The US company's solution, Quilt Wave, was designed for Sepp's Gourmet Foods of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and has been named this year's Best in Class new product in the food category by the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL).
Quilt Wave has laminated cells, or 'quilts,' which expand when exposed to microwave energy and come into contact with the food product. This hot surface immediately next to the food drives away moisture and creates both maximum browning and crisping.
"We were looking for a way that's both effective and practical to re-heat and crisp our frozen grilled sandwich products," said Carl Tillberg, president of the bakery division at Sepp's Gourmet Foods. "After three months of collaboration with the research and development engineers at Graphic Packaging, we had our answer, a pouch."
Graphic Packaging says that the advantages of the packaging include, the fact the it can crisp and brown products such as pizzas, finger foods and hand held entrees; it dissipates heat quickly leading to even cooking and meaning the food is not too hot to handle and it can also be used as a cooking utensil to heat the food as well as the fact that it can be eaten from the package.
"The response from the retail trade has been very enthusiastic - they immediately see the advantages," said Tillberg, whose company introduced the package in Canada last October with its line of grilled cheese sandwiches. In May, Sepp's will introduce its grilled cheese sandwich - packaged with Quilt Wave - in the United States.
"Grab-and-go products connect well with American consumers, so we anticipate that they'll quickly embrace the packaging," added Tillberg.