The demand for ready-to-eat (RTE) poultry packaging at retail foodservice operations is forecast to rise 4.6 percent annually to $450 million in 2021, according to a recent study, “Poultry Packaging Market in U.S.,” from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, Ohio-based industry research firm.
Aiding this demand is a rosy outlook for store-made prepared foods as shoppers keep seeking convenient, affordable meal options requiring little to no preparation, the study found. This trend will in turn spur demand for a range of packaging solutions, among them domed plastic containers, trays, bags, and foil containers.
Grabbing the largest share of demand in the RTE poultry packaging market will be plastic containers, as a result of the proliferation of large domed containers for rotisserie chicken and roasted turkey breasts. “Gains will exceed the product average, due to the fact that roasted chicken and turkey are some of the most popular products in this segment,” notes Freedonia analyst Katie Wieser.
Paper bags and folding cartons, normally including windows, are also used in this segment for fried chicken, while plastic film and trays are used for such RTE items as prepared chicken breasts, and smaller portions of roasted and fried chicken.
Additionally, Freedonia’s “Meat Packaging Market in the U.S.,” released in February, found that the demand for solutions that extend the shelf life of packaged meat or improve the marketability or mature processes meats will drive gains for value-added boxes, films, trays, and other rigid and flexible packages, although pouches and plastic containers will grow the fastest as they steal some share from other packaging types in the frozen and processed meat segments. The industry researcher believes that markets that capitalize on consumer demand for minimally processed foods and clean labels will perform best.
Milliken’s Clear Packaging Advantage
Milliken & Co.’s NX UltraClear polypropylene (PP) packaging material is the first plastic to combine glass-like clarity for improved aesthetics with heat resistance for heating and reheating, according to the Spartanburg, S.C.-based supplier. In contrast to traditional clear plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), NX UltraClear PP can handle hot-fill applications, warming under heat lamps and microwaving, so consumers can reheat foods or heat up semi-prepared items without having to place them in a different container first.
Additionally, the company points out that NX UltraClear PP is the only high-clarity plastic that delivers high-temperature performance up to 250°F degrees, depending on the food being heated. The material’s heat resistance also enables containers to be cleaned in the dishwasher and reused.
Milliken further notes that the material can also be used for packaging cold foods like salads and fresh deli items.
“Consumers across multiple age groups, from Millennials through Baby Boomers, are looking for ways to eat healthier without giving up convenience,” says Emily Blair, Milliken’s business development manager. “Our NX UltraClear PP helps supermarkets and c-stores make fresh prepared foods more appealing at the point of purchase and easier to reheat and consume at home or on the go. Crystal-clear containers made from our material reinforce the message of health, purity and quality. As an added benefit, NX UltraClear PP is easily recycled to meet industry and consumer demands for greater sustainability.”
What’s more, the material has a lower carbon footprint than other plastics, and it overcomes limitations of PET, polylactic acid (PLA) and polystyrene (PS) for thermoformed packaging.
Side Delights Scores With Flavorables Packaging
Fresh Solutions Network (FSN) has received an American Packaging Design Award from New York-based publication Graphic Design USA for the Side Delights Flavorables fresh potato package design featuring a vibrant color palette.
“Capitalizing on consumer flavor trends that are HOT, HOT, HOT, we challenged the design team to communicate the bold flavor combinations while providing package designs that would be just as stimulating visually on the shelf,” says Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of San Francisco-based FSN, a group of family-owned potato and onion growers and shippers, “We designed the packaging for a consumer that wants to be excited about their food choices and who loves the convenience of preparing quick, healthy, flavor-forward meals.”
The American Packaging Design Awards are bestowed not just for visual design, but also how the product and packaging address specific market trends, marketing objectives and target markets.
The packaging for the three-SKU Flavorables line – 1-pound microwaveable trays of high-quality, triple-washed red and yellow petite potato varieties with sachets of spice blends – was designed to appeal especially to adventurous millennials in search of new, bold flavor experiences, and also features clearly marked labeling for consumers interested in vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free alternatives.
FSN helps fresh potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales by delivering category insights, collaborative innovation and customized assortment.
For more information, read the main story, "Perimeter Packaging Solutions Elevate Portability."