Zip-Pak sees zipper's first use for meat in Europe

By Jess Halliday in Dusseldorf

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Grocery store, Sustainability

Zip-Pak is expecting that the first use of its re-sealable zipper
on deli meat packaging in Europe will lead to a new trend that will
have sustainability and marketing benefits for food manufacturers.

At the Interpack expo in Dusseldorf, the company is showcasing packs for cured meats and sausages with a zipper closure developed for Norwegian meat manufacturer SPIS Grilstad. The packs first hit store shelves in February, and SPIS Grilstad claims the innovation has already led to an increase in market share from 18 to 75 per cent, and helped it secure two new grocery store chain accounts in Norway. Zip-Pak's re-sealable devices have previously been used on meat packs in the US, but SPIS Grilstad is the first European manufacturer to embrace the possibility. Zip-Pak is expecting that other meat companies will follow suit. Bob Hogan, director of international sales and marketing for Zip-Pak told that consumers often de-cant meat into an air-tight container after opening. But this means that the consumer is not exposed to the manufacturer's branding every time they eat some of the product. Having a re-sealable package in the first place can, therefore, extend the consumer's exposure to the brand. Georg Fredrik Mattingsdal, head of technical development at SPIS Grilstad also drew attention to the sustainability benefits of the innovation. "As sustainability is becoming a more significant concern, we are pleased to provide consumers with the confidence that by resealing the original package, our products will remain fresher throughout the last serving, helping to reduce food waste." ​ Zip-Pak recently commissioned independent research into how its devices compare with competitors' in the sustainability stakes. Franklin Associates looked at the life cycle inventory (LCI) of flexible re-sealable packaging as compared to rigid alternatives. The study looked at eight packaging systems - six for deli meats and two for breakfast cereals. The researchers found that products packaged in flexible pouches with re-sealable closures had lower energy consumption, solid waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions than rigid packaging. The findings are remarkable since rigid packaging is often re-usable, which can give it a higher perception of sustainability in consumers' eyes. Moreover, transportation energy requirements were less for the flexible packs than for rigid alternatives. Overall, the researchers concluded that flexible packaging is, on balance, the most sustainable option of the two. The packs used by SPIS Grilstad are 200mm x 136.25 mm semi-flexible containers with a flexible lid and Zip-Pak Press-to-Close device. Machinery, employee training, and additional technical support to help SPIS Grilstad make the transition was provided by Multivac.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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