At IDDBA’s annual Dairy-Deli-Bake conference in June, packaging supplier Sealed Air introduced an easy-to-open package for small-portion deli items like cheese. The product has benefits for cheesemakers, too. The package reduces packaging material by up to 20% (compared to some easy-open rollstock formats), according to Sealed Air, Duncan, S.C.

The vacuum bag is called the Cryovac Grip & Tear Small Tab Bag. Pulling the tab in one quick motion opens the bag. Sealed Air notes that consumers won’t need knives or scissors to force open the bag, thus eliminating a source of both common kitchen injuries and cross-contamination. The smaller easy-open tab at the top also creates a more visually appealing package for smaller products, the supplier said.

“For vacuum-sealed cheese and meat products, it has become instinctive for consumers to reach for a knife to open a package,” said John Kelly, Sealed Air’s director of marketing, dairy. “Introducing our signature Grip & Tear packaging technology to a wider array of retail products enables consumers to access and enjoy more of their favorite deli items in a safer, simpler manner.”

Each bag employs a skin-tight shrink and transparent gloss so that shoppers can have a clear look at the packaged foods. Additionally, the package’s exterior film accommodates 360-degree, distortion-free graphics that expand branding capabilities and ensure clear labeling.

Another new eco-friendly package for dairy foods is the stand-up yogurt pouch. The organic dairy brand Stonyfield is using this package for its YoBaby, YoTot and YoKids brands of on-the-go yogurts.

Stand-up pouch packaging is replacing preformed bottles and jars for distinctive shelf appeal, according to Clear Lam Packaging of Elk Grove Village, Ill. The format also reduces direct materials and packaging weight for cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint. The resealable cap provides convenience and portion control to help reduce food waste and provide consumers with a reliable packaging solution for on-the-go consumption.

The company cites a report from Freedonia that forecasts that demand for all stand-up pouches will grow at 6.5% annually and represent 27.2% of the market by 2023.

Packaging films produced by Clear Lam are used to assemble a pouch with a fitment on a horizontal form-fill-seal (FFS) machine. The film supports a 60-day refrigerated shelf life, runs on high-speed processing equipment and absorbs distribution abuse. The material’s stiffness also helps the finished packages stand up straight on store shelves for better merchandising.

New products from Europe

New ideas are coming from packaging suppliers in Europe, including a package that is re-closable and tamper-evident. Called the Bebo Swing, the package incorporates a unique perforation process for easy opening. It is suitable for cheese, butter and margarine, according to the supplier, RPC Bebo Plastik of Bremervörde, Germany.

The re-closable lid can be hinged or fully removed. The lid is welded to the tub through ultrasonic welding. The patented design can be designed for various shapes and is suitable for products both with and without lidding film. Decoration options include printing, labelling and sleeving.

The global giant dairy cooperative Arla is using lighter-weight cups for its fresh dairy products, including quarks and sour creams. In February, Arla Oy in Finland switched the packaging of its sweet flavored quarks from post-printed cups to a 200-gram (7-ounce) paper-plastic combination called DuoSmart Light from Coveris. Finnish consumers use sweet quarks for cooking and baking. The flavors are lemon, blueberry-vanilla, rhubarb-strawberry and mango.

Then in May, Arla launched a range of flavored sour creams in Finland that are also packed in the same cups. These creams are formulated as ready-to-use sauces for meat, chicken and fish.

 Coveris has plants in North America, Europe, the Middle East and China.