Nampak investing in pouch manufacturing machines for growing seafood packaging sector as seafood brands increasingly choose flexible packaging for convenience, cost saving benefits

SANDTON, South Africa , September 30, 2011 (press release) – In the packaging of fish products, flexible packaging has a great deal to offer. As with all foods, the consumer is increasingly looking for convenience coupled with dependable quality and complete hygiene.

Added to this, the case for flexible packaging materials is compelling. Reduced weight, which saves transportation costs, lower energy consumption in production, and more adaptable shapes and branding solutions have all contributed to the massive rise in flexible packaging adoption by leading seafood brands in recent times. Nampak Flexible, Africa’s largest flexible packaging supplier is moving with the tide to bring seafood brands the very best this dynamic substrate has to offer.

Nampak Flexible supplies a number of leading brands in the seafood industry, including the like of Sea Harvest and Pescanova. The company’s products and services are backed by continuous investment in leading equipment the likes of state-of-the-art flexographic and gravure printing machines that provide the highest quality finishes, translating into stronger branding for seafood products.

The flexible specialist has a full contingent of laminating equipment to compliment their own printing capabilities and finishes on customers’ packaging – a major plus in the retail environment. Nampak Flexible is also the only packaging company in South Africa with no fewer than three Totani pouch-making machines. Totani is recognised world wide as the leader in pouch conversion equipment, making Nampak Flexible the leaders in pouch conversion for the seafood markets and customers they serve.

As an example, leading seafood brand Pescanova has benefitted greatly from Nampak Flexible’s award-winning range in the form of the Pescanova frozen fish pouches - an FTASA (Flexographic Technical Association of South Africa) award winner. The laminated pouches for packing IQF fish portions are Flexographically printed in eight colours and are supplied to the customer in pre-made pouch form. The laminate provides excellent puncture resistance and the ability to withstand the sub zero temperatures of freezers in the cold supply chain.

Other convenient options from Nampak Flexible include zippered pouches for seafood mixes, supplied for IQF fish portions and a range of seafood mixes, including prawns, crabsticks and mussels. The pre-made pouch format of this packaging type makes it convenient for packers and equally convenient for consumers, as its zipper allows it to be resealed. Again, the laminate provides excellent puncture resistance and the ability to withstand the sub zero temperatures typically encountered by frozen seafood products.

Nampak Flexible also supplies the plain and printed flat silver and gold backed vacuum pouches which have come to dominate the fresh fish industry. These pouches are constructed in two parts, with the front transparent PET/PE (flexible front film), and the back either silver or gold PET/PE (flexible backing) and can be zippered so as to reseal. In addition to the high standards for food safety and protection, the silver and gold backing provides excellent presentation for the vacuum pouch, resulting in fish products that appear more elegant on shelf.

Nampak Flexible believes that the market for pouches in the seafood industry can only grow, which is one reason why the company is making further capital investment in the pouch category. This investment includes two new pouch machines and a spout inserter, which have already been ordered and will arrive in the new calendar year. The new equipment will enable Nampak Flexible to deliver a host of options, including a few that are currently not available on the South African market. Overall, the investment will greatly increase Nampak Flexible’s footprint and capacity for pouches in the dynamic seafood sector.

With two of its plants located near major harbours - in Ndabeni, Western Cape and Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal - Nampak Flexible is perfectly positioned in close proximity to seafood customers. Amongst a host of the most important food safety, hygiene and packaging accreditations, both the Nampak Flexible Pinetown and Ndabeni plants are also BRC (British Retail Consortium) accredited – a critically important endorsement for customers who export seafood products. The BRC accreditation’s role in the export markets is a crucial one where, according to Robin Moore, Nampak Flexible Managing Director, the accreditation is vital for potential and existing customers who export to the United Kingdom and Europe. This is because BRC accreditation is the entry ticket to supplying all the major supermarket chains there.

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