With more consumers snacking and turning to on-the-go convenience packaging, the importance of having tamper-evident and tamper-resistant packs to put product in has never been greater. And packaging suppliers are there to meet the need with new and innovative containers.
Shelton, Connecticut-based Inline Plastics Corp. launched its PagodaWare in September 2017. Representing a new generation of pagoda-shaped packages, PagodaWare offers a unique 360-degree view of the products it contains.
Just five months after the line’s rollout, says Cindy Blish, Inline’s associate brand and communications manager, Inline expanded PagodaWare, adding three smaller size options.
Even more recently, in August, Inline expanded its SnackWare line, adding a wrap container and 2- and 4-compartment options in a variety of sizes, Blish says. Both PagodaWare and SnackWare are part of Inline’s Safe-T-Fresh family of products featuring the Safe-T-Guard patented tear strip.
The expansion of the SnackWare line was driven in large part by Inline’s close reading of current consumer trends, Blish says.
“One recent study shows that 91 percent of consumers snack several times a day,” she says. “This need for convenience is matched by a need for food safety.”
The expansion of the SnackWare line, Blish says, offers solutions for consumers looking to grab healthy, “right-sized” snacks that they can take anywhere, knowing that the food will remain safe and secure until they pull Inline’s well-known and recognized tamper-evident tear strip.
Another hot food industry trend — convenience — has also driven stronger demand for tamper-evident packaging, says Lynn Dyer, president of the Falls Church, Virginia-based Foodservice Packaging Institute.
“Consumers have a variety of options to get their prepared foods and beverages, and for the time-crunched consumer, grab and go options are a favorite,” Dyer says. “ Retail and foodservice outlets have responded with more of these items, showcasing them in hot and cold display cases. Tamper-evident packages provide an assurance to consumers that those items have not been adulterated.”
In recent years, packaging manufacturers have been raising the bar on tamper-evident and tamper-resistant product, Dyer says. Take the 2017 Foodservice Package of the Year for Innovation Award winner.
“Pan Pacific Manufacturing created Seal-2-Go tamper-evident carryout bags that are sealed by the foodservice operator once filled and then easily opened by the customer,” Dyer says. “Foodservice packaging is there to support today’s food and beverage trends, and given the exponential growth of delivery, this innovation was rightly awarded.”
With Seal-2-Go, foodservice purveyors and their customers don’t have to worry about food being tampered with or stolen during delivery. The patent-pending technology features a permanent closure adhesive strip, built-in vent passages, a wide opening top that allows for easy loading, a perforated line for opening the package once delivered and custom printing.
Inline’s tamper-evident packaging innovations will continue with the opening of the company’s Innovation Center, an R&D facility in Milford, Connecticut. The high-tech facility includes a technical library, an upgraded quality lab and thermoforming machines to design, develop and test new products before mass production. Following a year-long renovation and repurposing of an existing Inline facility, the Innovation Center opened its doors in March.
“The Inline Plastics Innovation Center was strategically designed to both increase the creativity of our R&D teams in developing new and innovative products, as well as improve the efficiency of getting those ideas out the door, available to retailers, and into consumer hands,” Blish says.
The center will continue to develop new and innovative food packaging options that are meeting the growing demands of retailers and consumers, Blish says. “Incorporating our patented tamper-evident tear strip into all of our new snack-size containers is just one current development.”
Inline’s key differentiator when it comes to tamper-evident, Blish says, is its history-making technology: in 2005, with its Safe-T-Fresh line, it was the first company to introduce a tamper-evident and tamper-resistant package to the market.
That record of innovation, she says, continues to inform what the company does every day — especially now, with the Innovation Center up and running at full steam. “Today, we continue to lead the industry with innovative applications and a wide variety of tamper-evident packaging options that provide retailers with right-sized containers that enhance merchandising, while attracting consumers with the safety and confidence that tamper-evidence provides,” Blish says.
Looking to the future, Dyer says, as the industry sees more changes to the distribution of prepared foods and beverages (e.g. delivery by car, by bike —even by drone), foodservice packaging will have greater performance requirements — including more call for tamper-evident packaging.
“That may mean different ways to seal and protect the items inside,” she says. “The industry will rise to this challenge by designing new products to meet these continually changing needs.”
The good news, she says, is that there are so many different types of packaging available in the marketplace. “As operators look to select new packaging, they should carefully consider where it will be filled, how they will use it instore and how the consumer will use the packaging,” she says. “You might need the Fort Knox of packaging, but perhaps not. Either way, be sure to test the packaging and make sure it works with the intended foods or beverages.”