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August 31, 2021 - Rigid Packaging

How to Easily Meet Frozen Food Packaging Demands

As consumer preferences for healthy yet convenient meals rise, more individuals are turning toward frozen food options. According to a Specialty Foods Magazine article, this increased desire for frozen meals is due in large part to brand owner efforts to change consumers’ perceptions of it. In the past, consumers perceived frozen food quality to be poor compared to fresh food options; however, in recent years, this perception has shifted. By offering healthy frozen options not filled with preservatives, brand owners have enabled consumers to appreciate the convenience and healthiness that frozen food provides.

Yet brand owners aren’t stopping there. In an effort to further ensure their products meet consumer preferences, they want their freezer grade packaging to:

  • Increase output volume to supply more packaging in less time to stores
  • Reduce environmental footprint to assist in sustainability efforts worldwide
  • Enhance end-use performance and aesthetics to appeal to consumers

Therefore, to address these needs, it’s important to understand the key role adhesives play and ensure your chosen adhesive is able to meet production, sustainability and performance needs.

Market Demand #1: Increased Frozen Food Packaging Output

As frozen food demand rises, more food has to be packaged at a faster rate than in the past. To do this, you need packaging assembly products that keep production lines moving and downtime to a minimum. Many manufacturers opt for automated assembly lines and look for products specially formulated for high speeds.

  • How Meeting This Demand Can be Challenging

Sometimes, your chosen adhesive can negatively impact productivity rates. For example, as new, sustainable board stocks are used in freezer packaging manufacturing, it’s possible the adhesive may be incompatible. If so, it results in the adhesive being unable to sufficiently wet out the packaging substrates in a given time frame, causing the overall package to lack sufficient bond strength. This can cause the packaging to pop open on the production line, increasing downtime to address the issue, stopping line speeds and diminishing package quality.

Additionally, if your adhesive uses older technology, it may be prone to degradation. This causes adhesive residue to build up, which can require equipment maintenance time to clean it.

  • How Your Chosen Adhesive Can Help

For maximum production efficiency, it’s important to ensure that the application equipment, board stock and adhesive are all suited to each other. With Kizen® FREEZE,Bostik’s newest hot melt, freeze grade packaging adhesive, this is easy. Ideal for efficient, melt-on-demand systems yet still compatible with traditional processes, Kizen FREEZE offers:

  • Improved line speeds with its aggressive hot tack and clean machining capabilities
  • Enhanced pot life with its hydrogenated tackification system free from many impurities that can cause degradation
  • Reduced SKU needs with its broad temperature performance range and precise dispensing characteristics for versatile application usage across production lines

Market Demand #2: Reduced Environmental Footprint

Additionally, it’s important to think about how all frozen food packaging can contribute toward sustainability efforts. In particular, many manufacturers are including fewer chemicals in their materials and replacing conventional board stocks and coatings with more sustainable options in an effort to reduce environmental footprint. 

  • How Meeting This Demand Can be Challenging

While these new, sustainable board stocks are helpful in reducing your carbon footprint, it can be challenging to find an adhesive that offers sufficient bond strength, especially when also being exposed to a low temperature environment in freezers, which decreases adhesive flexibility and adhesion forces. Further, each time board stock is recycled, the fibers used in their manufacturing become increasingly shorter. Your chosen adhesive may be unable to wet out these shorter fibers and form a sufficient bond. This inability is likely due to the following issues:

  • The adhesive’s tackification system may lack sufficient adhesion to organic materials.
  • The adhesive’s flow characteristics don’t have deep enough penetration into the dense board stocks, especially with moisture on grease-resistant coatings on them, to form a secure bond to the shortened paper fibers.

As a result, it can limit manufacturers’ ability to use sustainable substrates in freezer grade packaging and therefore be unable to meet brand owner and consumer demands.

  • How Your Chosen Adhesive Can Help

To easily incorporate sustainable materials in your packaging, it’s important to ensure your chosen adhesive is equipped for these materials and the end-use application temperature exposure. Specifically formulated for adhesion to difficult freezer grade substrates, such as highly-recycled board stock and sustainable coatings, Kizen FREEZE offers:

  • Enhanced tackification to aggressively adhere to organic materials
  • Increased bonding temperature range (down to -20°F) and adhesion to challenging substrates
  • Improved flow characteristics for a deeper penetration into dense board stocks and a more secure bond
  • Reduced adhesive usage overall with strong bonding characteristics to further decrease environmental footprint

Market Demand #3: Increased End-Use Performance

Frozen food packaging plays an important role in overall food freshness. To help with this and overall package performance, manufacturers are incorporating new materials into package designs that offer improved barrier protection. These added barriers offer protection against water, water vapor, oxygen, aroma and anything else that could impact food quality. 

  • How Meeting This Demand Can be Challenging

However, to incorporate this added protection, manufacturers’ new materials often include highly printed or coated board stocks. As a result, it can be challenging to find adhesives that are able to adhere to these barriers, especially in a low temperature environment. The package becomes unable to offer needed performance levels and may result in package bond failure, causing quality issues.

Further, an improper adhesive makes it difficult for manufacturers to meet end-user shelf appeal preferences, since the highly printed or coated board stocks also serve to improve aesthetics and design options in addition to functionality.

  • How Your Chosen Adhesive Can Help

To enable barrier protection and improve end-use package performance and aesthetics, it’s important to choose an adhesive that is specifically formulated for highly printed and coated materials. Kizen FREEZE offers this adhesion level while also yielding a lower odor profile compared to traditional freezer grade adhesives. In addition, it is formulated for precise automated dispensing, which reduces adhesive usage and waste, further aiding in sustainability, efficiency and cost reduction efforts.

Want to trial Kizen FREEZE and see how it can be easy to meet market demands? Contact a Bostik expert today to learn how! You can also view this helpful content to learn more about our Kizen product family:

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