Clamshell labeller for bakers brings flexibility to ingredients listings

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: High visibility packaging, Food, Label

Canadian labelling equipment firm Nita targets bakers with its clamshell labeller that claims to add “more flexibility to change ingredient listings on the fly”.

The equipment has the "capabilities of automatically adding labels to the top and the bottom of the clamshells, and also in a c-shaped tamper evident sea,"​ claims the Terrebonne-based company.

"Our non-proprietary electronics, touch screen controls and multiple set up recipes accessed at the touch of the finger, and the servo driven precision of our labellers, instantly wins over the hearts of our end users,"​ commented Claudio Napoleoni, marketing and distribution channel director at Nita.

The Quebec-based firm announced it will headline April's bakery congress in Vancouver, Canada with its top and bottom labelling system specifically targeted at bakers.

Clamshell packaging market

Clamshell packaging, maligned by some for the extreme frustration some designs can incite in consumers, is the largest slice of the high visibility packaging market.

In the US alone, demand for high visibility packaging, which includes carded clamshells and blister packs, is tipped to value $8.5 billion (€6.5bn) by 2012, according to recent figures from market researchers Freedonia.

This represents nearly 34 billion units and creats a market for 1.1 billion pounds of plastic resins.

The analysts pitch that demand for clamshell alone is expected to rise five per cent annually to $2.8 billion (€2.16bn) by 2012, bolstered by strong gains in food markets such as fresh produce and prepared foods.

"In addition, clamshells will benefit from their upscale appearance; thick, rigid construction, which is particularly suited to larger, heavier items; and ability to deter theft and tampering,"​ said Freedonia.

Food, project the market analyst, will continue to account for “little more than half of the high visibility packaging market” ​over the next ten years, based on extensive use in such applications as baked goods, prepared foods and fresh produce.

Wrap rage

Clamshell packaging has been slated for its role in a new phenomena: Wrap rage.

Consumer organisations have criticised packaging manufacturers for creating a form of packaging that, in the worst cases, is an impenetrable fortress that has the potential to cause harm.

Indeed, UK firm Maplin, which recently launched a cutting tool to open packages onto the consumer market, claims that the UK's National Health Service spends approximately £12m (€12.8m) "each year on injuries relating to opening packaging with over 70,000 people attending Accident and Emergency departments."

Industries are starting to heed the message with a number of retailers and manufacturers, including Amazon.com, Sony, and Microsoft, creating alternative designs.

Amazon.com recently launched its "frustration-free packaging​" initiative. Involving Mattel, Fisher-Price, Microsoft and Transcend, an electronics maker, these firms are sending a range of their top products to Amazon in cardboard boxes that curtail 'wrap rage'.

Clamshell awards

But not all clamshell packages are created equal. At the food industry event SIAL in October 2008, Belgian firm Gourmet Pidy picked up an award for its clamshell packaging that encased an edible spoon product.

Judges at SIAL, which handpicks and showcases over 240 innovative food product launches, awarded the pastry spoons with the 'special jury prize' for their innovative packaging, a vertical clam shell that slotted into the growing trend for sophistication and 'easy to handle' products.

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