During Memorial Day weekend, like many other Americans I fired up my barbecue grill, opting to cook bratwurst one afternoon. I purchased a package of brats from an area supermarket and when I got home, I only then noticed something unique about the packaging (yes, the title of this post is to be taken literally). Yes, the packaging of this meat product was fitted to the products shape.
This has many implications for the meat processing and distribution industries. First, such packaging reduces the amount of packaging material (in this case, a Styrofoam-like material) and subsequently the amount of associated refuse. Second, it has the potential to eventually reduce the cost ($) of packaging materials which must be included in the meat product’s retail price. Considering that nearly all meat sold at supermarkets in the United States is sold in a self-service case, the meat retailers (or their suppliers) go through a LOT of packaging materials (some non-recyclable, and those that are … well, how many people recycle meat packaging materials?).
The bratwurst package above may only appear to use a little less foam than the traditional, rectangular trays. Even so, this is a step, albeit only a baby-step in the right direction. It works!