When Packaging World visited Romance Foods in December the maker of cooked sauce and pasta was filling Sargento Foods’ new Pizza Creations!™ pizza sauce on a vertical form/fill/seal machine.
Sauce packs are hot-filled at about 45/min on an older machine from Key-Pak Machines (Lebanon NJ). As film unwinds toward the machine’s forming collar a Markem (Keene NH) unit ink-jet codes an expiration date onto the film.
Supplied by Duralam (Appleton WI) the film is a 3-mil adhesive lamination of 60-ga uncoated nylon and a linear low-density polyethylene sealant layer. The outside nylon layer is reverse-printed in eight colors though details on the printing method were unavailable at press time.
According to Romance Foods the material provides moisture barrier product protection heat stability puncture resistance and toughness. The structure helps provide the thermally processed sauce a 120-day shelf life. Pizza Creations! is a line of pizza fixings each of which is sold in a separate flexible plastic package. The line includes three varieties of 5 ¼-oz shredded cheeses three versions of 7” mini crusts a 1.7-oz pepperoni and two sauce offerings.
Sold in the refrigerated dairy case of supermarkets the combined cost to buy a pack of cheese crust pepperoni and sauce to make one pizza adds up to about $5 says Barbara Gannon vice president of corporate and marketing communications for Plymouth WI-based Sargento Foods.
“Unlike a kit these products let consumers customize their own pizzas” she says. Gannon tells PW that some of the products are packaged in-house on modified equipment while others such as the sauce are contract-packed.
After successful test marketing for about a year in Detroit Pizza Creations! was introduced in December in Wisconsin and in Grand Rapids MI. Gannon wouldn’t reveal if a nationwide distribution strategy was in the offing.
Pizza Creations! isn’t the only new offering from Sargento. In January the company introduced a “slider” reclosure system for cheese packs produced on a f/f/s machine (see PW Dec. ‘00 p. 10 or packworld.com/go/in-line slider).