Hormel's packaging reductions continue

by Bryan Salvage
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AUSTIN, MINN. — After reducing 5.2 million lbs. of product packaging in 2008, Hormel Foods Corporation announced the results of several new packaging projects. The company’s new initiatives build on roughly 40 packaging reduction projects completed in 2008 and reflect the way the company continuously looks for means to improve the packaging of its products and reduce its environmental footprint, said Daniel S. Miller, research and development manager of packaging development.

"In this process, we work with our suppliers to find innovative solutions," he added.

Hormel relays these packaging reduction projects are part of the overall corporate responsibility strategy and goals set by the company. New packaging reduction highlights and projected savings include:

  • Eliminating extra room in the Jennie-O Turkey Store burgers carton, which is expected to have an annual paperboard savings of more than 175,000 lbs.;
  • Lloyd’s barbecue tubs eliminated an extra paper sleeve, which will reduce enough solid waste to fill 22 garbage trucks and save more than 660,000 lbs. of paper fiber annually;
  • Slimming the thickness of the glass used to produce each jar of Hormel bacon bits will produce annual material savings of roughly 411,000 lbs.;
  • Reconfiguring the shipping box for Hormel Compleats microwave meals removed 23% of the material required to make the previous corrugated packaging box and generated an annual materials savings of 1.2 million lbs. Changes to the size of the carton flaps of the product and reallocation of materials also resulted in annual savings of more than 980 million lbs. of solid waste;
  • Hormel party-tray packaging was redesigned to eliminate shrink-wrap, which produces annual savings of approximately 100,000 lbs. The corrugated case to ship the product will be smaller, resulting in a corrugated material savings of more than 174,000 lbs. per year;
  • Redesign of the shipping box for Hormel pork ribs, butts and bone-in offers more strength while creating an annual corrugated materials savings of about 2.4 million lbs.;
  • Reducing the height, width and length of each box used to ship Hormel pepperoni increased the amount of product on each pallet, saving materials and reducing the number of trailers needed each year. The anticipated savings is 188,000 lbs. of wood fiber annually and 49,000 lbs. of corrugated; and
  • Changes to shipping of canned food products made by Hormel Foods will result in efficiencies that reduce the number of pallets needed annually by 14,573 and require less plastic and bundling film.
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