A British love for cheese sparks innovation drive at Flextrus UK

Leading European flexibles manufacturer, Flextrus, has developed an extensive range of packaging solutions and materials for cheese that address the differing functional requirements of individual varieties.

Consumers are eating more cheese and buying it more often, according to Kantar Retail. Figures show total UK cheese volumes grew by 2.2 per cent in 2016. The market is being driven by the growing ‘snackification’ trend as consumers look for healthier, high protein snacks to add to their diet.

Flextrus, a member of AR Packaging, has responded to increasing demand by creating a range of tailored solutions for hard cheese products that are manufactured from a variety of materials and which incorporate innovative features to enhance shelf life and pack appeal for consumers, brands and retailers.

The company is able to supply customers with any material they require, including flowraps, base webs for thermoforming and lidding films, with print and lacquers on both. To complement the solution offering, Flextrus has launched a new range of tactile films that can be applied to cheese pack designs. The collection includes high gloss, paper, matt and satin touch finishes that create outstanding branding opportunities, shelf differentiation and deliver contemporary on-pack effects.

Cliff Gorst, UK and Eire sales director, said: “Flextrus has developed a comprehensive range of solutions and materials that offer varying degrees of barrier protection. When customers choose Flextrus to supply their cheese packaging, they can rest assured that they will receive a pack which best suits their application and which provides excellent added value in terms of on-shelf presentation and consumer appeal.”

Many of the Flextrus solutions include convenience features, such as easy-opening and reseal, which are demanded by consumers.

The Ecobar high barrier lidding film provides the highest level of product protection in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). When combined with one of Flextrus’ thermoformable base webs, customers benefit from perfect pack integrity and processing efficiency. Based on oriented polyester, Ecobar’s unique properties provide a wider operating window on packaging lines to boost efficiency and productivity.

Flextrus HiLite base webs have been developed to complement Flextrus’ range of lidding films. They offer high clarity for excellent product presentation and a range of easy-open and re-seal options are available to offer consumer convenience. Tactile lacquers and finishes can be applied to deliver the all-important shelf-appeal.

Mr Gorst added: “The consumer trend for convenience and portion-sized packs is driving innovation in the cheese packaging sector. Reseal packs enable consumers to enjoy the contents before reclosing and saving for later; the cheese retains its freshness for longer when compared to an open pack, helping to reduce food waste in the home.”

“As consumers enjoy more cheese, supermarket shelves are becoming increasingly crowded and brands and retailers are looking for packaging which stands out from the rest. Easy-opening and resealable features, combined with pleasing aesthetics, high quality lacquers and more novel material choices, all add to shelf-appeal.”