A Guide to Primary Packaging Alternatives for Proteins and Cheeses

Packaging Alternatives for Proteins and Cheeses

Packaging plays an essential role in the commercial success of food products. Like other product components, it's a necessary investment required to deliver a product that will inspire brand loyalty. It's estimated that 7-9% of a product's final cost is packaging related. Packaging is key to product protection, shelf-life, brand, and competitive differentiation and is increasingly playing a more significant role in the consumer's purchasing decision.  

In today's inflationary environment, food manufacturers must balance working capital needs and supply chain challenges with competitive imperatives like speed to market, sustainability, and increasing consumer expectations around ease of use and safety. With so much at stake, ensuring you are using the most suitable packaging for your unique application and customer requirements is crucial. 

Primary Packaging is of Primary Importance

Primary packaging plays an essential role in protection, safety, freshness, perception, and even how a consumer will use a food product. Because this packaging touches the product, the internal surface must be safe and suitable for food contact. Flexible packaging is most common and used in a film, pouch, or bag format when packaging proteins and cheeses. Each type of packaging has properties that influence gloss, opacity, moisture and oxygen transmission, machinability, printability, and more. These characteristics, in turn, impact the customers' perception of freshness, the ease of filling and sealing the product, durability in handling and shipping, needed shelf life, and display case impact. Selecting the packaging with the right characteristics for your application requires careful consideration of all these factors. 

A Guide to Common Primary Packaging Formats

Thermoforming Films

Thermoforming films deliver dependable performance to protect food products, as well as on-target optics that showcase them in the best light possible. These films are ideal for applications including both fresh and frozen foods, as well as pasteurized and smoked products, ready meals, other case-ready foods, and anything that needs to be packaged for rollstock lines. With up to 10 color flexographic & roto gravure printing, these films are customizable for the needs of your product. These films are also recyclable with PCR content, enabling organizations to choose sustainable packaging that will appeal to rising consumer concern for sustainability.

Lidding Films

Lidding films lock in freshness and grab customer attention. Lidding films are used with rigid trays, cups, tubs, and are available in variety of material combinations to provide the aesthetics and functional properties needed for the application. They are suitable for packaging a variety of food products, including vegetables, fresh fruit, meats, dairy products, desserts, salads, and sandwiches. These films are available plain or printed and offer a host of options, such as breathable to high barrier EZ Peel and anti-fog to off the best package for your product.

Vacuum Skin Packaging Films

Companies looking for an alternative to traditional case-ready packaging will find vacuum skin packaging (VSP) films to be an excellent option. VSP’s optics and a skin-tight fit promote product quality and freshness. This streamlined form of packaging is also a space saver, allowing for multiple display options while minimizing purge. The result is maximum impact in the case and extended shelf life.

Typically used to package meats, poultry, fish and prepared foods, vacuum skin packaging films have high barrier properties that lead to improved shelf life. The films feature outstanding clarity, allowing food products to stand out. VSP films can be used when forming rigid trays in line and with pre-made trays.

Vertical Form Fill and Seal Thermoforming Films

Vertical form, fill and seal thermoforming films allow companies to safeguard food products, extend their shelf life, and make them stand out in the display case. The appropriate specification of vertical form, fill and seal thermoforming films ensures high output speeds, reduced leakers, improved appearance and functionality, as well as material cost savings.

Whatever an application requires—be it bagging snack foods, frozen meats or liquid hot fill—this packaging option provides an optimal solution with readily available technology.

Vacuum Pouches

Vacuum pouches are constructed with various barrier properties and engineered to perform at the highest levels. Serving as a predictably reliable and low-cost packaging option, vacuum pouches ensure that proteins, cheese, and prepared foods are safe in the freezer and from puncture.

Stand Up Pouches

A continuing trend for retailers, stand-up pouches garner attention on the shelf while maximizing shelf space. Available in standard and high barrier formats, these pouches also include consumer friendly features such as re-closable zippers, easy-opening tear notches, and brilliant clarity. Metallized & foil laminations offer enhanced barrier and graphics options that protect your food product and maximize shelf appeal.

Retort Pouches

Retort pouches provide an improved alternative to traditional can packaging. They are designed to improve the shelf life of food products, providing high-quality laminations that withstand the high temperatures required in thermal processing. They also have tear notches for easy opening and are available in stock and custom options.

America’s Single Point of Contact for Food Packaging

SupplyOne provides all the food packaging options listed above, and more.  Known as “America’s Food Packaging Company,” SupplyOne is a single point of contact for primary packaging, custom thermoformed products, packaging supplies, packaging automation, and services proven to simplify packaging ownership to save time, money, and cash flow.

SupplyOne’s Food Packaging Specialists work with Food Processors, providing expertise and objective guidance to identify the right packaging solution for their unique application.  In addition to best-in-class stock solutions, SupplyOne’s team of packaging designers and engineers create custom solutions to optimize the package and achieve your business and operational objectives. Protein, cheese, and prepared foods producers looking to increase shelf-life, create display-case standouts, and withstand the rigors of transit and storage will find an ideal partner in SupplyOne.