Consumers are demanding better quality, convenience, and sustainability in meat packaging. In their meal preparation, they want healthy options that are easy and convenient to prepare, which includes more sustainable packaging for meats. For producers of meat and poultry, this offers them a chance to come up with innovative meat packaging solutions that are convenient and attractive, which will also protect the food’s flavour and reduce food waste. In response to the demand, here are a few innovative meat packaging solutions to watch out for. If you are looking for the best of the best sustainable coffee packaging then you’ve found it!
1) Vacuum Skin Packaging
Consumers make their decision on which meat to buy based on the meat’s shelf life and the presentation. These aspects also impact whether or not they want to eat it once they bring it home.
Vacuum skin packaging is a popular packaging innovation. It can extend the meat’s shelf life by allowing the meat to mature inside the packaging. This helps retain the meat’s quality, and it reduces food waste.
Vacuum skin packaging cuts down on the amount of packaging materials needed to protect the meat. Compared to other types of food packaging methods, this approach is more cost-effective. In a process called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), the oxygen level inside the packaging is reduced, thus adjusting the air composition. A machine removes the air around the food and replaces it with a gas mixture that has a lower concentration of oxygen. This reduces oxidation of the food and discourages the growth of microbes.
In VSP, however, the air around the food is removed, but it is not replaced with another mix of gas or air. VSP prevents the food from being exposed to any level of oxygen. It allows the food to stick to the protective film and tray a lot more closely. This reduces any risk of the food sustaining any physical damage, and thus, the product’s shelf life can be extended.
As the shelf life is extended, skin packaging also helps the food retain its flavour and quality.
Compared to MAP, a VSP solution like Amcor SkinTite gives the meat a second skin. It creates a stronger barrier to oxygen and water vapours. Shelf life can be extended around 20% more. The packaging prevents leakage or drips from the meat, and it reduces food waste.
2) Sustainable Packaging Options
Consumers want high product quality, but they also want sustainable options, as do retailers as well. This demand from the consumer and retailers prompted the industry to develop recyclable meat packaging.
In 2019, retailer Asda in the UK repackaged their whole lines of steaks in trays that are 100% recyclable. It removed their Farm Stores, Butchers Selection, and Extra Special lines of steaks from over 23 million black plastic containers. As a result, the company saves 700 tonnes of plastic every year. This move is in line with the company’s continued promise to “use less and recycle more.”
In a recent survey of what European consumers prefer in terms of sustainability, 83% said they usually check the package for instructions on proper disposal of the packaging. This shows that consumers are becoming more mindful in the packaging choices they make.
When a company answers consumers’ demands for more sustainability, it connects with customers and show that their brand is committed to improving the environment.
This is the intention of Amcor’s Eco-Tite® R solution that was launched in Europe. It is the first PVDC-free shrink packaging that is designed to be recycled. It is used for cheeses, poultry, and processed meat.
Eco-Tite® R can reduce food waste, maximise shelf life, and keep food safe for consumption. It can be recycled in existing recycling streams for polyethylene (PE) plastics. This allows more consumers to enjoy food that hs a longer shelf life while being able to recycle their packaging for meat, poultry and cheese.
3) Cooking Without Frustration
Consumers welcome solutions that are easy and convenient. Convenience packaging solutions fit right into what consumers want in terms of time-saving and nutrition. These solutions provide proper portion control and reduction of food waste.
A study from Mintel showed 81% of consumers prefer packaging that is resealable over ones that that are not resealable. Around 54% are willing to pay more for packaging that provides portion control, resealability, and other enhanced features.