Milliken Unveils Tray-Pak’s New Foodservice Packaging at NRA 2016, Featuring Advanced Plastic That Combines Clarity & Heat Resistance

Chicago – With the growing popularity of takeout and the increase in online ordering, the restaurant industry is looking for better ways to package hot and cold food items to capitalize on this tremendous business opportunity. To meet consumer expectations, the packaging needs to enhance the food’s visual appeal and safely stand up to hot-fill applications, heat lamps and reheating in microwaves, all while ensuring order accuracy and streamlining inventory management. Targeting these requirements, Milliken & Company and Tray-Pak Corporation, a leader in thermoformed plastic packaging, are unveiling here today at the 2016 National Restaurant Association (NRA) show new food packaging innovations made of Milliken’s advanced NX™ UltraClear polypropylene (PP). This technology is the first plastic to combine glass-like clarity and heat resistance.

Because Milliken’s NX UltraClear PP is equally well suited for hot and cold food packaging, the ability to use each container for both types of applications simplifies ordering and inventory management and reduces shipping and storage requirements.

Tray-Pak manufactured the first commercially available food packaging container in North America made with Milliken’s NX UltraClear PP in 2015. Now, the company is building on this success by offering customers several new designs using this polymer technology, including rectangular hot-to-go containers; a deli wrap clamshell; and a single-cavity snack clamshell. The hot-to-go containers are on display here at the Milliken booth (#785).

“Our initial packaging designs made with NX UltraClear PP have generated a lot of interest among our restaurant industry customers, so it was an easy decision to move forward with the development of these exciting new containers,” said Ashley Brown, marketing manager, Tray-Pak. “Customers recognize the added value and logistical efficiencies they can gain by using packaging made from NX UltraClear PP. Through close collaboration with Milliken and by leveraging our extensive expertise in thermoforming, we are offering our customers a growing family of innovative food packaging.”

“With continuing growth in the $70 billion delivery/takeout market,1 especially in online ordering, the restaurant and catering industries are looking for packaging that can address multiple requirements, from increasing the food’s aesthetics and heat resistance to streamlining inventory,” said Emily Blair, business development manager, Milliken. “As shown by Tray-Pak’s ongoing success, innovative plastic materials like our NX UltraClear PP can play an important role in meeting these needs. Its versatility and performance and visual advantages are the perfect recipe for food packaging innovation.”

NX UltraClear PP is the only high-clarity plastic that also delivers high-temperature performance. In contrast to competitive materials, which are unsafe to heat, the Milliken solution can be used in hot-fill applications, for warming under heat lamps and microwaving for at-home or on-the-go reheating. NX UltraClear PP is clarified with Milliken’s Millad® NX™ 8000 clarifying agent, which delivers exceptional aesthetics, recyclability and energy savings and lower emissions from lower processing temperatures. It overcomes limitations of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS) for thermoforming, foldable packaging and injection- and blow-molded applications. Further, NX UltraClear PP is easily recycled in existing municipal systems.

Milliken technology experts are available at NRA 2016 in the Milliken booth to discuss NX UltraClear PP’s exceptional high performance and latest application successes, and explain how the product surpasses traditional plastic packaging solutions. For more information, please visit www.NXUltraClearPP.com

About Milliken

Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. Working from our laboratories, application and development centers around the world, our scientists and engineers create coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children’s art supplies. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines that also includes floor covering and performance materials, the people of Milliken work every day to add true value to people’s lives, improve health and safety, and make this world more sustainable. For more information, visit www.millikenchemical.com or www.milliken.com.

About Tray-Pak Corporation

Since its founding in 1975, Tray-Pak Corporation has grown to become one of North America’s leading sources for tailor-made thermoformed thin-gauge packaging solutions. Specializing in medium-to-high volume runs of consumable goods packaging, Tray-Pak helps companies to manage costs, streamline processes, and get to market faster than their competition. Tray-Pak’s mission is to deliver a superior value to all stakeholders by providing innovative packaging solutions through collaboration, creativity, and continuous improvement.

1 A Secular Shift to Online Food Ordering. Posted May 7, 2015 by Eric Kim. http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/07/a-secular-shift-to-online-food-ordering/.

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