Ryan Till, Product Manager — Packaging Materials, Flavorseal
We expect a lot out of our food packaging, especially processors in the meat industry. Packaging can
shape products, give them a distinctive look and can even be cookable. Packaging has to make products look appetizing while protecting and keeping food safe from contamination.
One of the newest and most exciting food packaging innovations to develop in recent years combines packaging with the ability to season foods at the
Seasoning transfer technology is
the application of seasoning blends to
plastic packaging. This technology began
with the application of spice blends to plastic sheets and has evolved to
include different substrates for application and larger particulates in the
In today’s flavor-focused food world, meat processors in particular
are eager to explore different ways of adding new flavors quickly
and easily to their production lines to respond to consumer demands while also increasing margins. Traditional application methods (by hand or by shaker) continually cause the same issues: inconsistent applications, messy production lines and increased labor
costs. Additionally, traditional spice application methods result in a
significant amount of wasted spice, making it difficult to produce a
consistently high-quality seasoned product.
The pre-application of seasoning to packaging through seasoning
transfer technology virtually eliminates these issues.
While this technology is currently available in limited formats (sheets and
casings primarily), there is significant potential to develop new and even more
innovative applications for this technology. u
Suley Muratoglu, Vice President, Marketing & Product Management,
Tetra Pak Inc., U.S. & Canada
Food manufacturers should be paying attention to package innovations that:
• Enable brand differentiation – Standing out on the shelf has never been more important, as that’s where buying
decisions are increasingly being made. Products can enhance consumer appeal with differentiated shapes,
sizes and graphics. Variations in package size, in particular, can enable and enhance channel penetration and
consumer segmentation opportunities.
Lightweight and compact packaging is friendlier to city-dwelling pedestrians and commuters who tend to shop
frequently rather than stocking up on weekends with cars. For these shoppers, package weight is an important consideration.
• Drive value – Lighter weight, more compact packaging is not just a boon for consumers. It can deliver higher efficiencies throughout the supply chain
for food and beverage manufacturers as well. That’s especially true for shelf-stable packaging that can be transported and stored without refrigeration.
For retailers, these modern packages can be much more shelf-efficient. Some traditionally chilled products have created center-aisle flexibility by moving into shelf-safe aseptic packages, freeing themselves from the crowded cooler.
• Enhance functionality and consumer experience – With the explosion of on-the-go consumption, package functionality has become an integral part of
the product, driving consumer experience in important ways. Our DreamCap, for example, which was a multi-year innovation initiative, was specifically
designed for smoother flow from packaging to mouth, enabling drinking while walking.
• Improve environmental profile – Advanced packaging materials that are better for the environment do double duty, offering value chain benefits and
raising the eco-profile of a product for green-minded consumers. There has been increased interest in “greener” packaging made from renewable materials, including post-consumer recycled content. Packaging companies are innovating to replace fossil-fuel-based packaging elements with bio-based
materials. Given population projections, greener packaging will doubtless move from novel to necessary in the near future. u