An innovative new ready meal packaging format is attracting interest from leading supermarkets, thanks to a unique design that offers greater convenience for consumers, has environmental credentials by light weighting and incorporates a cut out window to provide improved on-shelf product visibility.

North East-based firm IPS (Intelligent Packaging Solutions) has already landed a contract to manufacture and supply packaging for Tesco’s Piing ready meal range in over 600 branches – the first time the Desto Cup has been used for chilled ready meals in the UK.

Gerard Connolly, Sales and Marketing Manager at IPS, explains the concept, “We had originally designed the Desto Cup, consisting of a recycled PET inlet and cardboard skin, for a dairy product. To enable the application to be suitable for the ready meal market, we needed to adapt the materials used in the packaging. We selected a PP inlet, which unlike PET remains stable at high temperatures and is therefore suitable for hot filling, blast freezing and microwaving.”

The pack is also 66% lighter compared with conventional, injection mould pack formats. The paperboard sleeve is from renewable resources and both the pot and sleeve are easily separated for onward recycling.

Earlier this year, the company was given a Tesco Values Award for Innovation in Ready Meals in recognition of the Desto Cup’s technical and design innovation and its environmental credentials.

Gerard Connolly continued:

“We were delighted that once again our creative and technical expertise has been recognised. At IPS, we strive to provide our clients with innovative packaging solutions that offer value, are functional and have strong on-shelf presence.”

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