ULMA Packaging has entered into an agreement with Cranswick to launch its pork products in quad packs.
The packaging has already had great success with chicken sold to Asda supermarkets across the UK.
Artic Q flowrapper
The ovenable polyethylene quad pack comes with complete modified atmosphere (MAP) for extended shelf-life and is manufactured on a horizontal flowrapper, the Artic Q, to create an enhanced version of the pillow pack style bag, suitable for a whole chicken that can go straight into an oven.
Simon Millar, business manager machine sales, ULMA Packaging, told FoodProductionDaily there is a big shift in the UK towards ‘tray skins’ and the company is a contender for an innovation award with Asda.
He said prior to the quad pack there were limitations with packaging for poultry.
“The material would make the poultry look green in colour and was not very nice on the eye in the supermarket so it never took off,” he said.
“But the tray skin material developed year on year and now you can present chicken quite nicely in a skin application which is obviously very good. The idea is that it comes in a polyethylene material, you pierce a hole into the film and put it straight in the oven.
“You don’t have to touch it, so there is no risk of campylobacter. You literally put it into the machine, the material is wrapped around the chicken and self-contained and the polyethylene has a receptive element to it and you cook it in the bag.”
Speaking to FPD at Interpack 2014, in Dusseldorf, Germany (May 8-14), Miller said the material was developed in conjunction with a supplier in Telford and Asda, and took one year to come to fruition.
“The packaging lends itself to any product and it’s already been launched on pork with Cranswick in the UK,” he added.
“The presentation is high-end. It is designed to open easily when it’s hot because you don’t want to burn yourself with all the juices.
The way the packaging works is once the envelope of the bird is produced (with or without tray), the Artic Q equipment seals the film from four corners to create a box-like effect. This allows the packer to print on both sides to improve shelf appeal.
The product is marketed and prepared with different sauces and spices to allow the consumer to choose the flavor he/she likes best.
Cranswick announced in February last year it was opening a pork packing plant in Hull, creating 100 jobs.
The announcement was made after the company reportedly secured a £30m contract to supply pork products to a national supermarket chain.
Cranswick Country Foods employs about 5,000 people across the region and supplies 25% of the UK's premium pork products.