The Sustainable Savior for Shelf Stable Foods

The rise of cartons — a food revolution and how cartons are changing the game for wet foods.

Wet food in cartons is gaining traction for several reasons:

1. Food Safety and Storage

Ever wonder how that shelf-stable soup or pet food stays fresh for years without refrigeration? The answer lies in a process called retorting. It’s essentially a high-tech pressure cooker for food in its packaging!

Retorting involves heating sealed food containers, like cartons, cans, and pouches, to extremely high temperatures. This intense sterilization process eliminates harmful bacteria and creates a commercially sterile product. The result? Food that’s safe to eat at room temperature and store for extended periods, with no limitation on inclusion size.

But how safe are these cartons? The good news is that carton packages can be retorted just like traditional cans. The six-layered structure, featuring paperboard, aluminum, and polypropylene, is designed to withstand the retorting process. More importantly, the high heat treatment eliminates any lingering microbes that could cause spoilage or foodborne illness.

The retorting time and temperature are carefully calculated for each specific food product. This ensures the highest quality and taste are preserved while achieving complete sterilization. So, the next time you grab a carton of soup or pet food, rest assured that retorting has played a crucial role in keeping it safe and delicious.

2. Good-Bye Metal

We’ve all eaten food that is stored in metal cans and noticed a metallic taste because of it. We’ve dealt with this for decades and have continued down this path because we didn’t know there could be a better option. Enough is enough. With cans being primarily made of metal, not only do they give food a potential metallic taste, they require a lot of energy to produce and recycle.

Cartons, on the other hand, are typically composed of recyclable paperboard, a renewable resource. This translates to a smaller environmental footprint and potentially higher recycling rates. This is one of the many reasons people say that carton foods are “Canned food, two centuries smarter.” By choosing cartons, you’re actively contributing to a greener future. Imagine a world where overflowing landfills are replaced with thriving ecosystems – that’s the power of making sustainable choices. Consumers are choosing recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging when they can.

Cartons are also much more convenient. Good-bye can openers. Cartons are lighter and easier to handle. They can be folded and put in the fridge for portion control. No more battling messy leftovers or wondering if the can is properly sealed – simply reclose and store with confidence. And, the mini cartons are perfect pre-portioned meal servings.

3. Space Efficiency and Lower Shipping Cost

When it comes to shipping efficiency, every ounce counts. That’s where cartons for products like pet food and soups are becoming a game-changer. Compared to traditional cans, cartons offer significant advantages that translate to cost savings and a lighter environmental footprint.

The Flat Pack Advantage: Imagine a warehouse filled with bulky cans versus a stack of flat cartons. Cartons take up considerably less space in their unfilled state. This translates to more products being shipped in a single container, maximizing space utilization, and reducing the number of trucks needed. Fewer trucks mean lower fuel costs and a lower carbon footprint—a win for both businesses and the environment.

Lightweight Champions: Cartons themselves are significantly lighter than cans. This translates to direct savings on shipping costs. Since shipping fees are often based on weight, lighter packaging, like cartons, can lead to substantial cost reductions, especially for bulk shipments.

Beyond the Basics: The benefits of cartons extend beyond just weight and space savings. Their design allows for efficient stacking and palletizing, further streamlining the shipping process. Additionally, some cartons feature innovative features like easy-open functionalities, reducing the need for additional packaging materials.

4. Branding Bonanza

Cartons offer a larger canvas for brands to showcase their products. This translates to clearer information about ingredients and sourcing, allowing you to make informed decisions at the shelf. Look for brands that proudly display their ingredients and their commitment to quality. You deserve to know exactly what goes into your food, and cartons are making that transparency possible.

Cartons often have clearer labels compared to cans. This allows you to easily decipher the ingredients easier. Look for products that boast recognizable, high-quality ingredients and minimal sodium content. Many brands are also capitalizing on the growing demand for natural and organic food, offering healthy options displayed prominently on their carton packaging.

For more information about Tetra Recart and NaturPak, reach out to schedule a meeting or tour the NaturPak facilities.

This was produced on behalf of NaturPak // We are biased because we love Tetra Recart. Sources: : Life Cycle Assessment of food packaging, Europe 2017 // //