Linpac Packaging has launched a new range of packaging to meet demand for chilled retail prepared and convenience foods, marking its first foray into the market.
The Freshware range is the first to emerge from its newly created Freshform division and complements existing operations in the meat, fish, poultry, bakery, fresh produce and foodservice sectors, said the company.
It will consist of packaging for prepared fruit and salads, dips, sandwich fillers, fresh pasta, pizza, prepared vegetables such as those in stir-fry packs, chilled bakery, cooked meats and prepared fish.
Planned further launches include interlocking containers in various sizes, which allow consumers to mix different food items such as salads, cooked meats and sauces to create meals. They can also be used to create combinations of starters, mains and desserts.
Sealant technology developed for Linpac’s Rfresh Elite trays for fresh meat and poultry will also be incorporated into some of the new Freshform products.
The technology delivers lightweight packaging that creates a secure seal with the lidding film, removing the industry standard laminated polyethylene base film. All trays are 100% recyclable.
Chilled retail convenience market
“The chilled retail convenience market is worth €145bn across Europe and has continued to grow at a steady rate throughout the recession when many other markets have stalled,” said Joanna Stephenson, Linpac vice president of innovation and marketing.
“For this reason, the sector is highly competitive but we have a well-established, trusted brand which will assist us in gaining a foothold in this market and for it to become one of our largest categories.
“LINPAC Packaging already has relationships with many key players in this market due to the close alignment with our existing sectors, particularly foodservice, and we will be working closely with our customers to develop opportunities and ensure we continue to deliver service and solutions which are in demand.”
The UK retail convenience market grew by 3.4% in 2010 to reach a value of €17bn and volume grew by 2.2% in the same year to reach 2.66bn kg, according to Linpac.
2015 market forecast
In 2015, the market is forecast to have a value of €20bn, an increase of 16.4% since 2010, and a volume of 2.95bn kg, an increase of 10.8% in the same period, said the firm.
“The chilled retail convenience market has blossomed in the last few years, supported by a string of changing consumer trends,” said Stephenson. “People are leading busier lives and want to be able to eat well and enjoy new things without it impacting on their ‘me-time’ despite the recession.”
The Freshware launch follows a major investment by LINPAC Packaging to develop its Freshform business.
New highly flexible thermoforming capacity has been installed at its Featherstone site in the UK to enable the fast turnaround supply of new designs for the prepared foods market. Linpac expects to make further investments at sites Germany and Poland.