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Lunchmeats launch in reusable PP containers

The Hillshire Farm division of Sara Lee Foods, Cincinnati, OH, has selected GladWare® containers for its new Ultra-Thin Deli Select line of lunchmeats.
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The line features four 10-oz items and one 8-oz product that use a clear stock polypropylene container and a snap-on lid pigmented in a custom red color. The lunchmeats represent the first packaged goods that use the reusable thermoformed PP containers and lids from The Glad Products Co. (Oakland CA).

Sara Lee product manager Randy Newbold says that previous packages compressed thinly sliced meat giving it an inconsistent texture. “The GladWare containers allow the lunchmeat to rest naturally in the package without compressing” he explains. “The product is double-sealed for freshness and the [outer] package acts as a convenient storage container for the consumer.”

Inside the PP container the thinly sliced meat is sealed in a gas-flushed pack with an easy-peel opening. The packs also feature a FreshMax™ oxygen-absorbing label from Multisorb Technologies (Buffalo NY). This label primarily helps retain the lunchmeat’s fresh color notes Newbold. A die-cut paperboard label is automatically adhered in-line to the lid. Tamper-evident p-s tape is applied to two sides of the lid. Shelf life ranges from 58 to 64 days.

The five varieties launch into East and West Coast markets this month. Although Sara Lee refers to the introduction as a test market the company is working to automate its operations as it ramps up production. “That has been one of the projects biggest challenges” says Newbold. The products are packaged in Cincinnati.

The lunchmeats retail for $3.99 compared to the company’s traditionally packaged meats selling for $1.99 to $2.49. But those feature only 6-oz net weights Newbold points out; additionally the GladWare containers are perceived as a high value by consumers. He estimates that the GladWare’s value-added premium works out to around 35¢/pound of product. —RL

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