Topping needed new, advanced design for salad trays
New packaging design was to make it possible to decorate the salad with a topping of prawns, vegetables etc. Mills wanted a redesign of their entire range of their 220 and 360 gm salads.
The packed salads also had to have a longer shelf life. The result was that the tray was made of a material with a high barrier effect, yet that was still transparent to let the consumer see the salad through the packaging.
The Smaragd design is made of A-PET/EVOH/PE, and has been chosen by Mills as their future design.
Tray and machine suppliers should talk to each other
“The trip gave everyone the chance to see the end product, how we handle it and use it at the factory. This helps create an understanding of what is important to us. Meeting up fosters a deeper understanding of a large part of the value chain.” He explains that some particular improvements were achieved as a result of the trip.
Mills and Pack Plast have a long-term relationship. It all started in early 2000 as a joint development project for new salad trays. Once the project was finally put into production 10 years later – for the mayonnaise-based DELIKAT range – it was therefore quite natural to use Pack Plast as supplier: “We use a number of manufacturers, including Pack Plast because of their professionalism. What’s important to us is that they can get involved in the development phase as early as possible, so that the design can be matched with production facilities. A lot of early stage designs are actually impossible to produce,” says Hilsden.
Rapid feedback from an efficient organisation is one of the things Hilden appreciates most. And that’s exactly what he gets from Pack Plast. “We want to move fast with such a project, and simply can’t interface with slow-moving, bureaucratic organisations or innumerable different departments. That’s something Pack Plast understands. Our relationship means that we work quickly and well together, exploiting our respective professional skills to the limit.”
As such, Pack Plast is in dialogue with Mills’ machinery suppliers for such projects – “They tackle every problem before we even start up as far as possible. Close contact between tray supplier and machinery supplier is absolutely essential.”
According to Hilden, the secret of a good relationship with a supplier is: “Short chains of communication and a positive approach to problem-solving. Pack Plast take care of everything and are extremely flexible – to our mutual advantage. That’s what makes the relationship even stronger.”