Lifestyle products in trendy outfits: innovative packaging solutions for cheese classics and modern cheese snacks

Versatile packaging design, new product ideas

Tasty, nicely presented products in secure, practical and innovative packaging stimulate the appetite for cheese and invite to optimal enjoyment – for a quick snack during the day, a small lunch when being on the road, a romantic picnic, or any other occasion. Trendy packs attract the consumers’ attention at retail. Innovative packaging systems extend shelf life while maintaining product quality. Original packaging concepts, applied with modern technology, result in entirely new product ideas, for example in the fast-growing snack segment.

SEALPAC, manufacturer of highly modern tray-sealing and thermoforming technology, has always been heavily involved in the development of packaging solutions for dairy products. “We see that the demand for individual cheese packs has increased significantly", as Marcel Veenstra, Marketing & Communications Manager at Sealpac International, explains. In close cooperation with its customers, SEALPAC has been able to develop new solutions over and over again. “Here, in addition to maximum product safety, optimal shelf life and practical handling, we have put more and more focus on sustainability", says Marcel Veenstra. The result: custom-made and creative concepts, perfectly tuned to the product and target audience, which have established successfully in the marketplace.


Cheese platters and bell jars – two classics in the refrigerated section

Whether it concerns sliced cheese for the family or a selection of cheeses for a party – classic cheese platters are never out of fashion. Nowadays, these can be found prepackaged in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. Flat and highly transparent APET trays with multiple compartments are perfectly suited for presenting such cheese assortments. Sealed under modified atmosphere, these products are kept fresh longer while maintaining their high quality. Modern opening aids allow for easy opening of the packs.

For another classic, the cheese bell jar, SEALPAC also developed a case-ready pack that stands out at retail. Here, a highly transparent dome, available in different sizes, is sealed to the tray. This packaging concept is suitable both for whole pieces of cheese, as well as for cheese in slices, which can simply be separated with paper inserts. A peel tab facilitates the opening of the pack, which is easily re-closed afterwards. The dome, under which the cheese remains stored in the refrigerator during its entire shelf life, provides best preservation of aroma. The trick to this innovative development: the bottom of the bell jar can at the same time be used as a cutting surface. “A true premium pack, which attracts attention at retail and provides optimal functionality", Marcel Veenstra promises.


Grill cheese in aluminium skin tray

For BBQ fans, preparing a grill or oven cheese has now become child’s play.SEALPAC’s own TraySkin® system allows the cheese to be skin packaged directlyinside the aluminium tray by means of a highly transparent barrier film. The contents,for example a grill cheese in marinade, is securely fixed in the tray and does not move. Before heating, the peelable skin film is removed from the aluminium tray, which is then placed on the grill or in the oven. It could hardly be easier. “Also retailers are enthusiastic about the TraySkin® system. Due to the secure fixation of the product in the tray, these packs can be presented standing or hanging at retail, making them true eye-catchers, and avoiding the need for any secondary packaging that we often see, such as cardboard boxes”, Marcel Veenstra explains.


The trend towards cups for snacks

Trays in the shape of cups are becoming a trend, as they offer versatile presentation possibilities for fresh cheese, cheese dips or cream cheeses. Modern cups can be produced from transparent materials, are easily printed and labelled, and come in numerous formats – owing to the flexibility of today’s packaging equipment, there is almost no limit in shapes and sizes. “Their biggest benefit: by applying a re-closable lid, such cups can be put back in the refrigerator after the initial opening. This also makes them very convenient on the go, hence interesting for the market of snacks", emphasizes Marcel Veenstra.


SEALPAC DUO – multiple components, separately packaged

In the field of cups, SEALPAC has entered into partnerships with materials suppliers and customers to develop many different solutions. For products that consist of two or more components, SEALPAC created the DUO system, which can be applied on its A-series traysealers. With this system, two trays in different format and/or height are sealed at the same time, allowing for innovative packaging designs. Furthermore, this dual system enables separate consumption to provide for even more functionality. 

At the click of a button, each tooling can be activated or deactivated, so that the two formats may be produced simultaneously or one after the other. The system is perfectly tuned to products consisting of two components, which need to be sealed individually. As an example, a round tray and corresponding lid can be filled with different products, after which they are both sealed with a top film – ideal for yoghurts, cheese desserts with toppings or different types of cheese in one pack.


More sustainability with EasyLid®

Especially sustainable in production is another cup alternative: EasyLid®. This system uses special trays, produced by Naber Plastics (NL), which have a common sealing edge as well as an additional ring. A peelable seal is applied to the common sealing edge whereas the additional ring is hermetically sealed in the same process. When opening the tray for the first time, the lid function is automatically created and allows for multiple recloseability. By deleting the additional lid as third component – and therefore a complete operational step in the packaging process – EasyLid® achieves significant savings in floor space, materials and costs compared to other packaging systems. The EasyLid® solution, ideal for snacks, is available as 100g and 200g cups for fresh cheese and dips, but can also be applied for larger formats, such as 1kg volume packs for bakeries and restaurants in 180 x 180 mm format.


Original solutions for trendy snacks

“The snack segment allows us to demonstrate our versatility and creativity. Especially here, our flexible machines, which reliably seal packs in a wide range of sizes and shapes, provide extraordinary opportunities to package products with highest attention value. A large number of customers have already put us to the test, and have been stunned by the results", Marcel Veenstra says. As an example, the packaging specialist developed 20g mini trays from APET in triangular shape for an airline company’s specialty cheese product: Tête de Moine (“monk’s head”). A practical peel tab ensures that passengers effortlessly reach the content. Another manufacturer promotes cheese strips as a healthier nibble compared to chocolate bars, and packs these strips of Gouda cheese in flexible film portion packs of 25g on a SEALPAC thermoformer.


Convincing along the line

Whichever innovative system is applied for dairy products – any modern packaging solution simultaneously has to convince manufacturer, consumer and retailer, in order to survive in the marketplace. Marcel Veenstra emphasizes: “This is only possible if the entire packaging operation is perfectly synchronized, like we do at SEALPAC. Efficient and accurate equipment, modern and energy-efficient consumables, innovative packaging technology, combined with lots of experience and a dose of creativity, are the best conditions to continually develop new solutions that meet contemporary requirements.”