Getting products from the field or factory onto the shelf has become so streamlined that the packaging used at source is exactly the same packaging consumers see on the supermarket shelf.
One of the leaders in what is known as “retail ready” or “shelf ready” packaging is Mpact, the paper and plastic packaging and recycling company.
In the Western Cape, Mpact’s corrugated factories in Epping and Kuils River are major manufacturers of retail ready packaging for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector as well as being a significant partner the fruit industry.
Ralph von Veh, MD of Mpact’s Corrugated Division, says the company’s customers need to reduce material usage and waste in line with cost pressures and legislative, environmental and sustainability goals.
“Where it was originally just a functional form of secondary packaging for transporting finished goods, the corrugated box is now increasingly considered a primary packaging contender,” he says.
von Veh notes that the demand for environmentally-friendly, lightweight packaging is driving packaging development, with cost control remaining a powerful force.
Typically made from corrugated board, solid fibre board or rigid plastics, RRP simplifies the process of refilling stock in supermarkets and enhances the shopping experience through self-contained display boxes or trays.
Investments in new plant and machinery over several years have enabled Mpact to produce retail ready packaging with high quality graphics and full-colour printing. This simplifies product identification for consumers, while the easy-to-open features appeal to store staff.
Mpact’s Corrugated Division has a strong presence in the Western Cape with operations in Epping and Kuils River. It manufactures a comprehensive range of printed and unprinted converted products, including boards, which are used to manufacture corrugated packaging, corrugated boxes, die-cut cases, folded glued cases, trays and point of sale displays.
von Veh explains that Mpact provides fruit farmers in the Western Cape with lighter, stronger and more effective packaging which is not only better for handling purposes and enabling efficiencies for the farmer, but also contains costs.
“Good quality corrugated boxes are of utmost importance to fruit exporters. For example, some fruit gives off moisture which affects the properties of the packaging. This is critical when fruit is to be transported over long distances in containers under refrigeration,” says von Veh.
The plants are equipped to produce a range of corrugated products from standard boxes to die-cut self-locking trays. All packaging is custom-made to particular customer needs and can be printed as required on site.
Says von Veh: “The Western Cape is home to many important customers and Mpact intends to maintain a leading market position in the province. We will continue to develop this position by focusing on investments in modern technology and training, customer relationship management and a decentralised operating structure to provide constant improvements to the products we supply.”