Developments in Fresh Produce Packaging – Part 02

As said in my previous article Fresh Produce Packaging, today we will see the Squircle clamshell of Hollandia, the Two Piece Display-Ready Asparagus Shipper, the Peel/Reseal Apio Squash Package Ocean Mist’s microwavable artichokes and Pattruss, the tetrahedral shaped salad bag from Japan.

Hollandia Live Gourmet Butter Lettuce
At the recent conference of the Produce Marketing Association the squircle clamshell of Hollandia Produce LLC won one of the five 2011 PMA Impact Awards for Excellence in Packaging.

The new Squircle design is an attractive improvement on the antiquated design of Hollandia’s Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce. An eye catching, colourful and communicative label compliments the new design and acts as a tamper evident seal for the new package.
One of the important factors that consumers told Hollandia through test markets and additional focus groups was that they wanted a clamshell they could open and close with one hand.

The new Squircle design (A squircle is a special case of a superellipse that has both the properties of a square and a circle) incorporates the best features of both a square and a circle to create the ultimate package for living lettuce.

Hollandia Produce LLC claims that the new form and function of the Squircle design reshape and optimize the space utilized to package the lettuce and enables automated packaging systems. Additionally the new form eliminates unused space in the master carton allowing for a 20% increase in units per pallet. A 15% source reduction in RPC PETE used to make the clamshell has been achieved and the new harness style companion master carton used to ship the product reduces total annual cardboard used to package the product by 40%.

Two Piece Display-Ready Asparagus Shipper
Gourmet Trading Company, a North American distributor of fresh asparagus and blueberries, won the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) 2012 AmeriStar Packaging Competition with its Two Piece Display-Ready Asparagus Shipper.

Developed in 2010 by Gourmet Trading Company and California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo the package offers the unique ability to be converted from a shipper to a display in the matter of seconds without the use of a box cutter.

The Two Piece Display-Ready Asparagus Shipper is filled the same way as a regular 11lb asparagus shipper. The simple instructions on the package make it easy for retail store employees to separate the top from the tray. The tray can be displayed on a 60 degree shelf creating a clean presentation with branding.

The display tray can hold bunches of asparagus vertically to enhance display appeal and to keep the butt ends in contact with a water-saturated pad. This moisture pad at the bottom of the tray keeps the asparagus looking fresh.

The shipper is made of corrugated polypropylene and accommodates manual set up and packing, while they can be palletised 20 per tier in an eight-tier stack for shipment.

The design of the die-cut, two-piece shipper maintains ventilation areas for hydro-cooling and fumigation of the asparagus and weighs the same as its predecessor (9.6 oz) yet has 27% greater compression strength.

The new design was validated against physical and ambient environment-related abuse experienced during distribution through the pre-shipment test standard ASTM D 4169.

Peel/Reseal Apio Squash Package
The thermoformed Peel/Reseal Apio Squash Package was developed by Clear Lam Packaging and provides consumers with an intuitive easy opening and closing feature for portion control. The peal/reseal film eliminates the need for traditional rigid lids and shrink-bands. The technology is incorporated into the lidding film, which can be printed to maximize branding opportunities. The film also can be hermetically sealed to a tray to help extend freshness.

Processors can apply the new peel and reseal lidding on conventional tray sealing lines. Modified atmosphere packaging can also be incorporated. The new package can be used for cut vegetables, fruits and other food items.

The packaging received at the recent conference of the Produce Marketing Association one of the five 2011 PMA Impact Awards for Excellence in Packaging.

Ocean Mist microwavable artichokes
It is well-known that many consumers view preparing of artichokes as the major barrier to purchase. Offering prepared artichokes makes eating fresh artichokes easy and convenient. The ability to pre-season the artichokes (prior to cooking) is an exclusive convenience attribute to the produce department.

Ocean Mist Farms new “Season & Steam” microwavable artichoke bag features two, fresh artichokes that are cleaned, trimmed and ready to cook. The packaging gives users the option to open the bag, pre-season the artichokes to their preference, then reseal the package and steam by microwave. All within the same bag.

The bag, which was in test market at retail stores in northern California last fall, is now more widely available at grocery stores.

The “Season & Steam” microwavable artichoke bag was a finalist in the PMA’s annual innovation in packaging awards competition. The company was one of five fresh produce companies named a packaging innovator by the Produce Marketing Assn. (PMA). The award recognizes companies with exceptional produce packaging that demonstrates “out-of-the-box-thinking” and makes an impact on consumers.

Pattruss, the tetrahedral salad bag from Japan
The tetrahedral shape is well-known, particularly due to the introduction of the Tetra Pak tetrahedron, years ago. In flexible packaging it was used in the past because its truss structure is strong against crushing. With the original opening style of Pattruss, this simple bag provides innovative usefulness.

Besides protecting the contents to the point of consumption, the shape of the bag itself can be changed into a boat, functioning as a dish when it gets torn from the centre of one edge. This boat shaped opening allows easy pick-up and quick eating without preparing dishes.

The Pattruss Z (Zed) is an extra-large tetrahedral bag with zipper. The bag is designed especially for salads. It has a reclosable zipper seal to maintain freshness, for example of leaf salads. The film material is strong enough for the bag to be opened and closed many times but it can also be torn open for immediate use.

The company claims that Pattruss is comparable to rigid packages (clam shells) in terms of protecting content, but weighing less, using less material, while the freshness of the produce lasts longer due to the level of oxygen.

More fresh produce packages to come.

2 responses to “Developments in Fresh Produce Packaging – Part 02

  1. Hello Anton,

    Just recently found your website!
    Great stories and photography!

    I am very interested in the squircle clamshell with the lettuce. Could you let me know the supplier of this packaging?

    Many thanks and kind regards

    • Bauke, I can’t give you the name of the supplier as it is a proprietary design of Hollandia’s Live Gourmet and I doubt they will give you the right to copy the design or buy their clamshells. You always can try it. Visit their website (click the link in the article) and contact them. That’s all I can do for you.

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