Idan Meir, MD of Oaktree SA, is a man who thinks outside the box, as evidenced by his latest business venture – a poly-coated tray that’s challenging the norms in ovenable food packaging.
Known as Bake-In Tray, it’s a versatile leak-proof container that can go from the freezer to a conventional or microwave oven and then to the table. ‘Bake-In Tray ultimately eliminates the expense of excessive food packaging,’ declares Idan. ‘It’s suitable for baking frozen and microwavable meals, cold and hot desserts, and pastas. There’s unlimited potential!’
Relatively new to the South African market, the concept is already tried and tested in a number of European countries and hugely popular in Israel, whence it originates. On a visit to Israel three years ago, Idan spotted the product and realised its huge potential in South Africa. ‘Introducing it to local food brand owners has been a labour of love,’ he relates. ‘I wanted to produce a locally-developed range and approached several packaging converters regarding my production goals. While some were sceptical and I was turned away, Shave & Gibson’s national sales manager, Bill Furniss, invited me to visit the production facility in Durban to review my plan.’
Idan’s ideas sparked interest and Shave & Gibson set about sourcing top-grade poly-coated board from MeadWestvaco and choosing print patterns. Trials commenced and the results were a huge success.
‘With overwhelmingly positive feedback from our trial campaign, Bake-In Tray was officially launched in South Africa in February this year. We’re now in full production, offering five generic sizes printed in various designs,’ Idan reports.
According to Bill Furniss, it’s been a great partnership from the start and Bake-In Tray orders are growing daily. ‘We’re always happy to work with forward-thinking partners such as Idan, people who are passionate about their businesses,’ he remarks. ‘We’re always on the look-out for new product developments and, judging by our order book, Bake-In Tray has a bright future.’
So, how does it work?
The board for Bake-In Tray is poly-coated on one side and extruded with a barrier polymer. It’s engineered to perform from 205°C down to -40°C, allowing it to withstand the demands of the frozen food environment and maintain integrity throughout the cold chain.
From a conversion perspective, the material’s smooth surface has an outstanding ink holdout and provides optimal printability, while its consistent polymer coat weight allows for maximum throughput on high-speed forming and filling equipment.
All material used to produce Bake-In Tray is food grade quality and has FDA, ISO 9001:2008 and SABS-certification.
Clear PET sealable lids for specific applications will soon be available for certain tray formats.
‘Bake-In Tray offers savings and source reduction compared to alternative packs that require outer cartons or wraps so it’s a cost-efficient proposition with an improved sustainability profile,’ Idan claims.
Current customers include wholesalers and bakeries such as Amaro Foods in Cape Town, and leading brand owners such as Foodcorp. Oaktree has also developed a custom-made Bake-In Tray for Woolworths’ heat & eat Pizza Focaccia.
‘With Bake-In Tray you just need to use your imagination,’ Idan asserts. ‘From individual cakes to puddings, home-baked breads to pasta meals and salads, it maintains its integrity and durability in any extreme heat or chilled storage climate.’
High stock levels of standard plain and printed tray sizes are available nationally from Oaktree, and custom-made sizes with full colour branding, logos, ingredients and nutritional information are available on request.
‘Bake-In Tray’s exceptional aesthetic and functional qualities, combined with consistent performance, make it the benchmark for ovenable packaging applications,’ sums up Idan.
Loyal fans and potential customers can look forward to an additional Oaktree range specifically for take- away meals, called Box-A-Meal, scheduled for launch at Propak Africa 2013.
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Shave & Gibson
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