Two pioneers of the food packaging industry, Faerch Plast and Colpac Ltd (www.faerchplast.com; www.colpacpackaing.com) recently joined forces to develop an exciting pack design in conjunction with leading fresh prepared foods manufacturer, Bakkavor, for a new Tesco food-to-go range. The eye-catching yet functional pots are produced from a winning combination of CPET and paperboard which allows a choice of six appetising meal options to be heated in-store before being displayed in hot cabinets for purchase.
The food-to-go market continues to flourish with increasing demand for portable meal options, especially breakfasts and lunches which are more commonly consumed off premises. As a result, retailers are demanding new packaging formats that make eating on the move easier whilst also reflecting authenticity, premium quality and healthier choices.
This latest dual-ovenable C-vis® packaging concept, which is the result of a lengthy nine-month collaboration between the businesses, comprises a high quality black CPET pot from Faerch Plast and Colpac’s biodegradeable paperboard outer sleeve and lid. In line with Tesco branding requirements, the packs are litho printed with bold graphics by Colpac using specialist heat resistant inks.
Ideal for convenience and ready meal products, Colpac’s C-vis® packaging solution was originally developed in 2012, firstly as a microwaveable option, and then using Faerch Plast’s CPET pot provide a dual-ovenable version. Utilising approximately 30% less materials in comparison to a standard CPET sleeved product, the very thin inner and outer trays and paperboard or plastic lids are fully recyclable and supplied ready assembled for reduced handling time and costs.
Although Colpac’s C-vis® concept was readily available and well established in the market, a considerable amount of development work was involved in this project to determine the correct style and size of CPET pot. With lightweighting a major focus, the container selected by Bakkavor measures 112.5mm (diameter) and 85mm (depth).
In addition, Bakkavor had not used a paperboard packaging product before so needed to approve C-vis® for use. As part of this process, numerous C-vis® samples were supplied for extensive on-site testing, whilst Bakkavor’s Production Manager visited Colpac to ensure there were no potential contamination risks during the manufacturing process.
The pots are filled with one of the six meal options within the new Tesco food-to-go range: Macaroni Cheese, Bolognese Pasta, Chicken Tikka and Rice, Porridge, Chicken Jalfrezi and Rice and BBQ Pulled Pork and Rice.
Once filled, the packs are film sealed and lidded, and distributed to Tesco retail outlets for heating in-store using either microwave or conventional oven. They are then displayed in hot cabinets for purchase by the consumer who simply removes the film and lid to eat the meal directly out of the pack.
Faerch Plast’s well-proven CPET trays are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and styles. They are dual-ovenable and offer a wide temperature tolerance from -40°F (-40°C) degrees to 430°F (220°C) degrees, for freezer-to-oven or microwave convenience. With CPET, there are no negative effects on food flavour or aroma, ensuring consumers benefit from well-protected, more versatile and better tasting meals.