The demand for frozen food has seen a steady climb since COVID-19 first hit. Consumers have enjoyed the convenience of having frozen food as they can cut down the number of trips made to supermarkets, or they can reduce the number of times they have to make a meal from scratch at home. All varieties of prepared frozen meals have seen an increase in sales, from pizza to breakfast products to fruits and vegetables. As such, manufacturers have been scrambling to keep up with the rising demand for frozen foods and meeting the packaging needs from individually packaged meals to family sizes. Here is a quick rundown on what is new in frozen food packaging.
Flexible packaging is a reliable solution for preserving frozen food items such as seafood, chicken, fruits, vegetables, pre-made meals, finger foods (like chicken nuggets) and many other foods. Common examples of flexible packaging are stand-up pouches retort packaging or pillow pouches for individual meals or bulk products for multiple uses. The bulk pouches or bags will come with press to close zippers, which may contain individually wrapped servings or exposed product. The benefit of press-to-close zippers on a flexible bag saves space in the freezer, keeps individually wrapped products organized, and helps minimize freezer burn to exposed product. Additionally, pouches provide exciting branding opportunities that can help brands stand out from the competition.
Sustainability is a trend that is here to stay. From the way a product is manufactured to how it is packaged, consumers consider the effort made by the company to save the environment. Flexible packaging is a great option for brands that want to reduce their carbon footprint and make packaging more sustainable. Flexible packaging materials also aid in waste reduction, as they use fewer resources than their traditional counterparts. More and more flexible packaging frozen food products have plastic recycling symbols giving consumers an avenue to recycle the package and feel better about their impact on the environment. The combination of recyclable plastics, biodegradable plastics, and cardboard boxes is how the frozen food industry is moving towards sustainability.
3.Portion Control Capabilities
Health consciousness among consumers and global obesity concerns have resulted in mounting demand for portion control packaging and single-serve portioning. Portion control capabilities not only make it easier for consumers to eat healthier portions, but it also reduces food waste from spoiled leftovers. Manufacturers are providing consumers with a variety of single serve meal options, giving them the ability to eat healthy, good tasting foods without overeating.
The main convenience for frozen food is that the meal is prepared. It just has to heat up in the microwave or be cooked on the stove or in the oven for a short period. There is a lot of new packaging for frozen foods that is more prepared to be put directly in the oven or in the microwave. Most frozen packaging is not set up for direct oven or microwave placement yet, but the packaging that is oven or microwave ready is making mealtimes more effortless than ever before.
Packaging Solutions from Waldner North America
Waldner North America specializes in automated filling and sealing packaging equipment like pouch filling machine and spouted pouch filling machines for shelf stable food products in cups, trays, pouches and spouted pouches. Waldner DOSOMAT systems are available in both rotary and inline configurations, with capacities ranging from lower outputs up to high performance, high output solutions. Waldner teams bring creative package designs to the market, supporting brand differentiation and making new packaging innovations a reality.