Automated packaging allows a bakery operation to work from a strong, flexible production platform to handle the ebb and flow of a retail/wholesale and internet business – as the segments fluctuate in demand, as Reiser has witnessed over the past 2-plus years, explains Mike McCann, packaging specialist for Reiser, Canton, Mass.
“It helps provide solid costing models, efficiency, good staffing levels and many other positives. It is an investment certainly, but can also be great insurance to keep growing and expanding in spite of many outside factors,” he explains. “We put a great deal of effort into full solution systems, financial plans, expert technical development, solid startups, and support at Reiser. We have a long list of successful customers to attest to that.”
Reiser offers multiple levels of automation on its packaging lines (Variovac and Repak thermoformers, Ross tray sealers, Supervac vacuum chamber lines and Fabbri stretch wrappers). These include servo driven belt systems to load the Variovac or Repak thermoformed pockets, or into preformed trays for the Ross and Fabbri lines. Reiser also utilizes JLS robotics for many areas of operation, from package filling/ finished pack case packing and case palletization.
Many bakery items can be extruded directly into packages from Reiser’s Vemag processing systems, and then baked when opened by the consumer.
“The benefits can multiply quickly from the consistency of product/presentation/shelf life optimization/product protection/market expansion and versatility and flexible scaling up from retail storefront to wholesale, to private labelling and internet sales programs” McCann says. “Reiser can tailor the size of our lines to economically give bakers this flexibility.”
A consistent product shelf life without product degradation is a key goal for Reiser’s customers. This is very important to allow for your market expansion with confidence.
At Reiser, the goal is to provide solutions that allow your product quality to have that “fresh from the oven” impact when the customer opens the package.
“We want the product protected from damage in the package, to have the proper MAP levels to ensure freshness, protecting and preserving your product’s freshness and appeal,” he explains.
The Reiser Customer Center is key in the upfront development of packaging solutions. Reiser has a steady stream of customers and potential customers in for sessions, developing items with regional and inhouse bakers, and making and packaging actual products in our labs.
“We welcome all opportunities for these visits,” McCann says.
Tamper evident packaging is also important.
With Reiser’s Variovac, Repak and Ross packaging lines, all packages are produced with “true” hermetic seals. If the packages are opened and thus compromised, it is clearly evident to the consumer.
“We know that product safety, package Integrity and our customer’s reputation are in the hands of this package,” he adds.
Sustainability is a big issue – more so today – and so how are new packaging options playing a role in fresh bakery?
“We actively work with all packaging material suppliers (we do not sell packaging films) to provide environmentally friendly packages. These new and greener initiatives are in high demand, and we are constantly testing and evaluating these films in our customer center packaging labs with the film suppliers,” McCann says.
Sustainability is very important to Reiser and its customers, as well as the reduction in waste products and packaging that occurs with traditional bakery packaging trays and films that provide minimal shelf life protection.
There can be significant “return for expiration” costs to bakeries, as well as waste volume and double handling, especially in times as Reiser has seen with the Covid situation impacting instore activity.
Online demand for retail bakery has exploded in the aftermath of Covid.
The online market is perfectly served by packages that use these machines as a “best approach,” McCann says. Think of how easy it is to move into opportunities if you have a versatile packaging system already making the best performing package to ensure success.
“Our flexible packaging solutions allow bakers to react and take on new opportunities as soon as possible without equipment supply chain issues getting in the way. If you already make the package, you are ready!” McCann says.
Reiser MAP packages are only hermetically sealed (no compromise), have controlled O2 levels, sometimes backed by an inert gas as package filler or a specific mix to best protect and maintain your product for the time necessary to get it in your customer’s hands as if from your oven.
Reiser has a full team of bakery and packaging specialists with heavy bakery experience, and the company welcomes every chance to visit with bakers at their sites. Reiser also encourages bakers to take advantage of visiting the company at its Customer Center to make/bake and package your creations, and push those plans forward.
For more than 60 years, Reiser has been a leading supplier of processing and packaging equipment solutions for the sausage, meat, poultry, seafood, prepared food, bakery, cheese and pet food industries. During that time, the company has gained recognition for its high-quality equipment, innovative engineering, and outstanding service and support. Today, this total commitment to its customers positions Reiser as the one supplier that processors can trust for better, smarter solutions.