- September 30, 2005, Claudia Hine, Managing Editor
Microwave ovens traditionally have been better suited for reheating than cooking foods, but Graphic Packaging Intl. is expanding the options for both marketers and consumers with microwave packaging that cooks food quickly and evenly, while leaving it moist and tender.
The material, called MicroRite, consists of aluminum and polyester laminated to a paperboard base (suppliers are proprietary). Graphic Packaging has supplied the package successfully for several years in Canada for baked pies and entrees and in Europe for lasagna. In April the package made its US debut with “Cape Cod Cuisine,” a line of gourmet-quality seafood products from Raw Seafoods Inc., New Bedford, MA.
From Concept to Shelf in Five Months
Scott Hutchens, VP of Raw Seafoods, says, “In December 2004, we asked Graphic Packaging to provide us with an oven-ready, microwavable tray that would outperform any package on the market—and they responded with speed and innovation. The project went from concept to having product on the shelf in five months. By April of this year, we were using MicroRite technology to launch our new line in King’s Supermarkets, a 27-store chain in the New York/New Jersey area.”
According to Eric Metcalf, manager of market development for Graphic Packaging, “Raw Seafoods wanted to respond to growing consumer demand for convenience by offering high quality seafood products that can be cooked easily and quickly in a microwave oven with no mess. They wanted a package that would work with the microwave to cook their products thoroughly and quickly, without making the food dry or tough. Historically, these results are only achieved in a conventional oven, which requires lengthy cooking times.”
MicroRite met that need with a deep, dual-ovenable paperboard tray that cooks food evenly. Reportedly, the package delivers the ultimate in convenience to consumers, providing them with oven-quality results in microwave time. Additional benefits of the packaging tray are that it provides for fast, easy cleanup—just toss the package.
According to Graphic Packaging’s Metcalf, MicroRite also is suited for family-sized entrees such as lasagna and meat casseroles, and the company is exploring options in these markets.
Graphic Packaging Intl.
814 Livingston Ct.
Marietta, GA 30067
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Dow Chemical Co.—dow.com
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Yupo Corp. America—yupo.com
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Toray Plastics (America)—torayfilms.com