Tri-Star: ‘Packaging is an investment, rather than a cost’

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tri-Star: ‘Packaging is an investment, rather than a cost’
Tri-Star Packaging has seen a rise in demand for artisan wrap packaging, deli-style papers, eco-friendly salad boxes and pots to suit the latest street food trends, such as Mexican, South East Asian and Middle Eastern food.

Kevin Curran, managing director, Tri-Star Packaging, told FoodProductionDaily, grab-and-go and street food are huge right now, and it is developing packaging for eating and drinking on the move.

rPET containers

The company recently lauched a range of deli pots for salads, desserts and snacks for food-on-the-go called the Tri-Pot, suitable for pasta salads, couscous, olives, yoghurt and granola, Bircher muesli and chopped fruit.

The container comes in three sizes; 170cc, 300cc and large 440cc, with separate one-size lids and inserts. It is made from UK-sourced rPET and it is stackable and has room for labelling and branding.

The latest trends in packaging are about ensuring fantastic food presentation, using eco-friendly materials when and where possible, and improving the on-the-go experience for customers​,” said Curran.

One of the biggest challenges the industry faces is in trying to change the negative perception of packaging among both clients and consumers, many of whom see it as expensive and as waste​.

It is important for clients to realise packaging is an investment, rather than a cost. Operators should place as much importance on the standard of their packaging as they do on the ingredients in their food and drink​.

Using the right, on-trend, brandable packaging is a guaranteed way to increase sales and often command a higher price point, increasing margins. Used packaging is not waste, but a resource with value, so it is vital retailers and food-to-go operators ensure the packaging they choose can be recycled or composted locally and is not sent to landfill​.”

Fuse plastic and board

Tri-Star Packaging launched Handle-it last month​, which is a carrier to carry take-away beverages.

The design has a pivotable handle attached to a tapered section that fits around the circumference of a cup, making it possible to carry it with just one finger. Made from 100% recyclable wet-strength kraftboard, Handle-it is brandable and re-usable, and folds completely flat before use, so requires very little storage space.

The company is currently working on packaging products that fuse different materials, such as plastic and board, which offer food presentation and protection and environmental credentials as each part can be easily separated for recycling.

We are also working on a rustic design of double-walled cup to support the huge growth in market demand​,” added Curran.

The design is made in environmentally-friendly PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified board, is light-weight and keeps packaging to a minimum while still offering excellent insulation​.

We are also working with customers and companies such as Closed Loop Recycling and The Paper Cup Recovery & Recycling Group on a number of green initiatives to ensure post-consumer recovery and recycling of packaging​.”