Thursday, 27 October 2011

Ready Meal Inside Packaging

Currently I have been focusing on the outer design for my meal pack but now I have a pretty good idea of how this will take form, I'm moving onto the inner packaging. I've done some research into existing packaging for ready meals and have found most tend to come in a standard black microwavable plastic packaging with a clear film lid. They tend to lack in any form of surface design as the design mainly takes place on an outer box or sleeve made from card.

Many oriental take aways are purchased in the cardboard noodle boxes, however as my product is being sold in supermarket, it will be sat on a shelf for a while and so plastic will need to be used for the risk of the food product leaking, and also to keep freshness.
Anything like the above images will not work for my meal pack concept,  firstly because these plastic containers are too standard, plain and unattractive to even consider using alone and secondly, producing some kind of outer printed sleeve for them would be pointless as my pack already has its main outer packing. 

There is the option (examples above) that I could print onto the film tops of the packaging but i'm not too sure how I would go about doing this.

My next option is a form of packaging i've discovered which combines the use of cardboard and plastic:

I think something like this is a perfect option for my concept. The cardboard tubs instantly make more attractive packaging for the contents of the meal pack and also allow me to produce a printed design straight onto them, whilst the plastic layer inside prevents any leakage from the food and the lid will also keep the freshness whilst still allowing the contents to be shown. I would also produce some kind of labels for the lids and also the ingredients and nutritional information would possibly need to feature somewhere.

I've actually found a website where i've ordered a few free samples so I can have a look at how the net works in order to produce my own.

Initially created by a company called Alexir, this idea had been used by stores such as Tesco and Eat:

"The new “alexipack”® board tray system from Alexir packaging was the chosen option for Tesco’s chilled ready meals in their re-launched “Healthy Living” range. The tray is leak resistant with 75% of the tray being made from a renewable resource, board. It is ideally suited for chilled ready meals, and with the 35% reduction in packaging weight when compared against the same product used in 2007 meets with Tesco weight reduction programme giving it environmental benefits."

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