According to a United Nations report, 1 trillion kilograms of food is wasted globally each year. There’s no denying the link between shelf-life extension and food-waste reduction. Giving retailers more time to sell the product, and consumers more time to eat it, can only help the situation. Global packaging supplier Advanta recently demonstrated a packaging breakthrough to extend the shelf life of a pork rib ready meal.

CBQ, a subsidiary of Carl Buddig and Co., reached a multiyear agreement to produce Kingsford-branded precooked ribs and barbecue entrees, made with simple, real ingredients and without high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives. Prior to the nationwide launch, important considerations surrounded the packaging choice for this product.

Specifically, the Kingsford baby back pork ribs were previously contained within a plastic bag. Not only was this messy for consumers to handle as they transferred the food for cooking, but it wasn’t maximizing the products’ shelf-life potential. Packaging supplier Advanta met Rupari, the packer-processor for this meal, at the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) show in the U.S. and discussed this challenge.

With the product development of this rib meal a priority for Rupari, it called upon the services of Advanta to provide an aluminum alternative and extend the shelf life of this product. Since the initial collaboration, this partnership has boldly transformed the pork rib meal to a convenient, long-lasting, foil-contained alternative. 

Using the winning combination of aluminum trays from Advanta with slow-smoke cooking techniques and vacuum-packed product sealing, the resulting shelf life was a mammoth 145 days — more than four months.

Advanta didn’t have a standard aluminum tray template to fit these ribs initially but developed custom 15-, 17- and 19-inch smoothwall aluminum trays for this product. 

“The base of this tray was specially designed to be curved in shape,” explained Miguel Campos, export sales manager at Advanta. “This ensured the ribs were positioned steadily in the tray and ready for the vacuum seal.” 

“What we have created is the first-of-its-kind to market. Since its release, other manufacturers have seen what we have produced and want the same shelf-life potential for their own ready meals.” 

Customer feedback has been positive, based on the improved convenience and fuss-free nature of this product. The increased cost of packaging is also set to return on investment rapidly. According to Kingsford, projections show an increase of 40 percent sales in just 12 months.

Not only has this provided convenience for the consumer, but this prolonged shelf life provides a buffer for the retailer to sell this product ahead of the use-by date. As a result, it is likely to make at least a small reduction in the 2.9 trillion pounds of food waste globally. NP

To find out more about Advanta and its product range, e-mail