The Customer’s Challenge
One of North West Europe’s leading retailers was seeking a packaging partner to supply a complex selection of trays and film to completely overhaul their current in-store meat counter display. There were a number of criteria both the products and supply company needed to meet in order to fulfil their requirement.
- The ability to provide a bespoke offering.
- High clarity offer.
- The bespoke offering to include retailer branding
- The ability to work quickly and with a high degree of flexibility.
- The product range needed to have demonstrable environmental credentials.
- The trays needed to be lightweight, but maintain rigidity for shelf display.
- The trays needed to be designed to minimise and if possible eradicate any potential issues of browning of the meat which can occur if the design does not facilitate perfect oxygen access to all parts of the meat cut.
- Films needed to be compatible with a number of different packaging machines.
- Films needed to be printed in order to further improve brand identity, customer recognition of the specific meat type from a distance and attractive presentation
- The ability to work to tight deadlines. LINPAC’s Approach
LINPAC’s basic philosophy is to work in partnership with our customers to develop creative packaging solutions which meet their individual requirements and challenges.
A project team was formed combining both tray and film experts from LINPAC with packaging technologists from the customer with a view to developing and evolving a range of tray and film concepts before finally arriving at the final designs.
In the first weeks of the programme LINPAC offered a series of innovative options to the customer addressing the key objectives. In short order this palette of options was refined until a target design concept was arrived at. This was then performance tested through packing lines, through the chill chain and then tested for consumer acceptance and recognition in full scale store trials. Once the design decision was validated, and over a period of a few months LINPAC invested over €500,000 in new, clever tooling technology to produce the bespoke range of lightweight Rfresh PET trays developed by the team. The final tray included a unique ribbing design offering the shelf life, rigidity and protection required by the customer, at the same time meeting his requirement to maintain an attractive red colour in the meat at all times.. To alleviate the need to include obtrusive soaker pads in each tray the design included a built-in absorbency feature which further enhanced product presentation and shelf life.
Using a minimum of 50% post consumer recyclate the Rfresh PET range of trays offered the customer an environmentally smart solution and a win –win situation. Rfresh PET meets all the EU legislative requirements for food contact use coupled with preservation of fresh meat, fish or poultry for up to 10 days in a conventional chilled distribution system. The traditional qualities of clarity for product presentation and thermal stability for food safety and efficient machinery use are maintained but the use of post consumer recyclate in the mix and the fact that the trays can be recycled at the end of life substantially reduces their environmental impact.
Simultaneously LINPAC’s film experts identified two types of film to work in conjunction with the Rfresh PET trays - LINTOP PE HB A40 and LINTOP PET HB 35 and then worked closely with the customer’s branding team to develop the range of 70 printed top films currently used today. The primary requirement of each film was its ability to run on different packaging machines with the minimum amount of disruption to settings.
Initially the customer needed 60 tonnes of film to be manufactured within the first five weeks of the contract across the 70 Skus. To oversee this major project a technical expert based in our film plant in Pontivy was appointed to handle the pressures of quality and quantity, manage deliveries and machinery settings to guarantee a smooth and efficient transition over a two week period from the original pack format and into the new one. The films were printed in up to six colours and incorporated anti-fog properties to ensure that the transparent parts of the design gave clear product visibility to the consumer.
“The team at LINPAC Packaging have worked closely with us to ensure that they deliver a product that meets with our exacting packaging standards and those of our customers.
“We were impressed by LINPAC’s ability to tailor-design a product especially for us and their combined offering of trays and film. They listened to our requirements for packaging which not only preserves and protects food but which is eco-friendly too. LINPAC quickly put forward solutions which we could develop and take forward. The level of customer service and technical assistance was a key factor when considering which packaging manufacturer to choose. We believe that a strong working relationship has been established for the future.”
For further information, on how LINPACs approach to Partnership Innovation can work for you contact firstname.lastname@example.org