Slowly but Surely
“When you talk to meat-case managers you hear about the same problems time and again, including not having a lot of labor available to them, or products that can’t be sold because the meat or poultry is past the date code,” says Lin Lauve, market research manager for MN-based processor Cargill Meat Solutions. “It is leading supermarkets to move to case-ready for all types of meat.”
Cargill has been using case-ready packaging for more than a decade, including MAP for its Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms turkey lines. The MAP tray contains a combination of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen that keeps the environment sterile for a longer shelf life, says Lorena Rull, case-ready brand manager for Cargill’s turkey division. An overwrap seal protects the contents from leakage, she adds.
“It is a certainty that case-ready will increase in popularity and penetration,” he notes.
“Case-ready provides greater quality control, fewer out of stocks and better freshness,” Warren says.
Although the processor’s 33 case-ready items only account for about 15 percent of its business, Catelli’s case-ready sales are growing about 20 percent annually, Douthett says.
“Ground beef was the first to go case-ready, but now we’re seeing more types of meat and poultry put in the [case-ready] packages, including pork, whole-muscle beef products, and value-added items — such as those with marinated and seasoned flavor enhancements,” says Jeff Brown, account executive with Associated Packaging Technologies, a Jupiter, FL-based packaging supplier.
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- Linpac Plastics, phone (954) 492-5481, fax (954) 489-0512, e-mail Darin_Gregg@Linpac.com, or visit www.Linpac.com
- Pactiv Corp., phone (585) 393-5168, fax (585) 393-5172, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.pactiv.com