Sealed Air organised a 2-day summit, Cheese 360º at Packforum, their customer centre in Paris to present packaging innovations designed to meet tomorrow’s cheese and dairy challenges.
Attended by cheese producers, customers and trade press from 19 countries, the first day of the event focused on consumer issues, showcasing the mega-trends of convenience, indulgence, health and ethics while the second day featured a technical forum, exposing participants to cutting-edge technology equipped to afford unrivalled sustainability, efficiency and quality.
Jan Wieth, Executive Director Global Sector Dairy at Sealed Air clearly defined value creation and consumer convenience as the drivers behind the company’s activity across all sectors where it has a presence.
Head of market analysis company Gira, Christophe Lafougere began the seminar with a provocative question to the audience: ‘Is cheese still the milk valorisation?’ Quoting global statistics, he explained how the demand for milk will exceed supply in the foreseeable future, which would in turn increase pressure on processors to choose between competing milk uses with milk powder having a distinct advantage.
Christophe Lafougere’s presentation also forecast a significant shift in sales channels for cheese. In 2000, 69% of the cheese produced in the EU was sold to retailers, 18% to the catering sector and 13% to industry. Current estimations predict these figures to be 65%, 20% and 15% respectively in 2015.
These estimations are a call to action for European cheese-makers to invest significantly in terms of differentiating their products through technology and marketing initiatives.
Jonathan Banks, an independent specialist in tracking and predicting consumer behaviour and trends, shared his in-depth research into factors influencing the current and future cheese market where he illustrated how declining economic confidence translated into growth of discounters, a rise in private label sales and increased demand for promotions.
Sam Clough, Creative Designer at Sealed Air showcased the huge communicative power of packaging with his portfolio of creative solutions embracing the use of labelling for storytelling and positioning authenticity messages, particularly appealing for heritage-rich cheese products, printing on otherwise forgotten surfaces and cross-promotions integrating mobile technology to fuel brand loyalty.
‘Solutions Lab’ by Pascal Metais, Business Development Manager EMEA at Sealed Air spotlighted packaging systems and materials for consumer units, focussing on drivers such as best-in-class automation, appearance, convenience, innovation, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and the ‘deli-fresh feeling’.
Some of the products showcased included Darfresh, an elegant skin pack suitable for production on small semiautomatic and large fully automated lines, and Cryovac BDF, a MAP shrink pack that uses an extremely thin film. Highly convenient stand-up and regular pouches also attracted considerable attention from participants as an effective alternative to the commonly used buckets.
Day 2 of Cheese 360º featured a presentation by Helena Panfil-Kuncewicz, Professor of Dairy Science and Quality Management in the Faculty of Food Science at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, covering new research on the rheological properties of vacuum-packed curing cheese.
The presentation proved that the Sealed Air soft vacuum shrink packaging process outperforms hard vacuum processes, leading to a reduction in deformation of the cheese, a more elastic and softer structure and strong performance in sensorial tests.
Director of Sealed Air SmartLife Sustainability Solutions, Eugenio Longo took a three-pronged approach to the issue of environmental responsibility. Using the real example of Grana Padano cheese, he defined key carbon footprint reduction drivers in the context of effective product positioning.
He used the same example to illustrate how sustainability constitutes a viable business strategy, in this case revolving around the use of Cryovac BDF barrier film and Cryovac vacuum barrier shrink bags.
Emmanuel de Chavagnac shared the Compagnie de Fromage’s experience in working with Sealed Air to find a packaging solution for Mozzarella and Emmental cheese that would meet international standards in a cost-driven marketplace. He opted for the Flowvac system using Cryovac vacuum shrink packaging material and reported that the highly flexible fully automated line had resulted in excellent presentation and extended shelf-life.
The technical forum at Cheese 360º concluded with a ‘Solutions Lab’ dedicated to industrial units with the four main stations featuring automation and divided chamber processes for bag systems, PakFormance and cheese packaging, as well as Diversey sustainable cleaning and hygiene solutions.
Sealed Air Australia
offers world-leading brands such as Bubble Wrap cushioning, Cryovac food packaging solutions and Diversey cleaning and hygiene solutions.