Food Engineering

Food Packaging: Say, ‘Polybag, please!’

March 28, 2003
Say, ‘Polybag, please!’

Polybag pouches double shelf life and add shelf appeal to Pretty Bird’s premium birdseed products.


Exotic pet treats demand exotic packaging, and Pretty Bird International Inc. of Stacy, Minn., recently decided its paper bags and canisters that couldn't support a gas flush just weren't good enough for its Jungle Munchies and Premium lines. So it switched to a co-extruded poly blend bag to help extend shelf life and add a more upscale look.

The 12-year-old firm uses two Buhler twin-screw extruders to produce seed products for macaws, Amazon cockatoos, small African conures and other rare birds. Three-pound bags of Jungle Munchies retail for about $10.49, while a 50-lb. bag commands about $110. At those prices, customers expect top quality, so marketing director Don Haukom decided the products needed packaging with good oxygen-barrier quality that could support a nitrogen flush to ensure against insect infestation. He also incorporated a zip closure on the bags.

"Two main objectives when launching Jungle Munchies and Premium brands were to create a package that could successfully project the quality of our brand at point of purchase and hold a nitrogen flush for extended shelf life," he says. By using polybags and a gas flush, shelf life doubles to about two years, he says.

Colorful avian illustrations of the bird for which a product is designed is a hallmark of Pretty Bird's packaging, so the new packaging had to include a lamination layer to protect the artwork. The company worked with Container Graphics of White Bear Lake and Plassein International, Wilmington, Conn., to incorporate that feature in 2 to 8-lb. stand-up pouches and in bulk bags.

"Incorporating graphics of birds onto the front of our package allows customers to visually identify the specific breed the food was created for and enables us to easily extend our brand to the global market," says Haukom.

Pretty Bird distributes its products via mail order and through pet stores worldwide. Plassein provided just-in-time delivery of packaging to the firm's copacker, Central City Marketing and Processing, which fills product to order on Bosch and Theili Omni Star filling equipment.

For more information:

Buhler Inc.
763-847-9900
www.buhlerusa.com

Carol Marquardt
Plassein International
cmarquardt@plassein.com
866-752-7734