PACKAGING: Setting Fast Pace In Innovation
Recent Western Cape Business News
CIBAPAC is setting a fast pace in innovation - key to keeping it abreast of market trends.
In a first for South Africa, Cibapac, a few years ago, embarked on the local manufacture of PE-coated APET trays, the pack of choice for the burgeoning case-ready meat sector.
The polystyrene foam tray remains the workhorse format for meat packers and butcheries, but not for those involved in one of retailing’s major revolutions that’s growing apace in South Africa: the switch to the central packing of ready-to-merchandise meat packs that, thanks to MAP techniques, have an extended shelf life well beyond the day or three provided by traditional overwrap packaging.
Most of this case-ready or tray-ready MAP meat in South Africa was packed in high-barrier PE-coated polyprop/polystyrene trays that have, until then, all been imported.
“Case-ready meat offers so many well-documented supply chain and consumer benefits, but conversion and adoption of the concept in this country was hindered by the high costs of entry, with imported packaging consumables one of the main issues.”
“This is a barrier Cibapac tore down via its import replacement strategy, and these costs were cut by up to 20%,” remarks Ortlepp.
In August 2008 Cibapac started rolling out its home-grown PE-coated APET trays after extensive trials verified their conformance with the imported product: “Complementing our extensive experience in tray-forming and our range of thermoforming equipment, we invested in new equipment to make the laminates and apply the PE coating,” says Ortlepp. “Our new trays were identical to imports in terms of clarity and, most importantly, in their performance with heat-sealing equipment as well as their barrier properties.”
Transparent and black trays are available in several shapes and sizes.
The company also supplies high-barrier PE-sealant lidding film, both shrinkable and non-shrink.
“Many packaging imports were running out of sustainable steam on the pricing front, so we knew this development was going to be welcomed by this fast-growing market.”
Case-ready MAP meat packs now proliferate in the likes of Woolworths and Pick n Pay. Benefits include leak-proof packaging and enhanced quality control, because the product leaves the plant in a sealed package that isn’t opened until it hits shoppers’ homes.
Centralising the labour costs of preparing meat has significant savings across the board. Retailers only need order what they want, when they want, and extended shelf life via MAP also means they can better keep meat products consistently in-stock.
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