AMERIPEN (American Institute for Packaging and the Environment) has completed a detailed study of the effects of packaging on the value chain for the chicken industry, and has released a brochure describing those findings. Entitled “Chicken and Packaging: A Sustainable Partnership,” it is available for download from the association’s website. Printed copies were also distributed at Pack Expo Las Vegas.
Among other notable facts, the document points out that chicken has become America’s favorite protein source, with per-capita consumption growing from 53 to 84 lb over the last 25 years. Further, the price of chicken hasn’t changed at all during this time, and when adjusted for inflation, it actually costs about eight times less than it did 50 years ago.
One of the key reasons for the high demand and lost cost of chicken is packaging innovation. According to Professor Scott Russell of the University of Georgia, “Packaging advances have improved the safety and quality of poultry products.”
The brochure describes how packaging has helped reduce contamination, increase product variety and convenience, and significantly reduce food waste. “With these improvements, packaging has played a large role in making the poultry supply chain far more sustainable than it was 50 years ago," says Ron Cotterman, Vice President, Sustainability for Sealed Air Corp. and an AMERIPEN board member. "It enables people to bring home safe food, at a lower cost, and with a reduced environmental footprint.”