Society is changing in leaps and bounds, and our industry is faced with the challenge of keeping up and meeting its needs. By nature, people want things immediately; they want simple, easy solutions for their daily life, and it is important they find what they are looking for.
Modern families, and their eating habits and consumption patterns, reflect these changes. This is clearly seen in the increase in demand for microwaveable packaging, and we need to fully understand this phenomenon in order to satisfy our customers. Read on to find out why this type of packaging is such a burgeoning trend.
CHANGING HABITS IN SOCIETY
Family life has changed considerably in recent years. Our eating habits today are nothing like they were, and this is reflected in what we want from our food packaging.
Time is an increasingly precious commodity. Together with other economic factors, the constraints of the working day mean consumers want practical solutions: high-quality, affordable and easy-to-cook food.
SAVING TIME: THE KEY TO MICROWAVEABLE PACKAGING
The microwave was introduced as a practical, clean kitchen appliance that helped save valuable time, and microwaveable packaging is no different. If we are going to buy a ready-made meal, we want its packaging to be microwaveable, making our life as easy as possible. Of course, we also expect it to preserve the properties of the food and keep it in perfect condition.
Microwaveable packaging must also be easily transportable. This means containers must be smaller and weigh much less than others – a feature that will also be a determining factor in the consumer’s purchasing decision.
Customisation is an added bonus of microwaveable packaging, as optional features such as handles and compartments all score extra points, as does a good design and the fact it is disposable. It is unsurprising that all the most popular formats of microwaveable packaging include these features.
And this is just the beginning. According to recent studies, the demand for microwaveable packaging will continue to grow due to its popularity.
STAND-UP POUCHES: A REVOLUTION IN FOOD PACKAGING
The range of specially designed microwaveable packaging for pre-prepared food products includes different formats that meet the functionality requirements of consumers.
One of the recent trends in microwaveable packaging is the stand-up pouch. These pouches are practical, have high barrier properties and offer plenty of customisation options to improve user experience. They are easy to use and manipulate, and are very clean.
This type of packaging has become particularly popular among Millennials as a result of the demographic changes affecting the convenience food sector. Eating habits have evolved, meaning consumers are now looking for ways to reduce the time they spend on shopping and cooking, opting for food products with simple, practical packaging that can be immediately disposed of.
Supremely practical, our on-the-go formats include features such as our VSTEAMⓇ valve, which allows food to be cooked in the microwave without the need to open the pouch. The pouch format is also very useful for food manufacturers, as it can be used for frozen products, as well as products that need sterilising.
This packaging for pre-prepared and ready-made food can be customised in a number of ways: zipper seals, with notches or laser pre-cut for easy opening, caps, etc. The stand-up pouches are generally made from high-barrier complexes, even being suitable for medium and high-heat treatments such as pasteurisation or sterilisation, which makes them versatile in their use as packaging for pre-prepared dishes and ready meals.
In addition to this type of microwaveable food packaging, there are other solutions, such as microwaveable top films, used for products such as pre-cooked rice, quinoa and cous-cous; and coextrusions, which are suitable for vacuum-packing and are commonly used for products such as Spanish omelettes, pre-cooked meats and vegetables prepared for microwave cooking.
SP Group has its own research and development laboratories (R&D and Innovation) where we work hard to develop new ways of producing better-quality packaging to meet our clients’ needs.
If you would like more information on our microwaveable packaging, please contact us and we will help you find the perfect solution.