Barbeque pouch targets convenience market

Related tags Packaging automation Food

Processors now have a means of putting a barbeque in a bag.

With the development of Qbag, Packaging Automation and FFP Packaging Solutions are targeting processors who want to extend their reach into the home barbeque market.

The two companies teamed up to develop a convenience pack that can be put directly on the barbeque for cooking or in the oven. It's part of a bid to meet the continuing consumer demand for convenience foods, products that can be cooked up quickly and without the mess.

"The pack allows foods with small pieces, such as prawns, or sauced product to be cooked directly on the barbeque, increasing market potential and extending the selling season for many food manufacturers,"​ the companies stated in announcing the development this week.

Qbag is an aluminium foil pouch with an easy peel and self-venting polyester window. Packaging Automation tailored existing equipment from its range to handle FFP's Qbag pack design.

Packaging Automation's tweaked two its semi-automatic hand turned rotary table PA182 heat sealing machines to handle the Qbag. The machines were installed at FFP's Northampton factory.

The use of the PA182s evolved from an original line concept that would have been very large and expensive, Packaging Automation stated. Packaging Automation said it developed a more compact line, which has helped FFP keep costs down, and make the project viable.

In addition, the company developed special tooling for its machines that places and heat seals a transparent film window on the foil pack.

With its polyester window, Qbag allows the barbeque crowd to see the food during cooking. The pack expands to provide a "chamber" for cooking, then self-vents to allow pressure and steam to escape safely.

The window can be peeled off during cooking to allow stirring. It can also be used as a means of serving the food following cooking, the company's stated in announcing the development this week. The oxygen permeability of the window can also be modified to extend shelf life, for those packing fresh produce.

The pack can also be marketed as a means of separating meat and vegetarian dishes on the barbeque, they suggest.

Marks and Spencer is already using the Qbag for its "pockets" range of products. M&S tested the range in 100 stores and doubled the number after sales increased, the companies stated.

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