Rexam and Princes Food Develop Packaging for Ready Meals

Increasing food and beverage consumption 'on-the-go' by time poor consumers has driven significant growth in Convenience foods, creating opportunities for innovative new product concepts. Rexam has worked with Princes Foods to bring an exciting new pack format for ready meals to the European market.

The pack, a 105mm round plastic bowl, is closed with an easy open aluminum can end and decorated with a polystyrene shrink sleeve. The bowl is a 7 layer, high barrier co-extruded construction that allows the contents to be stored for extended shelf life of up to 18 months following retort.

The single serve, 330g ready meal is prepared by re-heating in a microwave for 3 minutes and can be eaten from the bowl providing a satisfying, convenient meal solution.

Rexam has pioneered production of co-extruded container production in North America where it supplies many major brands and has more than 50% of the market for high barrier containers. Using it's unique Rotary Thermoforming technology, Rexam has wide experience gained in supporting Campbell Soup, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, General Mills and many others. Rexam was able to draw on this experience to assist Princes with the modification of canning equipment to allow the pack to be handled on existing lines.

While supporting the Princes project and other new product developments from the USA, Rexam is building a facility for production of barrier containers at it's Deeside plant in the UK during 2005, which will be fully operational in early 2006.

Elliot Gledhill, Factory Manager at Princes, Chichester commented: "Rexam's help in getting this project off the ground was invaluable. They helped us make contact with experienced personnel in the processing of this product, which enabled us to formulate our plans far more quickly."

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