A new microwavable tray package for steaming produce that can be used to market healthy, convenient meals has been introduced by US packaging firm Sealed Air as part of the Cryovac brand. The packages have a shelf-life of 10-14 days. It offers the advantage of running on a wide range of existing equipment, hence it can be easily used by packaged food manufacturers. The new Lidstock package includes a clear, rigid polypropylene tray and a non-barrier easy-open sealant with a permeable anti-fog coated lidstock. The packages are available in a variety of different sizes, and allow for printing on the film. This, said the company, could lead to cost savings for processors as there is no need for a sleeve around the package. Other advantages include an easy to stack and easy to store format, as well as the fact that the tray is clear and can be filled to the top, which the firm says is "visually appealing" for consumers.
A recent report from the Freedonia group forecasts that the increasing popularity of convenience and prepared foods will play a large part in the growth of converted flexible food packing. Demographic changes such as greater numbers of single-person households and older consumers will support the demand for more convenient prepared foods and single-serving portions, sometimes in multi-packs. This will increase material consumption as smaller portions tend to use more packaging relative to their size.