Thermoformer’s Hot-to-Go Containers Enabled by Advanced PP Clarifier

Tray-Pak’s new custom thermoformed containers combine super clarity with high-temperature performance.

An additive technology that appears to have resulted in the first plastic food packaging to combine glass-like clarity and heat resistance has been introduced commercially by 41-year-old custom thermoformer Tray-Pak Corp., Reading, Pa. Tray-Pak, recognized as a pioneer and innovator in thin-gauge forming, teamed up with Milliken, Spartanburg, S.C., to create the new packaging. Tray-Pak’s sheet suppliers were asked to produce a PP homopolymer sheet utilizing Milliken’s new NX UltraClear PP concentrates.

Targeted to the growing demand for clarity, heat resistance, and increased sustainability in thermoformed food packaging—containers, clamshells, and trays—these concentrates are based on Milliken’s Millad NX 8000 fourth-generation nonitol-based clarifier, which has been shown to produce 50% less haze at any part thickness than previous benchmark clarifiers. Energy savings, lower emissions, and higher line speeds from lower processing temperatures are also claimed for this clarifier.

According to Milliken and Tray-Pak, supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants are looking for better ways to package hot and cold foods to capitalize on the increased popularity of fresh-prepared, takeout, and online ordering. The partners took on the challenge to come up with packaging that enhances the food’s visual appeal and stands up to hot-fill applications, heat lamps, and on-the-go microwave reheating.

Because the packaging is equally suited to hot and cold foods, it simplifies ordering and inventory management and reduces shipping and storage requirements. “With continuing growth in the $70 billion delivery/takeout market, 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,” explains Emily Blair,  business-development manager for Milliken (milliken.com).

According to Troy Hill, Tray-Pak’s new-product development manager ,not only is there a “huge jump in clarity” with PP sheet containing NX UltraClear, but the additive’s intrinsic nucleating properties broaden the processing window—particularly important for more complex designs such as locking features.

Tray-Pak made the first commercial thermoformed food container in North America with NX UltraClear PP in 2015. Now it’s expanding on this success by offering several new designs using this polymer technology, including rectangular hot-to-go containers, a deli-wrap clamshell, and a single-cavity snack clamshell.

“We currently have 8- and 16-oz containers, but we are evaluating other sizes and containers with domed vs. flat lids for certain types of foods,” says Hill. The initial commercial foray was with a restaurant chain that wanted clear lids and bases, but the bases would also be tinted using Milliken’s ClearTint colorants. Brand logos are embossed in the tool, supporting further customization of the containers.

This novel packaging technology is allowing the veteran thermoformer, which has been serving the food-processing and food-service sectors, to enter new markets such as restaurant and grocery-store fresh-prepared foods, notes Hill.

Adds Ashley Brown, Tray-Pak manager of customer service and marketing , “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 development of these exciting new containers. Customers recognize the added value and logistical efficiencies they can gain by using packaging made from NX UltraClear PP.”

Tray-Pak’s New Hot and Cold Food Packaging, Featured at IDDBA, Builds on Success with Milliken’s Crystal-clear, Heat-Resistant Plastic

Houston, Texas – Expanding on its success with Milliken & Company’s advanced NX™ UltraClear polypropylene (PP), Tray-Pak Corporation is producing several new packaging designs using this glass-like, heat-resistant polymer. Tray-Pak’s containers enable supermarkets and convenience stores to enhance the appeal and convenience of fresh-to-go foods with value-added packaging. A collection of 8-ounce and 16-ounce containers, suitable for hot and cold foods, are showcased at Milliken’s booth (#5355) here at the 2016 International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) Show.

The crystal clarity of NX UltraClear PP enhances visual appeal and in-store merchandizing of today’s highly popular ready-to-eat and made-to-order foods. Its heat resistance makes this plastic suitable for hot-fill applications, warming in supermarket heated displays and microwaving for at-home or on-the-go reheating. Milliken’s technology is the first plastic to combine high clarity and heat resistance.

“The grocery industry has been very interested in our novel packaging designs made with NX UltraClear PP, so we are adding new containers to our portfolio to give customers more choices,” said Ashley Brown, marketing manager, Tray-Pak. “Store operators and suppliers appreciate the winning combination of beautiful aesthetics, high performance and versatility offered by our containers. A productive collaboration with Milliken and our extensive expertise in thermoforming are allowing Tray-Pak to continue expanding our family of innovative food packaging.”

Milliken’s NX UltraClear PP is equally well suited for hot and cold food packaging. The ability to use each Tray-Pak container for both types of applications simplifies ordering, streamlines logistics and improves space management in the back of the store. Further, food packaging made with this plastic is easy to seal and does not require an additional adhesion layer, saving production time and manufacturing costs.

“Top supermarket trends, such as chef-inspired prepared meals, in-store cafes and fresh, healthy takeout items share a common requirement:  attractive and practical packaging,” said Emily Blair, business development manager, Milliken. “As shown by Tray-Pak’s continuing success with new containers, advanced plastic materials like our NX UltraClear PP can play an important role in addressing these trends. Its cost-effectiveness, performance and aesthetics add up to true food packaging innovation.”

Tray-Pak, a leader in thermoformed plastic packaging, manufactured the first commercially available food packaging container in North America made with Milliken’s NX UltraClear PP in 2015.
NX UltraClear PP is the only high-clarity plastic that also delivers high-temperature performance. Competitive materials are unsafe to heat. NX UltraClear PP also delivers exceptional aesthetics, recyclability and a lower carbon footprint than other plastics. It also overcomes limitations of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS) for thermoforming, foldable packaging and injection- and blow-molded applications. Further, NX™ UltraClear PP food packaging is easy to seal and does not require an additional adhesion layer, saving production time, avoiding food spoilage and reducing manufacturing costs.

Milliken technology experts and Tray-Pak’s commercial leaders are available at IDDBA 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.

NX and the Milliken logo are trademarks of Milliken & Company.

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/.

NX and the Milliken logo are trademarks of Milliken & Company.

Millad is a registered trademark of Milliken & Company.

Fresh-Pak Launch and Milliken Partnership Hits the Web

http://www.plasticstoday.com/articles/Tray-Pak-first-to-market-in-North-America-with-its-UltraClear-PP-food-containers-160617

http://www.groceryheadquarters.com/2015/06/tray-pak-heats-up-the-hot-to-go-container-market-with-new-products-featuring-ultraclear-pp-clarified-with-millikens-millad-nxtm-8000/

http://www.groceryheadquarters.com/2015/06/iddba-2015/

http://www.groceryheadquarters.com/2015/07/tray-pak-teams-up-with-milliken-co-for-hot-to-go-and-heat-at-home-food-containers/

http://polymer-additives.specialchem.com/news/industry-news/traypak-creates-milliken-millad-nx-8000-clarified-pp-based-food-containers

http://www.packworld.com/applications/food/tray-pak-clear-microwaveable-pp-food-containers

 

Tray-Pak Heats Up the Hot-to-Go Container Market with New Products Featuring UltraClear PP Clarified with Milliken’s Millad® NX™ 8000

Atlanta, Ga. – Milliken & Company today announced here at IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo (booth #2846) that Tray-Pak Corporation (booth #3947) has created new food containers for hot-to-go and heat-at-home applications made from UltraClear polypropylene (PP) clarified with Milliken’s advanced Millad® NX™ 8000 technology. Tray-Pak, a leader in custom thermoformed plastic packaging, chose UltraClear PP to offer its customers a unique combination of glass-like clarity, microwave/hot fill capability and recyclability – and the option to enhance the containers with Milliken’s ClearTint® colorants. Tray-Pak is showcasing its new 9-inch by 9-inch dome lid container at the New Product Showcase and the Show & Sell Center, as well as both companies’ booths. It has also developed a 6-inch by 6-inch container and a 7.25-inch by 5.6-inch rectangular container. They will be the first commercially available food containers in North America to feature UltraClear PP.

“Tray-Pak has always brought new material innovations to the market,” said Ashley Waszkiewicz, marketing manager, Tray-Pak Corporation. “The partnership with Milliken combines our excellent design and engineering capabilities with advanced material technologies that provide clarity similar to polyethylene terephthalate and the heat performance and sustainability of polypropylene. UltraClear PP allows us to create products that meet growing trends, such as the move away from expanded polystyrene in favor of a more easily recycled material. Tray-Pak looks forward to launching the line later this year and plans to continue designing tailor-made products that will use this material technology to target consumer demands for clarity and microwave capability.”

“Tray-Pak’s attractive hot food containers are a great and practical example of how readily UltraClear PP can be adapted to the requirements of new applications,” said Cristina Acevedo, global product line manager, Plastics Additives, Milliken & Company. “This versatile material checks ‘must-have’ boxes that are important across many packaging sectors, including enhanced shelf appeal, improved sustainability and high performance. These attributes position it favorably against traditional resins and offer many opportunities for material upgrades.”

New Family of Distinctive Products

Here at the Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo, Tray-Pak’s 9-inch by 9-inch container is being shown in several variations, including tinted clear bases that provide a pop of color to enhance the appearance of the contents. The bases can be configured with a single cavity or three cavities, making them suitable for quick-serve restaurants, grocery store hot bars and other take-out food providers. The 6-inch by 6-inch containers, with a single cavity base, share a similar design to the 9-inch by 9-inch containers with a domed lid providing inherent stackability. The rectangular containers, also with a single cavity base, have a slightly domed lid. All lids and bases will be available in UltraClear PP and all are microwaveable.

The Millad NX 8000 additive gives PP a clarity boost that overcomes the undesirable cloudy appearance of natural PP in sheet and thermoformed applications. UltraClear PP offers highly attractive transparency, similar to that of polyethylene terephthalate, for meat trays, clamshell containers and lids. UltraClear PP also offers important benefits such as mono-material packaging, easy seal and impact and heat resistance.

Milliken’s ClearTint colorants deliver the brightest, cleanest and most transparent colors in PP. They are precisely designed to enhance the Millad NX 8000 clarifier. The deep, rich shades achievable with ClearTint are unavailable with traditional pigment colors. Milliken’s innovative colorants are Food & Drug Administration (FDA) compliant and provide freedom from color migration or extraction.

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.

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.

Millad and ClearTint are registered trademarks of Milliken & Company.

 

 

Tray-Pak to Exhibit new Fresh-Pak Product Line at Dairy-Deli-Bake 2015

READING, PA – June 3, 2015 — Tray-Pak Corp., a leading thermoformer of quality, tailor-made packaging solutions, will be exhibiting at Dairy-Deli-Bake 2015, an expo sponsored by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) in booth 3947. Opening at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA on June 7, 2015, and running through June 9, 2015, this is the largest and most-focused show for the dairy, deli, bakery, and foodservice industries.

Tray-Pak will be showcasing Fresh-Pak™, the company’s new line of packaging ideal for on-the-go applications.  The Fresh-Pak™ line is a continuation of the company’s expansion into stock packaging, with the addition of several new PET and polypropylene containers.  The line features a variety of designs and configurations intended to meet the needs of the quick service, supermarket and convenience store markets.

Also on display at Tray-Pak’s booth will be a new container for hot-to-go and heat-at-home applications made from UltraClear polypropylene clarified with Milliken & Company’s advanced Millad® NX™ 8000 technology.  The UltraClear polypropylene allows Tray-Pak to offer customers a unique combination of glass-like clarity, microwave/hot fill capability and recyclability. Tray-Pak is showcasing its new 9-inch by 9-inch dome lid container at the New Product Showcase and the Show & Sell Center, as well as in booth 3947 and Milliken’s booth 2846.

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.

Tray-Pak to Exhibit at Dairy-Deli-Bake 2014

Tray-Pak Corp., a leading thermoformer of quality, tailor-made packaging solutions, announces they will be exhibiting at Dairy-Deli-Bake 2014, an expo sponsored by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) in booth 2127. Opening at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO on June 1, 2014, and running through June 3, 2014, this is the largest and most-focused show for the dairy, deli, bakery, and foodservice industries.

Tray-Pak will be showcasing concepts of the company’s expansion into stock packaging, a multi-functional on-the-go line of PET containers. “The experience that Tray-Pak has in creating custom solutions has given our group valuable insights into our customers’ expectations of functional and visually appealing packaging” said Tim McLaughlin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Offering stock packaging that is unique, environmentally friendly, and in-line with market trends is a shift in Tray-Pak’s business model, and one that we are committed to in order to fully service our customers, and exceed their expectations.”

The design capabilities, speed to market, breadth of materials, and production versatility, are all important factors in what makes Tray-Pak the most dependable choice for consistent, high-performing tailor-made packaging solutions. Tray-Pak will be exhibiting their new stock concepts, available in late 2014, at booth 2127 of the show.

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.

Tray-Pak Corporation Announces Launch of New Website

Tray-Pak Corporation, a leading thermoformer of tailor-made packaging solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of their new and improved company website, traypak.com.  The introduction of the new website design and functionality is in line with the company’s commitment to creating an exceptional experience for all customers, prospects, employees and interested parties.

The new website incorporates an improved user experience and contemporary look and feel.  Enhanced features include:

  • Improved navigation and content so customers and prospects can locate product, market and capabilities information more efficiently
  • Additional tools for customers and prospects to evaluate and initiate new projects, such as downloadable case studies and “request a quote” feature
  • Dynamic site design for mobile and tablet friendly performance
  • The addition of a Careers Page for employees and candidates to learn more about opportunities at the company

“We are excited about the launch of our new website.  We believe that it will be a valuable tool for our customers and prospects, and help them achieve their goals.  It is important that the site reflect our core values and the emphasis that we put on customer relationships, continuous improvement, and first-class product quality” said Scott Myers, President & CEO.

Additional changes to traypak.com, including the ability for real-time social media updates and dynamic elements such as videos and interactive tutorials, will be introduced in 2014.  “Our goal was to develop a new website to provide the information and functionality that our stakeholders are seeking, while providing an optimal digital platform that allows us to effectively and consistently communicate with those users,” added Myers.

AIB Food Safety Rating

Tray-Pak Corp., a leading thermoformer of quality, tailor-made packaging solutions, has received a high achievement score of 955 out of 1000 possible points from their 2013 American Institute of Baking International (AIB) audit. The rigorous audit, conducted by AIB International, evaluates the effectiveness of the facility’s adherence to the guidelines established in 21 CFR 110 and international legislation, and the adequacy of the programs that the facility has established for food safety management, pest control, operational methods, personnel practices, maintenance and cleaning.

Tray-Pak Corp. has successfully passed AIB audits for the last eighteen years, receiving a 955 out of 1000 in 2012 and again in 2013. As expressed by Bill Drexler, Director of Quality and Supply Chain, “This score reflects our commitment that food safety is a top priority. We want our customers to remain confident that the packaging they purchase from Tray-Pak is the best in the industry.” The safety of Tray-Pak employees, customers, and end users are a daily focus at the company. This dedicated focus has not only allowed Tray-Pak to achieve high honors from AIB audits, but has also resulted 77% reduction in OSHA recordable incidents over the last five years. Tray-Pak’s accomplishments in these areas recognize the company as a world class manufacturer, and position the company in the top of the industry in respect to OSHA and food safety statistics.

Tray-Pak Featured in Microsoft Partner Case Study

Tray‐Pak Corp., a leading thermoformer of innovative and quality packaging solutions, is pleased to announce the publication of a case study detailing the company’s successful implementation of a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program. With the consultation of Intellitec Solutions, a leading Microsoft Dynamics Partner of Wilmington, DE, Tray‐Pak was able to effectively customize and integrate a new CRM solution into their business to more efficiently support customer needs and track sales activities.

Since implementing the robust system six months ago, Tray‐Pak has experienced improvements to real‐ time sales reporting, responsiveness to sales leads, and cross‐departmental communications. “Tray‐Pak is constantly looking at ways to enhance the communications process both internally and with our customer base. Our new CRM program has provided many of the key elements needed to reinforce our current business model while offering the horsepower required to support our corporate growth initiatives” said Kevin Gramley, EVP of Sales and Marketing for Tray‐Pak.