Until three years ago, trays with lids were the most common packaging used for soft fruit in the European retail sector. The situation in this segment has changed a lot recently. Recyclability and logistics issues are becoming increasingly important, which is why supermarket chains are interested in top-sealing fruit with traysealers. The tray and the topseal film are made of the same material, which allows for full recycling of the packaging, said Maciej Chmielewski from Milbor PMC – a distributor of sealing devices from the British manufacturer Packaging Automation.
This type of packaging has many advantages: not only does it save on packaging material and staff costs, but it also prevents fruit from being damaged during transport, added Chmielewski.
Manufacturers have recently become increasingly aware of the consequences of using disposable packaging made from plastic and other non-recyclable materials. Consumers are increasingly turning to eco-friendly products packaged in biodegradable packaging. On the other hand, the food industry is looking for solutions that are appealing to customers in technologies to maximize the marketing space for products. This has resulted in changes in the way fruit, vegetables, and other foods are packaged.
Being a member of the European Union and exporting to its countries entails the requirement of placing labels on food products. An additional advantage of topsealing is the possibility of printing directly on the topseal film, which is ideal for this purpose due to its form.
The flat surface of the stretched film makes it possible to additionally place the manufacturer’s marketing elements on it, such as logo, product information, or other eye-catching thematic graphics, explained Maciej Chmielewski from Milbor PMC. Traysealers support multiple packaging formats, depending on customer needs. Standard trays, shaker packaging, pails, two or three compartment packaging, and break-away packaging are just a few options. Customers are choosing ever different shapes and sizes in order to stand out”, he added.
Half-kilo pails popular with blueberry producers
Last season, pails were the most popular choice for packing blueberries. This trend was already developing in the Netherlands and Germany last season.
According to Maciej Chmielewski: Pails are a very good solution mainly due to their capacity – you can pack half a kilo of fruit in them, which makes them attractive both for smaller producers packing manually and for big ones using weighing machines. Besides, they are very convenient to transport and carry.