The end user plays a major role in packaging decisions. “For packaging used in foodservice, the package must meet the needs of that environment and enable easy access to a large volume of product. Packaging for the retail market will be smaller and targeted for one to two meals of an average-sized family,” she points out.
Welch says food safety plays an extremely important role in packaging decisions. “It must keep the product fresh and safe to eat for the maximum amount of time possible,” she says.
Consumer trends play an important role in turkey packaging. “In addition to buying fresh-looking products at the store, consumers want easy accessibility, they want to limit having to touch the meat, or having the raw meat come into contact with surfaces in their kitchen,” Welch notes. Modified atmosphere packaging is used in further-processed products like ground turkey or fresh sausage because it provides clear visibility and is able to keep the product fresh and maximizes food safety longer than if it was displayed in a normal atmosphere like a fresh meat case.
Packaging is also updated for the benefit of consumers. “For example, many consumers today are focused on organic and natural products. Butterball has updated packaging to call out more clearly the natural attributes of products. In some cases, new product lines have been developed, like Farm to Family by Butterball, which is focused on providing natural and antibiotic-free products. The packaging for these products is designed to have a natural look and feel, and communicate the natural attributes of the products,” she says.
Welch points out Butterball also takes steps to protect its packaging. “Butterball trademarks the brand name, sub-brands, and important clarifying statements to the brand. The company works with a packaging agency to create designs that communicate the brand, product and relevant information to help the consumer make an informed purchase decision,” she notes.