ackaging in the all-important perimeter has
become more vital to success in fresh than
ever before. From quality and healthfulness
to convenience and safety, today’s fresh
packaging needs to convey a clear and powerful message
that can in;uence a consumer’s purchasing decision as
much as the product within.
“One area where there is tremendous packaging inno-
vation is in prepared foods, which is growing at the fastest
rate among the dairy, deli and bakery categories,” says Eric
Richard, education coordinator for the International Dairy
Deli Bakery Association ;IDDBA; in Madison, Wis. “We
also see meal kits becoming more and more important,
where all of the components for a meal—and maybe even
a couple of drinks—can be carried in one easy package.”
To compete with the numerous home-delivery meal kit
services, a growing number of supermarkets are expanding
their strategically packaged meal kit solutions. In Decem-
ber, Cincinnati-based Kroger announced the extension of
its Prep;Pared Meal Kits to four new divisions.
As it focuses on rede;ning the in-store experience in
tandem with its Restock Kroger plan, the company said it
will rapidly accelerate the footprint growth of Prep;Pared
Meal Kits, said Robert Clark, Kroger’s SVP of merchandising, earlier this year. All of the fresh, seasonal ingredients
in the kits are prepped and measured to provide customers with only what is needed for each recipe, so there is
no waste. Cooking time for each meal kit is about ;; minutes, and the kits feed two adults for ;;; to ;;;.
The latest innovative packaging solution from Canada’s Transcontinental Packaging was developed to o;er
supermarkets the opportunity to package fresh seafood or
poultry meals with vegetables using store-brand chef-in-spired recipes, spices and seasonings.
Created by the teams at Robbie in Lenexa, Kan., the
Oven N Done bag—which can go directly in the shopper’s oven or microwave—“gives supermarkets a way to
increase their perishable sales by o;ering their customers convenient prepackaged meals that are fresh and
healthy,” says Rebecca Casey, senior marketing director
for Transcontinental Packaging. “Online meal deliveries
and Uber Eats are changing things rapidly, and supermarkets need to broaden their o;erings and approach if they
want to win this battle. For the supermarket perimeter
to win this challenge, they will have to o;er more value-added, convenient and a;ordable options.”
Transcontinental’s Robbie facility also developed the
Steam N Eat Pouch for fresh-cut produce. The micro-waveable pouch is designed with customized laser venting technology that allows the produce to cook evenly.
“Grocery delis are becoming the new destination point
for fresh lunch and take-home dinner options,” says
Carrie Cline, product manager for Inline Plastics Corp.
in Shelton, Conn. “We are seeing more grocery stores
invest in their deli and produce departments—adding
enhanced lighting, attractive displays and clear packaging
that showcases the fresh food they are o;ering.”
Clean and Clear
When it comes to fresh packaging trends, clean
and clear attributes are critical in coaxing shop-
pers to buy. “Consumers want to see the product,
and they want to know what’s in it,” says Richard of
IDDBA. “People are reading labels more than ever
before, and as a result, clean labeling has become
In its top global food packaging trend forecasts
for ;;;;, the market researchers at Mintel pre-
dict that “clear and succinct package messaging
will be rewarded as consumers prefer brands that
Convenience, quality and better-for-you-foods are driving
innovation in fresh product presentation. By Jennifer Strailey
Robbie’s Steam N Eat
Pouch can be heated
in the microwave.
in the microwave.