco+ Grande introduction “has been really strong, and many people have immediately seen the vision. Whether it is a new or seasoned gardener, I am confident the environmentally friendly benefits of the Eco+ Grande container will please many consumers.”

Angie VanWashenova, Sales & Business Development Manager, Four Star 
The new Eco+ Grande containers are made of a compostable bio-polymer that is injection molded to include Proven Winners’ graphics.
Angie VanWashenova, Sales & Business Development Manager, Four Star 
Proven Winners plans to have one million Eco+ Grande containers in inventory for 2022.  They are designed to fit into existing trays and have the familiar Proven Winners graphics for easy identification by consumers.

Proven Winners has committed to having one million Eco+ Grande containers in inventory for 2022, and they will be available for growers to purchase to use with Proven Winners plants. The Eco+ Grande is designed to be similarly sized to Proven Winners’ highest volume container, allowing it to fit into growers’ existing production schemes, as well as fitting into existing carrying trays. The new containers will be printed with the company’s familiar high quality branded graphics, along with features and benefits messages, to support retail merchandising and to tie into the 10.5-billion consumer marketing impressions planned for the 2022 gardening season.

“Eco+ Grande containers work for all our customers and for the environment,” Konsoer adds. “They are made in the United States, and they work for growers, retailers and consumers. We’re very excited about this introduction!”

The Eco+ Grande containers are available for the 2022 growing season from Four Star for Proven Winners annuals and other Grande lines, such as Proven Harvest®. For more information call 734-654-6420, visit or email  To find out more about the Eco+ Grande container, click here.