The world of produce packaging is constantly in a state of change and evolution particularly in North America.
After many years of standard practices and unchanging standards there is now rapid change underway. Technology and automation have now found their way into the North American Produce Grower Packer markets. Advances in consumer packaging and products provided much needed catalyst for these changes with advances like re-closeable polypropylene bags to maintain freshness and shelf life while providing attractive and convenient consumer advantages. Packaging produce until recent years has for the most part been a very manual and labor intensive process right from the crop level to the retailers’ shelves.
Extended Shelf Life
From the outset at the grower level, produce and fruits properly handled through cold chain management have extended shelf life and higher quality than unmanaged food chains. Secondly, quality packaging not only protects the manufacturing investment it creates attractive, consistent products with high level customer satisfaction for return and repeat business. These products look better, last longer, taste better and outlive unpackaged products on retailer shelves by a large margin. Automation with food packaging equipment is now finding its way into the produce supply chain with the introduction of high speed HFFS (Horizontal Form Fill Seal) equipment specifically designed for sensitive products in these markets. Combined with advances in shrink film technology and equipment new processes today are extending shelf life, reducing damage and waste and providing higher quality products using today’s produce packaging. The benefits for the grower packer are numerous and include higher productivity, substantial cost savings and satisfied consumers and customers that return for more.