“Kroger Co., one of the world’s largest grocery retailers, recognized the value of implementing easy-open packaging,” notes Mike Rosinski, North American director of marketing to the smoked and processed meats sector for the Cryovac division. “One of the early adopters of the knife-free packaging trend, Kroger challenged Sealed Air Cryovac to migrate its easy-open solutions into their Private Selection brands of cheese within a 12-month timeframe. As part of this conversion, 10 SKUs from four different suppliers were migrated to Cryovac’s Grip & Tear packaging, totaling nearly 2 million bags in yearly volume. Kroger’s migration to easy-open packaging on a national scale demonstrates the growing need for retailers to eliminate risk behind the deli counter, and the company’s successful implementation of knife-free solutions provides a road map for smaller operations to protect their workers and businesses in the same way.”
Rosinksi adds that along with easy-open packaging, “cook-in-bag technology and post-pasteurization are trends on the rise for a reason. These new solutions allow delis to reduce the risk to employees, increase food safety by reducing potential for cross-contamination, improve worker productivity and minimize food waste.”
The company also works with suppliers to create customized solutions, as it did with Houston-based Perfect Fit Meals (PFM), a maker of fresh-crafted meals that needed packaging that helped eliminate cross-contamination in the production process through a seamless segmentation of meals for those with allergy and dietary restrictions. The result was a Cryovac Simple Steps packaging solution in several sizes that fit PFM’s quality and safety needs, while also presenting the meals in a practical and aesthetically pleasing way.
The future is sure to hold further advances in fresh packaging performance. As Inline Plastics’ Tilley observes, “Packaging innovations continue to be driven by customer requirements and unmet needs.”
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