Oven-Safe Baking Pouch: Ocean Chef by Pacific West Fisheries
February 15, 2019
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OVEN-SAFE KRAFT PAPER POUCH PACKAGING-
Simplicity of design is key for this pouch. Produced for proportional amounts of refrigerated and frozen seafood, the three-side seal pouch design allows easy packing on current machinery lines, and is heat sealable. We confirmed this through an extensive packing trial at their own factory in China.
The pouch features a clear rectangular window for product viewing, while the kraft paper provides a sturdy printing surface for artwork design and product information and cooking instructions. The kraft provides a desirable ‘traditional’ element to the packaging, linking the concept of a true home-cooked meal to the well- established Pacific West brand, accompanied by the modern convenience of a cooking-function for increasingly time-poor consumers. This also reinforces the notion of their seafood as a quality, Australian family product and helps represents their brand heritage over the past 25 years.
Please note, the printed packaging product is currently being produced, so our submission has no artwork.
Unlike other flexible pouches, our baking pouch is entirely oven- safe, using a specialised heat-tolerant internal layer to house the seafood product while still allowing for normal heat-sealing. We also have a peel-and-seal option that utilises heat-resistant adhesive, to allow sealing by third-parties and consumers at home if necessary. The specifications of the pouch material gives it versatility, meaning it can go from freezer to refrigerator to oven without impacting the product inside.
Cooking directly in the pouch eliminates the need for extra preparation, dishes and crockery at end use. Marinates and sauces can be contained in the pouch with the seafood item at packing, instead of requiring further consumer effort to open, mix, and add seasoning. This allows Pacific West to offer their customers an even more convenient way of food preparation, while maintaining product nutrition, taste, and texture, which can be otherwise problematic with packaging- prepared products (especially those cooked in microwave ovens). The functionality of the pouch enhances the Pacific West philosophy of ‘delicious seafood without difficulty’, and can be utilised across a wide variety of their current frozen seafood product offering. It is a point of different for the company, as no other seafood supplier offers a product that can be oven- cooked directly in the pouch. Furthermore, the pouch sizing provides the opportunity to decrease food wastage through proper allocation of product servings, to meet a variety of consumer needs (from individuals to families).
The use of the specially-formulated internal layer of the pouch provides an innovative oven-safe plastic alternative to traditional packaging pouches and films while maintaining ease of product packing. The pouch can be printed in a generic design which would allow use across multiple product lines without any added artwork costs.
The notion of an all-inclusive seafood and seasoning product allows Pacific West to eliminate the need for separate sachets for a variety of their product SKUs. This not only streamlines the packing processes for the company, but also reduces the amount of packaging waste associated with the use of multiple packaging sachets enclosed with the seafood product.
Sustainable Packaging Design Considerations
As previously mentioned, the reduced packaging waste and streamlined packaging process of a single pouch (as opposed to multiple sachets) provides positive impacts for both waste to landfill, and carbon emissions associated with packaging production and filling.
In regards to the packaging itself, obtaining sustainable solutions for a fully- functional pouch, while providing proper food barrier and protection for frozen seafood products, is definitely a challenge. While designing our current baking pouch, we recognised the limitations of using a multi-layer flexible film when it came to packaging end of life and recyclability.
While using the pouch as the cooking apparatus provides a level of ‘reusability’ for the packaging, we consider a better option would be to provide a completely clear alternative to the kraft, which would allow the pouch film to be a fully recyclable product. The option of recycled cardboard sleeve to retain a traditional branding element could be utilised, although the environmental impact of a secondary packaging element (even a sustainably-sourced one) would have to be thoroughly investigated. Printing directly on the film would be the most eco-friendly and effortless direction, and is something we will be pursuing in in the near future.
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