Pack Expo International 2014, Chicago!

Pack Expo International in Chicago is right around the corner. This show has always drawn exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. This year is expected to be biggest show thus far. This year the decision was made for the Pack Expo Chicago Trade Show and the Pharma Expo Trade Show to merge and to begin exhibiting at the same time in Chicago, November 2-5, 2014. For this joint venture, PMMI will be teaming up with ISPE to offer this growing joint trade show event.

EPI Labelers will exhibit at Pack Expo International. We will be in the North Hall, Booth #4918. We will be featuring several of our top of the line labelers including: Top/Bottom System, C-Wrap System, Core Series Print/Apply on BestPack Case Taper, Core Series Tamp/Blow, UII, M-Series and Flex-PacTM on a Matrix bag maker. All of our machines are engineered for ease of use and reliability, and are designed to integrate to existing specific packaging lines. With the required updates approaching for Hazard Communication Standard labels to comply with Globally Harmonized Systems (GHS) stop by our booth to see how we can help you with your GHS labeling needs as well. You can also read more on our website at how we can help you comply with the Globally Harmonized Systems (GHS) labels!

Pack Expo 2014

Top/Bottom System – Top of the line, for your bottom line.
The EPI Top & Bottom Labeler is designed to label the top and bottom of clamshell and tub style containers and cartons neatly and accurately. The system features simple vertical and horizontal adjustments to allow for quick and reliable label placement.

C-Wrap System -The EPI C-Wrap System incorporates a small split conveyor with an EPI M-Series Labeler to adhere labels to the top, front, and bottom of a clamshell container. The conveyor presents the filled clamshell to the labeler, the label is applied to the package and a dual wipe mechanism firmly secures the label.

Core Series Print/ApplyBarcodes, Addressing, Product ID….You Name It!  Variable information is more and more a part of your CORE business. Now you can have the quality, simplicity and durability of an EPI Labeler in a compact package that supports top-line growth and bottom-line costs with the Core Series Print/Apply.

Core Series Labeler –The EPI Core Series Tamp will minimize cost, downtime and training with CORE Series labelers from EPI. Industrial grade components are cleverly engineered into a compact, durable platform to provide years of service. The menu driven touch-screen minimizes training, provides intuitive control as well as audible/ visual status indication.

UII – Engineered for Simplicity, Built to Operate 24/7.The EPI U-II labeler combines simplicity, durability and flexibility all into one labeler that has the capability of meeting a wide variety of labeling applications.

M-Series – The Only Thing Small About this Machine is its Size!The EPI M-Series is a compact and simple solution to complex labeling. It’s a smaller, smarter machine that is self-calibrating, flexible enough to customize on the fly and simple enough to set up in a few minutes.

Flex-PacTM Sometimes the Best Ideas are the Simplest.  The EPI Flex-Pac family of labelers easily integrates with a variety of packaging machines including, VFFS, HFFS, horizontal flow wrappers and stretch wrappers. We take the time to engineer mounting systems that fit your individual F/F/S to ensure that the label is applied at the correct spot, thus ensuring a reliably placed label on every package.

Our machines are the answer to easy and efficient workflow production for our clients’ industries, which include; snack food, bakery, confectionery, beverage, dairy, coffee, meat and poultry, pet food, frozen food, fabric, textile and general packaging.  For a detailed product list, visit

Follow the latest and newest technology in EPI’s Labeling Equipment?  For the latest information on our machines, industry trends and all of EPI’s latest news and happenings…

What The New Hazcom Standards Mean for Chemical Labeling

OSHA’s 2012 Hazard Communication Standard affects U.S. Chemical Manufacturers and Distributors and how they label their products.

OSHA’s Hazcom 2012 final rule modified the current hazard communication standard. The new standards are aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The new law keeps most basic elements of the old Hazcom standard in place while increasing worker protection by enhancing the requirements for hazard communication and classification.

What are the new GHS standards?

GHS is an internationally agreed-upon system, created by the United Nations. It is designed to use consistent criteria for classification and labeling globally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the GHS includes criteria for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, and specifies what information should be included on labels of hazardous chemicals and safety data sheets (SDS). The United States actively participated in the development of the GHS, and is a member of the UN body established to maintain and coordinate implementation of the system.

The system uses pictogramshazard statements, and the signal words “Danger” and “Warning” to communicate hazard information on product labels in a comprehensive way. The primary goal of GHS is to better protect human health and the environment by providing chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.

The first standard of OSHA’s Hazcom was to be completed by December 1, 2013. Employers were required to have trained employees on the new Hazcom label elements and SDS format.

For the next step in the process, manufacturers have until June 1, 2015. Manufacturers and distributors are toreclassify chemicals and update labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). After Dec. 1, 2015, Distributors can no longer ship chemicals labeled under old Hazcom Standards.

What does this mean for my business?

Chemical manufacturers and distributors have a lot of required labeling changes to make. GHS labeling largely reflects usage by the transportation world. All pictograms are international recognized and are designed to limit the need for language conversion from country to country.

Although, under both the old and new Hazcom rule labeling was a requirement, the new features that will be required on such labels will undergo a radical change. The new law states you have to label your hazards products and you have to follow the guidelines laid out in appendix C of the Hazcom law.

GHS Regulations
  • The label for each hazardous chemical shall include the product identifier used on the safety data sheet.
  • The labels on shipped containers shall also include the name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer or responsible party.
  • The label of each hazardous chemical that is classified shall include the signal ward, hazard statement, pictogram, and precautionary statement specified in C.4 for each hazard class and associated hazard category, except as provided for in C.2.1 through C.2.4

The final implementation date is June 1, 2016 when the entire program must be in place. Employers must update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communications programs as necessary and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.

With the new GHS required labeling changes on the horizon, EPI Labelers can help with a variety of options when it comes to labeling equipment. EPI Labelers are built to stand up in the toughest of environments and our engineered simplicity makes them easy to use and maintain. From flexible packaging to case labeling and almost anything in between, using pre-printed labels or a print-and-apply labeler we have the solution to help you conform to the new GHS standard.

For more information on the GHS changes and how EPI Labelers can help go to www.!

Brands Jump on Back to School Packaging and Labeling

Packaging and Labeling for Back to School

Back to School Packaging and Labeling

Back to school is a hectic time of year for everyone with kids. First, you make several trips to Target, WalMart, etc to make sure they have all of their school supplies. Then you begin the ever-dreaded task of planning packed lunches. As a parent I am always looking for that next healthy snack for my kids, and food companies are banking on it.

According to Prevention Institute, the food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion dollars annually on marketing junk food directly to kids. Kids watch an average of over ten food-related ads every day. As a mom, I believe it. Not a day goes by where at least one of my kids is asking to try some sugary junk food that they have just seen a commercial for – and I can’t blame them. Manufacturers of these junk foods have great marketing departments and know what grabs children’s attention. Kids love bright colors and fun cartoon characters and you rarely see that on healthy snacks on the perimeter of the grocery store.

Recently Bolthouse Farms has made a move to compete in the back-to-school grab-and-go market by marketing to our children as well. The only difference is that Bolthouse Farms is one of the largest producers of baby carrots and juices in North America, and has created healthy snack choices. Their approach? Flavor their carrots like favorite snack foods and wrap their healthy snacks in junk food-like packaging.

“We believe that stealing a play out of the junk food playbook is a way for us to make these kinds of foods more emotive, more reachable, more accessible, more affordable, and that will increase consumption overall,” says Todd Putman, chief commercial officer at Bolthouse Farms. Bolthouse wants to inspire kids to make better food choices.Want to get kids to eat carrots? Brand them like junk food.

According to Prevention Institute one study found that when children were exposed to television content with food ads, they consumed 45% more food than those exposed to non-food ads. Bolthouse and other brands want to bring some of the junk food innovation to the produce aisle, with the hopes of seeing real changes in how children eat.

Another company pushing for healthier snack options for kids is Garden Lites, The Delicious Vegetable Company. They are also taking advantage of the back to school marketing. They launched their new packaging for veggie-rich muffins and soufflés during back to school promotions. They have updated their logo as well as easy to read packaging. Their muffins thaw at room temperature, which makes them a great portable option for breakfast on-the-go, everyday lunches and after-school snacks. Each pack shows just how delicious their products really are. “These muffins are a true innovation as there is nothing else on the market that has vegetables as the first ingredient,” says Julie Gould, Assistant Brand Manager of Garden Lites.

They key to food marketing has become more consumer driven then ever before. Food packaging and labeling is key to drawling the consumer to your product. When Super Sprowtz put vegetable superhero characters on healthy snacks at a school salad bar, the number of students eating vegetables at lunch rose 250%. To understand the food market today, the food industry needs to know what their consumers want in the food they are buying. Then the food industry must market foods that satisfy those demands.

The Vital Importance of Child-Resistant Packaging

As a mother of 2, I am grateful for the laws that require household products to have child-resistant packaging. Unlike most 4-year-olds, my daughter loves to help clean the bathroom. But like most 4-year-olds, she loves to use the spray bottle.

Child-Resistant Packaging

Child resistant packaging can be cumbersome, and until I had children I didn’t understand its importance. I would not hesitate to make cynical remarks about politicians and “how they try to control everything.”

Although it may not always seem like it, lawmakers have good reason for child-resistant packaging. Products that are required to use child-resistant packaging and labeling include products and substances that have the potential to poison children. For this reason, Federal law requires these items to be specially packaged to help prevent that from happening.

This law is known as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act, administered by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC is tasked with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products.

The law defines this kind of packaging as “packaging that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount of the substance contained therein within a reasonable time.” However, the law contains a caveat that it “does not mean packaging which all such children cannot open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount within a reasonable time.”

According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Child-Resistant (or C-R) packaging must meet a number of performance specifications outlined in 16 CFR §1700.15. Information regarding performance specifications is available at the CPSC website.

Products are tested with panels of 50 children (42-51 months) are tested sequentially following division into three age categories . Children are instructed on how to open the package and are given 10 minutes to try. They are also permitted to use their teeth. The parameters required for passing the C-R test are outlined in 16 CFR § 1700.20(a)(2)(iii). If test results are inconclusive, additional testing involving one or more groups of 50 children each is required. A maximum of 200 children may be tested. Still, to meet the requirements packaging must only be inaccessible to 85% of participants of the study. This means that approximately 15% of children can still open child-resistant packaging within a few minutes.

Requirements for this type of packaging also test adult ability to open the packages. In fact, 90% of adults must be able to access its contents before the packaging is approved. Since child-resistant packaging can also end up inadvertently becoming ‘elderly-resistant’ or ‘disabled-resistant’, pharmacies are permitted to sell medications without the child-resistant packaging, provided that no children reside in the home where the medication is kept.

Despite best efforts, child-resistant packaging is never “child proof.” Many of the calls received by the Poison Control Center every year are the result of children accidentally ingesting pharmaceuticals, including those in child-resistant packaging. Pharmaceutical companies are urged to think of their packaging as a ‘last defense’ – not a ‘first defense’ – and continue to educate their customers on proper care and storage of medications as well as the potential dangers that can occur with improper usage of their pharmaceuticals.

Natural, Organic, Local, Grass-Fed – What’s the Difference?

Today we are all trying to make healthier food choices. However, it is not always an easy task. A lot of us have misconceptions about what food labels really mean. With so many different terms being used on food products these days – it’s hard to know what’s really healthy, and what isn’t.

Do these labels mean healthy food?

Natural, Organic, Local, Gluten-Free and Grass-Fed are all terms that alone sound healthy! But, what do these terms really mean?


In a survey of 1,000 people by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, nearly 60 percent of people said they look for the term “natural” on food labels when they shop.

About two-thirds of people surveyed said they believe the term “natural” means that a processed food has no artificial ingredients, pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The truth is, the FDA has not developed a definition of this term for food labels. The FDA won’t object to the claim “natural” as long as there is no added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances. So reality, there are no regulations. “Natural” processed foods can contain ingredients that are processed into artificial ingredients or come from plants with toxic pesticides. Meat labeled “natural” can come from animals who received daily does of antibiotics or growth hormones.

Consumer reports wants the misleading term “natural” dropped from food labels all together because there are no restrictions on how animals were raised or what can go into foods labeled “natural.”


Let’s start by stating “organic” does not mean “local”. According to an article in Time, 17% of consumers spoken with during a survey across the U.S. and Canada incorrectly believed that foods labeled “organic” were also grown locally.

Unlike “natural,” The United States Department of Agriculture regulates and verifies the label “organic.” They have established an organic certification program requiring all organic foods to meet strict government standards.

Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic plant foods are produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, sewage sludge, or bioengineering or ionizing radiation. A government-approved inspector must certify the farm to ensure these standards are met. In addition to organic farming, there are USDA standards for organic handling and processing.

There are three levels of organic claims on food labels:

  • 100% Organic. Products that are completely organic or made of only organic ingredients qualify for this claim and a USDA Organic seal.
  • Organic. Products in which at least 95 percent of its ingredients are organic qualify for this claim and a USDA Organic seal.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients. These are food products in which at least 70 percent of ingredients are certified organic. The USDA organic seal cannot be used but “made with organic ingredients” may appear on its packaging.


There is no legal definition of what makes a food “local.” However, the 2008 Farm Act states that any food labeled “local” must be produced in the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product. Many states limit local to mean produced within the state. In the aforementioned TIME article, 23% of consumers falsely believe that “local” products are grown organically.


The FDA requires products labeled “gluten-free” to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This ensures that products are free of wheat, rye and barley before being labeled “gluten-free”. Foods inherently gluten-free like fruits and vegetables can also be labeled as gluten-free. Gluten-free does not mean healthy or organic. Many products labeled Gluten-free are processed and contain refined sugars and salts. For more about gluten-free labeling, check out our previous post: ‘Gluten-Free’ Labeling.


First of all ‘grass-fed’ does not mean ‘organic.’ Grass-Fed has a voluntary standard put out by the USDA in 2007, which governs grass-fed claims using the following criteria:

  • Animals must eat only grass and forage throughout their lives, except when consuming milk before weaning. They can’t eat or be fed grain or grain byproducts, but food from cereal crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state is OK.
  • They must have “continuous access to pasture during the growing season.” The growing season is defined as the time between average last and first frost in the animal’s locale. During winter months or drought conditions, they must continue to eat only grass and forage — no grain.
  • Animals may be given routine mineral and vitamin supplements. Producers have to document anything not considered routine.

Under the standard, producers must obtain a USDA evaluation prior to using the grass-fed label or marketing a product as grass-fed.

The Bottom Line

Food labels are confusing, and the lines are even more blurred when there isn’t a specific, regulated definition of what specific labeling terminology can mean. Knowing the difference between different food labels is important to a healthy and informed lifestyle.

‘Gluten-Free’ Labeling

‘Gluten-Free’! What does it REALLY mean?
Gluten Free Labels

Before August 5, 2014, the term ‘gluten-free’ had not been regulated. Manufacturers were making their own call about what ‘gluten-free’ meant. Now, there is a real meaning behind ‘gluten-free’ labels established by the FDA.

For those who struggle with severe gluten intolerance, this is a great change in labeling standards. An autoimmune disordered called celiac disease that can occur in people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Before the FDA’s new guidelines people with this disease could get sick from gluten in products labeled “gluten-free”.

Now the FDA requires products labeled “gluten-free” to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This ensures that products are free of wheat, rye and barley before being labeled “gluten-free”. Before, wheat had to be labeled on food packages, but barley and rye were often hidden ingredients – often dangerous to those with celiac disease.

According the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, under the new FDA rule if a product has a gluten-free claim, it either:

  • Inherently does not contain gluten.

Or the following is true:

  • Does not contain an ingredient that is a whole, gluten-containing grain such as wheat, barley, rye or crossbred hybrids of these grains.
  • Does not contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and has not been processed to remove gluten such as wheat flour.
  • May contain an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten such as wheat starch, as long as the food product contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

Millions of people are buying foods that are labeled “gluten-free” even if they don’t have the celiac disease. The awareness of this disease has created an increase of options in grocery stores. According to an article in The Hill, “this standard ’gluten-free’ definition eliminates uncertainty about how food producers label their products,” said Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA’s division of food labeling and standards. “People with celiac disease can rest assured that foods labeled ‘gluten-free’ meet a clear standard established and enforced by the FDA.”

Regulation Changes, Packaging Challenges!

Changing Label Regulations

Up and Coming Label Regulations are Causing New Packaging Challenges

Food producers will need to show labels clearly and concisely without disrupting the visual appeal. Every product relies heavily on label design to jump off the shelf and grab the consumer’s attention. This is becoming even more default with new changes on the horizon.

FDA has announced several important changes:

  • A  more prominent display of information such as serving sizes and calories.
  • Serving sizes are required to reflect the amount people eat at a typical setting.
  • There must be a more prominent display of daily value percentages for nutrients.
  • Information on what the daily value percentages mean.
  • Label information must be changed to reflect new understanding of nutrition, such as requiring information about added sugars and emphasizing the importance of avoiding certain kinds of fat rather than focusing on total calories from fat.

Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013 (H.R.3147) also requires the following:

  • Disclosure of percentage of grain-based products such as wheat or whole grain in immediate proximity to a descriptive phrase such as “made with whole grains.”
  • Any food containing sweeteners, coloring, or flavoring to have the fact show on the principal display panel of its package or container.
  • Misleading information is prohibited, such as:
    • Food containing trans fat cannot claim low in cholesterol.
    • Label contains the word “natural” while the food contains any artificial ingredient will be marked misbranded.
    • The term “healthy” on a food label when food contains added sugars or whole grains.
  • Requires the nutrition facts panel on a food label to state the percent of recommended daily calories provided by one serving of the product, based on a recommended daily consumption of calories determined appropriate for members of the general population.
  • Labeling requirement for the percentage of added sugars in a food.
  • Requires sugars, non-caloric sweeteners, and sugar alcohols to each be treated as a group in the list of ingredients on a food label, including individual sugars, non-caloric sweeteners, and sugar alcohols within each group, in their order of predominance.
  • The format of the information required on certain food labeling to: (1) improve its readability, and (2) assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.
  • Requires the labeling of any food containing at least 10 milligrams of caffeine from all sources per serving to say so.

Attracting Consumers

The consumer will greatly benefit from many of these changes. However, brands may need to rethink how they present this information on their products packaging to keep consumer loyalty. The addition of so many new elements can change the entire look and feel of a label. Many brands play on expressive design to tell a story and capture the consumer. Having to give up space for nutritional information could be damaging to how a brand connects with its consumer. Smaller products will have an even harder time. Still, many brands may lose out as consumers have a more difficult time identifying specific brands since much of the branding “real-estate” has been turned into labeling information. It will be interesting to see how marketers tackle these new labeling challenges.

Rice and Straw for Packaging?

Rice and Straw Packaging

Growers of both wheat and rice face the same problem, what to do with leftover straw?

It’s not often that farmers and packaging experts meet in the middle to solve each other’s problems. Growers and wheat and rice need to find a use for leftover straw, while commercial packagers struggle to find budget- and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging.

Often farmers use leftover straw for animal feed or bedding – but to a very small profit. Straw can be plowed under, but it’s an expensive solution. It could be left in the field, but then next year’s crop may face threats of disease from the previous year.

Newspaper distribution has declined and consequently available recycled paper has as well. Costs for recyclable materials have increased and are no longer cost effective for many products.

Meet entrepreneur Jaydeep Korde. Korde has taken on the challenge to create disposable packaging using leftover rice and wheat straw. His next generation packaging company is called Valueform. Seven years in the making, Korde can turn any kind of cereal waste into packaging. In a recent article in The Telegraph Korde states, “Straw is annually renewable, which makes it a more sustainable raw material than paper.”

Korde his created a new technology to be compatible with existing machinery to gain an advantage during the downtime at paper pulping factories. “We’re not talking about building shiny new factories, but converting existing ones to straw,” Korde says.

Not only will the use of rice and wheat straw be more sustainable and completely biodegradable, but it will also help eliminate pollutants. Burning is the most common practice for clearing land after harvest. It is the most convenient, inexpensive, and quickest way to eliminate the leftovers. However, many places are progressively prohibiting this practice because it is bad for the environment. Using these leftovers for packaging could diminish harm to fields and local environmental areas.

As sustainable packaging has become a hot topic, it is interesting to see the different routes entrepreneurs and corporations are taking to eliminate waste and help the environment. Consumers are looking for these kinds of products and often remain loyal to brands that focus on environmentally conscious methods.

The Importance of Expiration Dates on Packaging

What do all the different types of dates on food mean?

With the exception of infant formula, the FDA does not require food firms to place “expired by”, “use by” or “best before” dates on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. However, dating methods used are as follows:

Prodcut Expiration Dates

The terms below refer to how long the food can be safely consumed without worry of spoilage according to the USDA.

  • Use-By: This is the most popular method of notating food products that spoil quickly. Required in many countries for foods that do not show easily identifiable signs of spoilage (appearance or smell). Examples: dairy products, meats, dips, pre-packaged fresh foods, packaged fruits & vegetables.
  • Expires: This date tells you when the food product may expire. The food should be consumed on or before this date.

The next set of terms refers to how long the food product will be at its best quality according to the USDA. These dates are not indicators of when the food will spoil.

  • Best if Used By or Best Before: Refers to the date that food is recommended for best flavor or quality. The food item is likely to be safe to consume after this date, but may have lost some of its flavor, taste, or freshness. This dating method is used on a wide variety of packaged foods.

Finally these terms are provided for the assistance of the manufacturer, vendor, distributor, etc. according to the USDA.

  • Sell-By: This date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. These products should be bought before the date expires.
  • Packed On: Indicates the date that the food product was packed.
  • Baked On / Baked For: Indicates when item was baked (for bakery items with a shelf life of less than 7 days). The date tells the store how long the item may be displayed. Examples include breads, bagels, rolls, cakes, and cookies.
  • Can Codes: Canned goods often have a stamped code containing a series of letters and numbers. Part of this code contains a date. The information in the codes allows for tracking, shipping, identification in the event of a recall, and rotation of stock in the warehouse.

What about non food products, such as sunscreen or cosmetics? Are expiration dates on these products necessary?

Sun Screen and Cosmetics Expiration Dates

Currently sunscreen products are not required to have an expiration date. However, many believe they should. An article in The Legislative Gazette, states New York is in the process of passing a bill that would require sunscreen products to include expiration dates. This bill has passed the Assembly and Senate, and was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The hope of this bill is to ensure that New York residents are not overexposed to sun’s UV rays. The UV rays from the sun are one of the leading causes of skin cancer in the US. This bill would require expiration dates on all sunscreen products.

In the US there are no FDA regulations for expiration dates for skin-care or makeup products either. However, most do include expected expiration dates after first opening. According to the FDA shelf life of products is the responsibility of the manufacturer to determine. Eye cosmetics typically have a shelf life of a few months due to the risk of eye infections, while skin creams and powders can last up to a year or longer. The FDA states “consumers should be aware that expiration dates are simply “rules of thumb,” and that a product’s safety may expire long before the expiration date if the product has not been properly stored. On the other hand, products stored under ideal conditions may be acceptable long after the expiration date has been reached.”

The importance of expiration dates depends on the product. Consumers need to be aware of expiration dates and what they mean, as well as using their own best judgment.

Advantages of Flexible Packaging for Fresh Foods

Flexible Packaging for Fresh Foods

More and more companies are packaging their fresh produce in flexible clear packaging instead of the traditional mesh bags. Flexible packaging can provide a longer shelf life for fresh produce that don’t have a high turnover. Larger purchases are also a possibility with a multi-pack. Consumers might me more likely to take a multi-pack of peppers home over just picking up one pepper that has been sitting out and handled by who knows how many people.

Flexible packaging and fresh produce have many advantages. Fresh produce in flexible packaging provides portability, freshness and protects the produce. Flexible packaging is recyclable and uses less resources providing a thinner, lighter overall package. Single serving packages are easy to open and can be consumed on the spot, reducing waste. Fresh snacks like fruits and veggies in a single serving container are also more appealing for the on-the-go health conscious consumer.

An article in FGN (Fruit Growers News) states, “Demand for do-it-for-me convenience has been the big driver behind the tremendous growth of pre-cut, pre-washed and packaged fruits and vegetables for the past 15 years,” IFPA President Jerry Welcome said, “but convenience is now getting a big boost from growing concerns about obesity and health issues in general. 

Does it keep longer?

Fresh produce can be kept fresher longer within a flexible package. The package helps reduce light and moisture transmission keeping the food fresher longer.

Does flexible packaging show case the produce better?

That is a matter of opinion; however it does put it on the same playing field as other products. The flexible package gives it that same finished look as other prepackaged goods.

Does fresh produce in a flexible package help upsell?

Sure, it does. Most consumers are more likely to purchase a fresh combo pack, such as a salad kit because it is all-in-one. They are getting a fresh and healthy meal with the convinces of one stop.

More than ever before, there is a fight to get food products noticed on the the shelf. Fresh produce appeals to that on-the-go health-conscious consumer, giving the upper hand to fresh foods in a flexible package.

Label your flexible packaged, fresh foods with EPI’s Flex-Pac™ labeler.

Flex Pac