Announced on 19 July, the modified atmosphere packaging has been made by Linpac, in collaboration with Cargill, for two chicken breasts portions sold by Tesco – the standard price is £2.50 (€2.97).
The innovation is in making it a split pack, with the two breasts stored in separate compartments within the modular tray and film design. This permits one breast to be removed without disturbing the atmosphere protecting the other from decay. Once one compartment has been used a perforation allows it to be removed, while the remaining full section is returned to cold storage.
Mark Caul, technical manager for packaging at Tesco, says: ‘We have asked our customers what they would like to see in the poultry sector and the response was very clear – portion control to help reduce waste in the home. Consumer convenience goes to the heart of this project and I am proud to have been part of it.’
The new packs are especially being targeted at the growing number of single-person households. Linpac UK managing director Andrew Copson expands: ‘Our new split packs have a specially designed perforation making it easier for consumers to separate the portions, without breaking the all-important seal. Consumers only use what they require, whilst
keeping the remainder in the fridge with all the shelf-life and food safety benefits of an unopened pack.
‘The amount of food that goes to waste every year is unacceptable and emphasises more than ever how important it is for food companies, packaging manufacturers and retailers to work together to reduce the amount of food sent to landfill.’
Figures from Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) UK indicate that 110,000 tonnes of poultry is unnecessarily wasted each year in the UK. Responding to the announcement a spokesperson for the charity says: ‘WRAP estimates that if [new format split] packs were adopted across the whole market, up to 10,000 tonnes of food waste could be prevented.’
The new packs are slightly heavier – by 6g – than the simple film-covered trays they are replacing on Tesco’s shelves. To mitigate this as far as possible, the manufacturer has increased the volume of recycled PET used in the improved design.
This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.