HOW TO SELECT RIGHT PACKAGING FOR YOUR READY TO EAT PRODUCTS

For ready to eat products, packaging plays a vital role in preserving the quality of food, extending its shelf life and making it look attractive. With the upsurge in demand for ready to eat foods, the packaging technology is continuously evolving to facilitate customer convenience, minimize processing and keeping the product as natural as possible. This blog discusses different packaging technologies and their suitability to your product as well as budget.

Packaging Technology:

The choice of packaging technology depends on the nature of food (Acidity level, moisture content), expected shelf life (few weeks, months, years) and the conditions in which it would be stored (Room temperature, frozen).  As such the packaging technology for ready to eat foods can broadly be divided into three categories.

Thermal Heating: Food is packed in pouches/containers and heated to high temperature. The thermal heating can be done through different technologies including Retort, MATS and Hot fill & pasteurization.

MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging):  Filled and packaged product is exposed to UV and then MAP sealed. MAP sealing refers to removing the air from the pack and replacing it with a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide that can extend the shelf life of the food.

ASEPTIC: The product and package/container are sterilized separately first and then product is packed and sealed in sterile conditions.

More details on the packaging technology are available in picture 1.

Picture: 1 
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Source: Printpack Packaging Supplies (India) Pvt Ltd.

Costs

The cost of packaging   has two elements; fixed cost of the equipment and cost of the packaging material (cups/pouches). The fixed cost varies significantly across technologies as can be seen below.

Pic 2: Cost of packaging Technology

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The cost of packaging material depends on the shape and weight of the packaging container. As such the cost of packaging material does not depend on the technology that is being used for packaging.

How can we help?

Are you looking to set up a ready to eat/convenience food unit, we can

  1. Help you understand the market, technology, capital and operating costs
  2. Prepare the project proposal and assist you in obtaining bank funding
  3. Technical consultation to assist you identify right machinery, packaging material providers

Reach Us

Call us @ 800 888 4932,

Write to us- bchhatre@finetrain.com

Visit us- www.finetrain.com

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Business opportunity: Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging refers to packaging that can take various shapes and forms. Most commonly used flexible packaging products include chips packets, milk packets, shampoo and medicine sachets and different types of pouches.

Flexible packaging is a large industry world over, with a size of over $ 200 bn[1]. The Indian market contributes over $ 5 bn and is growing in double digits. The key end user industries are food products, beverages, personal products and pharmaceuticals (see pic-1).

Picture 1: Indian Flexible Packaging Market

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  1. * Others includes pharmaceuticals.
  2. Source: Investor presentation of Uflex

 What is the Technology?

The technology related innovations in flexible packaging industry have focused on increasing the shelf life and safety of the packaged product and protecting it from counterfeiting.

Flexible packaging is made of layers of polymers (LDPE, BOPP, BOPET, CPP), aluminium foil, paper and other material. The topmost layer (most commonly BOPP or BOPET) is printed. The printed layer is laminated along with other packaging material, and then slit into different sheets. These sheets are converted into different forms as per the client requirements. The choice of material depends on the end use; for example in food applications where the shelf life has to be extended, different types of polyethylene and poly propylene films are used.

The printing technology varies depending on the material to be printed, and has been explained in the figure below.

Picture 2: Printing technology

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How is the Competitive Landscape?

The industry has two types of players, large players who manufacture packaging films as well as packaging products and SMES who mostly purchase the films and convert it into packaging products. Further, some of the SMEs are manufacturers of machinery or inks.

Table 1: Flexible packaging-competitive landscape

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What are the Prerequisites to start a Flexible Packaging Industry?

The must haves would include a strong technical team that can meet client’s quality expectations, create innovative products and minimize wastage.  Other requirements include land/area (minimum 5000 sqft for Rotogravure printing) and a budget of Rs. 5 crs upwards.

How can we help you?

We can help you start a flexible packaging business through a number of services including business viability assessment, market landscaping and expert consultation.

Reach us:

bchhatre@finetrain.com

Phone:800 888 4932

 

[1] Source for international and domestic market size is Uflex investor presentation -November 2016

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