Pasta Manufacturer Changes from Plastic Bags to Cartons.

Modern Meals Packaging old and new

Modern Meals Change to Sustainable Carton Packaging

In an article for Packaging Digest, Rick Lingle interviews Jennifer Eiseman, senior brand manager of US food manufacturer, Modern Family Meals about their move from plastic bags to gabled cartons (made of 100% recyclable paperboard) for their protein-packed pastas and meals kits.

Why were bags originally chosen for the packaging?

The bag was created to give customers as much transparency as possible with see-through windows, sides and bottom. However, the company found this lowered shelf-life and led to environmentally unfriendly plastic packaging.

Why move to recyclable paperboard packaging?

Despite the aesthetic appeal, the bag did not display precisely what the product was or the benefits were, as well as not showing well at the shelf and being inefficient from a space standpoint at retail. The company also wanted to move to a more environmentally friendly packaging. New equipment was required to implement the change from bag to box.

What can be gained from carton packaging?

Modern Family Meals found that their packaging is now more sustainable from feedback received from customers. The cartons have a view window with a plastic film so that their pastas can be viewed by consumer. The cartons are more cost effective than the bags, allowing the company to lower the price of their meal kits by $2, although the quantity of pasta per box is now roughly 2oz lower than the bags.

Are there any disadvantages to carton packaging?

Eiseman states that apart from potential confusion of customers who are used to seeing their products in bags and not boxes, the company have not lost anything from their decision to switch from plastic to carton. She also says there is much to be gained from the improved shelf presence and more environmentally friendly packaging that carton provides.

What goals did the new carton packaging aim to meet?

Modern Family Meals aimed to retain the spirit of their original design – and so remained with their original design company – but to have the product stand out against competitors on shelves while remaining familiar to consumers.
You can read the full article here.