4 Fresh Produce Applications Where Retail-Ready Packaging Is Gaining Ground
KEYWORDS Freedonia / Freedonia Group / produce / produce packages / produce packaging / produce trends
A new Freedonia Group analysis projects retail-ready boxes to be one of the fastest growing packaging types used in the fresh produce industry through 2024, with the strongest increases anticipated in the $3.5 billion fresh vegetable and salad packaging market.
Though traditional corrugated boxes will remain the dominant box types used in fresh vegetable and salad applications, the report finds that retail-ready boxes continue to increase their share of demand based on their added convenience by providing the benefits of prepackaged produce for retailers along with the selection of bulk produce bins, which consumers often prefer. Highlighted below are four key produce applications where use of these value-added boxes is growing, according to the report.
Tomatoes Will Remain the Largest Market for Retail-Ready Produce Boxes
Tomatoes will remain by far the largest application for retail-ready boxes used in fresh vegetable applications and comprise the largest single share of sales gains through 2024, growing 5.0% annually. Modular retail-ready boxes are often preferred in these applications because they showcase the tomatoes and feature attractive graphics.
Salad Continues to Be Key Outlet for Retail-Ready Boxes
Though much smaller than the tomato market, salad will remain the second leading market for retail-ready boxes, with 5.5% annual growth anticipated through 2024, as use of retail-ready packaging increases with bagged salad mixes, as well as salads packaged in clamshells or other plastic containers.
Penetration Increases in the Potato Market
Though also from a small base compared to tomatoes, demand for retail-ready boxes in the sizable potato packaging market is forecast to rise 5.4% per year through 2024, as use of retail-ready boxes expands for both loose and bagged potatoes.
Fastest Growth Expected for Smaller Volume Vegetables
The fastest growth in retail-ready box demand is expected for carrots, mushrooms, onions, and smaller volume vegetables such as sweet potatoes, bolstered by the increasing popularity of modular produce boxes in these applications due to their convenience. Though from a small bases, retail-ready box sales in these applications is projected to exceed 6% annually through 2024, with double-digit percentage growth expected for mushrooms.
Looking for More about the Fresh Vegetable & Salad Packaging Market?
“Fresh Vegetable & Salad Packaging” is now available from the Freedonia Group.
This study analyzes the U.S. market for fresh vegetable and salad packaging (i.e., fresh, minimally processed vegetables, as well as salad mixes and fresh-cut vegetables). Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 are presented for produce packaging demand in current US dollars (including inflation) by product and application.
Demand is also discussed by four material categories: plastic, paper and paperboard, molded pulp, and other materials (e.g., cotton mesh, foil wrap, plastic mesh, wood, textiles).
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From carton liners to bin liners to pallet shrouds, Xtend® MA/MH bulk packaging solutions are available for over 60 fruit, vegetable and herb types in a range of sizes.
Xflow™ is a series of MA/MH films with varying water vapor transmission rates, ideal for automated flow packing of fresh produce as an alternative to manually packing in bulk liners.
Rev up consumer interest by displaying your freshly-preserved produce with attractive, easy-to-identify and easy-to-handle packaging. Options include Xgo™ lidding films, preformed bags, flow packs, and standing pouches.
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What Customers Say
Since we started using StePac’s fully recyclable top seal solution for cherries, litchi, stone fruits and pears, we have noticed a reduction in waste and quality complaints from our customers. This has a lot to do with the shelf-life extension properties of the product. Furthermore, since the product is hermetically sealed it helps enhance food safety. This is driving sales of our products in the e-commerce sector. We are now looking to expand the use of the film to other fruits.
Haviv Aharon, CEO, Rafkor
The Xgo standing pouch is a remarkably high performing product, with an unrivalled ability to retain freshness and meaningfully extend product shelf life. The Feedback from our customers has been excellent; they’re really happy with the quality and attractive appearance and the fact that it has that sustainability edge consumers are seeking.
Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Coordinator for Divine Flavor
StePac’s Fully Recyclable Sustainable Packaging Solutions Brochure
July 14, 2022
We are very proud to share with you StePac’s Fully Recyclable Sustainable Packaging Solutions Brochure. A range of fully recyclable modified atmosphere packaging products that support a circular economy.
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Using Amerplast’s fresh produce packaging to pack your crop, you can help consumers enjoy fruits and vegetables at their best. The important features of our fresh produce packaging are durability, breathability and product visibility, combined with good-looking print. Like all of our packaging, it also gives you numerous other advantages, including excellent runnability in your production and amazing looks. This makes your products stand out from the competition and become known for their freshness and stylish outlook.
Our multilayer polyethylene bags are ideal for potatoes and vegetables, such as carrots, beetroot, and other root crops. Thanks to their multilayer composition, we have been able to make them thinner than bags produced from mono film, yet offer you better mechanical strength. Good machinability comes as standard with these bags, as you can run them very easily and reliably on the latest packaging machines, both semi- and fully-automatic. Manual packing is also possible.
We offer a wide range of lidding films for fresh food packaging applications. Our high-performance lidding films protect the packed fresh food products and increase shelf life, while providing optimal runnability on packing lines.
Our V-folded film, supplied as an open-ended continuous tube, is excellent for simplifying your packing process, as packing and sealing is carried out on one and the same machine – keeping your costs down as well.
Both the European Union’s Circular Economy Strategy as well as the UN’s sustainable development goals are aiming to reduce food waste by 50% by the year of 2030. This will require actions throughout the food chain.
People are increasingly interested about healthy lifestyles which includes eating more nutritious and healthy foods. They enjoy natural and fresh foods and are paying attention to the chemicals added to food products. The AmerFresh Active Packaging System will extend your products’ shelf life without any added chemicals.
Sustainability is one of today’s key trends and future requirements. Recyclability and the use of recycled or renewable bio based materials are the features now sought after in sustainable flexible packaging solutions.
INCREASED SHELF LIFE WITH AMERFRESH ACTIVE PACKAGING SOLUTION
Despite best farming practices, cold chain and transportation infrastructures, food waste continues to be a significant issue from delivery to retail to consumption also in the developed world. The AmerFresh Active Packaging System can reduce waste by up to 50%. AmerFresh represents a great sustainable packaging solution for fresh-cut vegetables and fruits, contributing to reduced food waste and a better environment.
Developed in concert with PerfoTec BV, the AmerFresh Packaging System uses the latest R&D intelligence specific to fresh-cut vegetables and fruits, Amerplast high-performance film and printing technology and the PerfoTec laser perforation system. It also works in complete synergy with fresh-cut packing equipment.
FRESH PRODUCE PACKAGING
Packaging integrity is critical to secure product freshness is maximized in the produce industry. Packaging plays a crucial role in preserving product taste, aroma, texture, and yield – without it, produce is prone to perish, ultimately affecting profits. Tempo utilizes food-grade packaging that is ideal for all food protection applications from raw to fully-cooked food products.
Tempo Flexible Packaging leads the Canadian market for modified atmosphere packaging with our revolutionary TimeFreshTM film technology, which is offered in a complete series of pouches, bags, and films.
Our TimeFreshTM technology is engineered to maintain the appearance, texture, and flavour of fruits and vegetables without the use of preservatives while incorporating ethylene gas absorption and anti-fog technology.
FRESH PRODUCE PACKAGING OPTIONS
Our team will help you find a customized solution to meet any of your required packaging needs, such as negative temperature environment tolerance and highly permeable film to ensure that your produce is able to breathe.
We provide a wide array of customizable and sustainable pouch solutions such as stand up, side gusset, flat, and flat bottom pouches to suit your unique product and branding requirements.
With state-of-the-art slitting equipment, rollstock and sheeting are a big part of what we offer. We can make tabletop rolls with excellent geometry to match your exact specifications.
Leveraging our in-house extrusion department, we have mastered this popular packaging format and can address any specification you require while also offering you with excellent lead times.
FRESH PRODUCE PACKAGING OPTIONS
The invention is related to the packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables in the food industry. The present invention describes the synthesis of polyurethane films having different compositions by using monomers having distinct physical and chemical properties and the method of transforming them into films by using the casting method and the hot press method, and the packaging films produced by this method. Additionally, the use of this film is also described. The invention is related to the packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables in food industry. The present invention describes the synthesis of polyurethane films having different compositions by using monomers having distinct physical and chemical properties and the method of transforming them into films by the casting method and the hot press method, and the packaging film produced by said method and the use of this film.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) refers to changing the composition of the atmosphere around the food product inside the package. Modified atmosphere packaging allows the control of chemical, enzymatic or microbiological reactions and therefore prevents or reduces the effect of the factors which will cause deterioration of the product.
The accomplishments obtained from the studies relating to Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) of fresh fruits and vegetables are limited to the capabilities of available packaging material. While packaging materials having a high gas barrier feature is required for many food products, materials having particular gas permeability (breathable) are required in the packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables. Moreover, the exposure of fresh fruits and vegetables packed under Modified Atmosphere (MA) to ambient temperature after the cold chain has been broken during storage and marketing causes the inner package stability MA to deteriorate and depending on this, the product quality and shelf life is affected adversely. This results from the fact that the temperature and the breathing rate increase more, relative to gas permeability. In this context, the heat sensitivity of the gas permeability of the present commercial packing materials is insufficient. Packing materials whose gas permeability increases with heat, in a similar level to the breathing rate of fruits and vegetables can eliminate this problem.
Looking at the polymeric material applications existing in the packaging field, the most commonly used polymer for the MA packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables is polyethylene. However, by co-processing (co-extrusion) or combining (lamination) different materials l having distinct features, packaging materials having mechanical or optical features have been obtained. Commercial films such as Elvax® (ethylene vinyl acetate and low density polyethylene (LDPE) based), K-Resin® (styrene butadiene block copolymer), Attane® (LDPE octane copolymer) and the Affinity® series (polyolefin octane copolymer) can be given as examples to these applications. Micro perforation is another method implemented in order to obtain gas permeability of desired levels in packaging fresh products. In this method, perforations are made whose size (20-200 μιτι) and number per unit area varies relevant to the product and package and the permeability of the material is increased in this way. For the solution of the problem of exposure to high temperature and the dependant deterioration of stability MA in fresh fruit and vegetable product MAP, a limited number of studies and systems have been encountered.
In the master's thesis of Mirey Bonfil; polyurethane films having biomedical purity such that they have different castor oil/polyethylene glycol ratios and different polyethylene glycol average molecular weights have been prepared using polyethylene glycol, castor oil, hexamethylene diisocyanate and 1,4-butanediol, without using catalysers and solvents.
In the article of Mirey Bonfil et al. polyurethane films having biomedical purity such that they have different castor oil/polyethylene glycol ratios and different polyethylene glycol average molecular weights have been prepared using polyethylene glycol, castor oil, hexamethylene diisocyanate and 1,4-butanediol, without using catalysers and solvents. In the article of Hande Madra et al. oil-based polyurethane synthesis is described.
In the patent document number WO 2014138218A1, the production of isocyanate-based polyurethane adhesive is described. These polyurethane adhesives are used in food packaging.
None of the above described publications mention the use of said films during packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Forming optimum MA conditions containing gas components close to critical 02 and C02 ratios at the cold chain package headspace, typical of the product in the MAP of fresh fruits and vegetables, and maintaining the stability of the same until the consumption (during transportation, storage, marketing and consumption) is intended. The most important parameters in forming the inner package stability MA condition are, the atmospheric condition of the product and the breathing rate at heat and the gas permeability (02 and C02) of the package material used. Accomplishments obtained in the studies related to MA packing of fresh fruit and vegetables are limited to the capabilities of the present package materials. While package materials having high gas barrier features are required for many food products, materials having particular gas permeability (breathable) are required for the packaging of fresh fruit and vegetables. Gas permeability values of some packaging materials are given in Table 1.
FRESH PRODUCE PACKAGING
The permeabilities of two commercial ceramic-filled LDPE films were measured and compared with those of a plain LDPE film. The ceramic films have higher oxygen (02), carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethylene (C2H4) permeabilities, higher CO2 to O2 permeability ratio, and higher C2H4 to 02 permeability ratio. The temperature dependence of the permeability was found to follow the Arrhenius relationship. The data suggest that these ceramic films are more suitable than plain LOPE film for packaging fresh produce of high respiration rate.
FRESH PRODUCE PACKAGING APP
Fresh produce presents a unique challenge for packaging materials as fruit and vegetables continue to respire after harvesting. Therefore the packaging needs to play an active role in maintaining product quality and freshness. Matching the correct packaging to the product is vitally important to extending shelf life.
The NatureFlex™ range of compostable packaging films, based on renewable resources, compliments and aids premium bio/organic brands reposition themselves in the fresh produce sector.
Why NatureFlex™ Films for Fresh Produce?
Grower/packer benefit:- Excellent machinability provides efficient packing line performance.
Retailer benefit:- In-store waste can be sent to a composting or anaerobic digesting facility without unpacking; reducing time, effort and cost.
Consumer benefit:- “Feel good factor” when buying packaging from a renewable resource and ability to dispose of in their home compost bin
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