Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 29

Clear Visual

JOAQUIN CORBALAN - STOCK.ADOBE.COMINLINE PLASTICS

Telling a Story
Packaging has always been essential to a profitable instore deli department, but under the expanding umbrella of green and sustainable
initiatives not just any packaging will do. Savvy consumers are looking
to their preferred retailers to provide minimal packaging that's 100%
recyclable.
Inline Plastics products are manufactured with the patented DPET™
sheet, a direct-to-sheet process that eliminates energy-intensive stages
from traditional PET production. The 100% recyclable line offers a
significantly reduced carbon footprint, which makes the packaging
more environmentally friendly, according to Kimberly Radigan, assistant
product manager, Inline Plastics, Shelton, Conn.
"Consumers play a crucial role in the type of packaging utilized by
companies," Radigan said. "We continue to look for designs which offer
functionality such as leak resistance and tamper resistance. It's become
essential to consumers that packaging is minimal, recyclable, reusable
and made with fewer materials."
Growing awareness of sustainability measures and the ubiquitous
nature of technology makes exploring the supply chain of almost any
company easier than ever. As a result, businesses that choose to remain
quiet about their sustainability efforts risk finding themselves on the
receiving end of social outrage, particularly from Millennials and Gen Z
consumers who are more adept at learning about companies, brands
and sustainability initiatives. To get out in front of potential issues, companies are transparently sharing their sustainability efforts in a variety of
online and social venues.
One example of such efforts is Inline Plastics' website which demonstrates the energy savings from the solar panels installed on the roof
of the company's headquarters and manufacturing facility. The 2,600
solar panels produce more than 15% of the energy needed to power the
facility and allow the company to further reduce its carbon footprint.

Demonstrating value also pertains to the safety and display of the
product contained within the packaging. This includes offering a range
of tamper-evident and tamper-resistant packaging in a variety of sizes
designed to provide peace of mind and ensure food is not compromised. Inline Plastics' Safe-T-Fresh patented tamper-evident tear strip
protects packaging contents and helps the contents remain fresh
and safe.
"Consumers want their food's freshness and shelf life preserved for
as long as possible in order to get the most value, reducing waste,"
Radigan continued.
When food may not be consumed in one sitting, as is the case of bulk
purchases, packaging accessibility and the ease of resealing plays a role.
This includes accommodating demand for more sustainable packaging
with healthy offerings in smaller portion sizes and grab-and-go options
to meet the demands of consumers' busy lifestyles. Additional functionality and convenience attributes include packaging equipped with
a leak-resistant seal to improve portability of food in a lunch bag or a
backpack. Robust lids and rigid stacking rails provide enhanced multilevel merchandising options instore.
Looking to create a premium image for a brand on the shelf level,
Inline Plastic's Snackers and SnackWare brands offer single-serve
options for grab-and-go convenience. The high-quality DPET™ material offers enhanced clarity to provide a clear view of the product from
every angle with a smooth-wall design. The easily stackable containers
put the product center stage while preserving valuable shelf space.
"Clear food visibility of deli prepared foods will continue to drive
impulse sales of grab-and-go," said Marilyn Stapleton, director of marketing, Anchor Packaging, Ballwin, Mo. "Anti-fog lids, combined with
container designs optimizing sustainable material options, will meet the
market requirements."

Room for Labels
Packaging can also provide updated options for manufacturers and processors as they adhere to the new FDA labeling guidelines for nutritional
facts and ingredients. With compliance dates for the updated guidelines
extended to Jan. 1, 2020, for companies with more than $10 million
in annual food sales and to Jan. 1, 2021, for companies with annual
food sales of $10 million or less, packaging can elevate how consumers approach and receive information about food. Improved access to
freshness labels, ingredient lists, allergen information, expiration dates
and recall information through clear, easy-to-read labels allows consumers to make better-informed food choices.
"Packaging that offers convenience and portability will continue
to enter the marketplace," Radigan said. "This includes the continued
research and availability of food packaging that is sustainable with the
infrastructure and educational programs to support recycling efforts."

Reduction Efforts
Quality, sustainable packaging is also a tool in reducing the amount of
wasted food resources. Although home and restaurant kitchens remain
the major sources of food waste, retailers must consider if the packaging they use for hot grab-and-go is acceptable, according to Stapleton.
To keep fried foods hot and crispy for takeout or delivery, Anchor

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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

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