The UK ready-meal packaging market is growing an average of nearly 6% annually; one retailer has revamped its food-to-go packs in hopes of taking a bigger bite.
The Co-operative engaged Paragon Print and Packaging, along with design firm Equator, to help create a refreshed look for foods in its Loved by Us line of convenience foods. The products include sushi, sandwiches, flatbreads and pastas, which are found in three varying label, film and cartonboard packaging configurations supplied by Paragon.
Market intelligence firm Key Note reports that the UK ready-meal market increased 5.7% in 2012. Chilled items, like those in the Loved by Us line, tend to be perceived as being of higher quality.
Brooke Fletcher, marketing manager for packaging design at The Co-operative, said the company’s branding goals required high quality, consistent appearance and a shelf presence that appeals to consumers.
“The launch of our new Loved By Us design marks a distinct change for the Co-operative as we look to strengthen our own brand packaging offer,” she said. “It was important we worked closely with Paragon to ensure we achieved absolute color consistency on shelf across all packaging substrates.”
The Co-operative is rolling out redesigned packaging on all of its 2,500 private-label items under the Loved by Us flag. The food-to-go range are the first to hit the shelves.
According to Paragon representatives, the company invested in group-wide color-management systems and implemented them over the past year and a half. Paragon’s team and Equator staff used these systems to help ensure a consistent appearance across the various product packages.
In addition to a refreshed look, the upgraded “skillet” format packaging also improves the products’ sustainability profile. Use of sustainably sourced cartonboard reportedly cut use of plastic by 90% and reduced carbon footprint by 61%.
Iain Ferguson, environment manager for The Co-operative, said the redesigned packaging fits the food company’s overall green goals.
“We continually strive to reduce the carbon impact of our packaging without compromising on the quality or shelf life of the products inside,” he said. “Selecting this skillet for the sandwiches allowed us to maintain the shelf life while reducing the carbon impact.”
Paragon will continue to help The Co-operative revamp all of the packaging for its Loved by Us products in the months ahead.