In the last decade, flexible packaging has grown to the second-largest packaging segment in the U.S., according to a new study just released by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Flexible Packaging Market Assessment Report 2015 also suggests that while flexible packaging will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, the pace may slow somewhat.
The Schwan Food Co., based in Bloomington, MN, is looking to simplify its menu. This doesn’t mean the company is reducing its wide assortment of frozen foods. Instead, as part of a growing trend toward “clean labels,” it is planning to eliminate four ingredient groups with the goal of making foods with more familiar and healthy ingredients.
I recently met with Andrew Hurley, an assistant professor for the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, to discuss his research and practice, focused on optimizing the packaging design and development process by integrating eye-tracking technology. Hurley also is chairing the upcoming AmericaPack Summit, being held Feb. 22 and 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV.
The U.S. market for packaging equipment is expected to remain flat, or show a slight growth of about 1.6 percent for the remainder of 2015 and upcoming 2016, according to the State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report from PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
A major concern for the food industry is recruiting and keeping skilled technicians to maintain and operate the increasingly complex machinery that keeps their operations running. A large number of veteran, Baby Boomer technicians have retired or will do so soon. The industry simply has not been able to replace these mid-skill workers with new recruits who have the requisite mechanical and electronic training needed to operate and maintain sophisticated manufacturing equipment.
The nearly 1,800 farmers who belong to the Organic Valley co-op are on a mission. These farmers produce and market dairy, vegetable, fruit, and meat products across the country, and they say their philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals, and the earth. Their customers apparently appreciate that approach since the co-op has grown substantially since its launch in 1988.
In just a few years, 3-D printing has gone from a science-fiction vision to manufacturing reality in the packaging industry. The process gained its foothold as a design tool that was able to streamline prototyping. Now, it’s even being used to make finished packaging or tooling for packaging equipment.
For nearly a decade, the use of shelf-ready packaging (SRP) has been growing among U.S. retailers. At first, its presence seemed a bit of a novelty and was easily noticeable. Now, retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods companies (CPGs) have incorporated it into their merchandising in all channels — from convenience stores to warehouse stores.
When it comes to product safety, food manufacturers place a high level of importance on the use of X-Ray and metal detection systems in their operations, according to a recent Food Online survey. Results show that 76.7 percent of survey respondents say these systems are “very important” to the success of their processing and packaging operations.
For Maryland Packaging, high-pressure processing (HPP) is THE emerging food technology. And, according to the owner of the co-packer based in Elkridge, MD, the charge is being led by a growing group of young entrepreneurs.