According to research carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), in the UK the majority of consumers claim to always check the date labels on bakery items at point of purchase, in-store, with 77% claiming to look at dates at least ‘sometimes’. The primary reason given for checking date labels was to ensure they purchased the freshest product possible or to ensure longevity once at home.
It was also found that a significant proportion of consumers dispose of mainstream bread three to four days after purchase, even though the product is likely to still be within its shelf-life (most mainstream, sliced bread has a shelf-life of six days). Nearly 800,000 tonnes of bakery waste are disposed of in the UK alone annually. Of this, the majority is avoidable waste.
In the food packaging industry, the ability for consumers to quickly identify the freshness of a product is a priority matched only by how easy it is for packaging producers to initially position the information on the product correctly. The information printed onto packaging may include batch information, best before and use by dates, and any other communication the manufacturer wishes to convey.
Current methods of labelling packaging range from printing directly onto the pack using a variety of methods, but most commonly via continuous ink jet printing. This method of printing onto packaging can be notoriously difficult to make consistent, with the placement often moving around on packs, and it is also plagued by sub-standard print quality and problems with keeping equipment clean and preventing contamination. In short, it simply isn’t as clear as it could be.
The modern printers used alongside our Flexi-Plus bag sealers use Thermal Transfer Overprinting (TTO), which relies on a high-resolution thermal printhead to melt resin-based ink from a thermal transfer ribbon coating directly onto the surface of the packaging itself. And because the seals are placed at the exact same place on every pack, there will never be any worry about consistency in locating the required information.
Not only that, but the added space provides valuable extra real estate for marketing and other information. Our uniquely identifiable Flexi-Seals provide a 45mm by 10mm window in which users can put any information they wish, including images and logos. Any information printed onto the seal will remain identifiable and clear and the self-adhesive seals will also stay with the pack for as long as they are required. Having a prime piece of marketing space at the customers first point of entry to the product is a distinct advantage that many bakeries enjoy.
“Since we purchased our first Flexi-Sealer we have been immensely impressed with the vast product range that the machine can comfortably handle; coupled with its ease of use and user friendly controls, we have been able to improve our operational efficiencies and reduce our down times and product changeovers dramatically. We are now in the process of purchasing our third machine which proves our trust and faith in SBS as our preferred choice in bag sealers.”
Richard High, Chief Engineer, Nicholas & Harris Ltd.