A fresh pair of supermarket packaging concepts unveiled

Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC), is introducing a pair of fresh packaging concepts at this week’s International Dairy Deli Bakery Association show in Anaheim to meet consumer needs for convenience, high quality and safe foods. Both concepts support trends in home meal replacement and enable retailers to sell more food by presenting it in clear, convenient packaging.

One new design centers on customizable fresh food packaging options while the other offers a tamper-evident design to bolster customer assurance about food safety and freshness.

Both designs are made using Milliken’s NX UltraClear polypropylene that’s suitable for use in hot and cold cases and can be microwave reheated.

PlasticsToday  sought more information about these developments from Emily Blair, Milliken & Co.’s business development manager for the Plastics Additives business.

Plastics and packaging play a leading role at Plastec East and EastPack, which are part of a 6-in-1 event, New York City Advanced Design & Manufacturing, June 13-15. For more information, visit ADM NYC website.

What can you tell us about the customizable design (shown above)?

Blair: It was created for consumers who want customizable fresh food options. This new concept, developed for the deli/prepared foods department of supermarkets and grocery stores, will enable shoppers to select one item as a snack, or choose multiple items to create a small meal. The individually packaged containers will be on display at IDDBA in two sizes, 10oz and 20oz. They can be used with a customized tray that enables multiple containers to be carried safely and also doubles as a plate.

All components of the customizable packaging concept of tray, individual containers and lids were designed for thermoforming. It’s important to note that the packaging sizes and configurations that are possible with Milliken’s NX UltraClear PP are extensive.

Milliken TE packagingWhat does the TE design (shown at left) bring to the table?

Blair: The second innovative packaging concept is a TE design. While tamper-evident packages made with PET have been available for many years, this is one of the first clear PP designs to offer tamper evidence. This new container also has several other innovative attributes that improve merchandising, convenience and safety. At IDDBA, we will be featuring a 16-oz. round container that is crystal-clear, hot fill and microwave safe, and is fully recyclable. It can be used for a variety of food application including meal kits, ready-meal options, etc.

What’s the market status for these developments?

Blair: The customizable packaging concept was developed in conjunction with leaders in the food manufacturing, packaging design and grocery store sectors. It will be unveiled for the first time at IDDBA and we expect the community’s reaction to be quite positive. Likewise, the tamper-evident packaging concept will be launched for the first time at IDDBA, and its unique clarity and other innovative features are sure to be well received.

What's pushing interest and growth in packaging transparency?

Blair: The crystal clarity of NX UltraClear PP enhances visual appeal and in-store merchandising of today’s highly popular ready-to-eat and made-to-order foods. Customers associate clarity with high quality and purity. Clear packaging instills trust and confidence that the food consumers are purchasing is fresh and the retailer or brand owner has nothing to hide.

What other attributes are important?

Blair: NX UltraClear PP is suitable for hot-fill applications, warming in supermarket heated displays and microwaving for at-home or on-the-go reheating. Milliken’s technology is the first plastic to combine high clarity and heat resistance.

The ability to use each container for both types of applications simplifies ordering, streamlines logistics and improves space management in the back of the store. As an added benefit, NX UltraClear PP is easily recycled to meet industry and consumer demands for greater sustainability.

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