Tag Archives: impulse

Industry Highlight: Jerky and Meat Snacks Packaging

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The goal of our industry highlight blogs is to provide actionable ideas with current trends that start up customers can use to make packaging decisions.

Our first industry highlight blog post will focus on the meat snacks industry which is now a $1.5 billion industry in the United States according to market research firm IRI.

The growth rate for jerky products is second only to popcorn.  As Sealer Sales is a One Stop Shop of Sealing Equipment & Supplies, we can help with both the pouches and heat sealers for jerky packaging.

Jerky is a Growing Market

The meat snacks industry is now a $1.5 billion industry in the United States according to market research firm IRI.  According to Progressive Grocer, the growth trends of the jerky industry are being driven by the following factors:

  • Demographics – New brands cater to younger and health conscious consumers looking for convenient and healthy ingredients
  • Craft and artisan brands – People are looking for less mass produced snacks and foods – some experts believe the jerky industry is undergoing the same changes as the craft beer market
  • Jerky is Healthy – Jerky can double as a practical and healthy snack
  • Snacking over Meals – Americans replacing meals with snacks

While the industry is dominated by Jack Link’s with more than 50% of the market, the above trend factors are resulting in large growth rates for brands that offer a new value proposition for consumers – i.e. gourmet or premium brands.  For example, premium brand Krave was purchased by Hershey Co. in 2015 and Hershey expects its 2017 outlook to be positive partly from the growth in sales from Krave.

Packaging Requirements for Jerky Industry

We can offer both flexible packaging as well as heat sealing equipment.

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Barrier bags are absolutely essential for packaging jerky to prevent oxidation and spoilage.   Our best barrier stock bag is our EVOH bag which was manufactured for products that require an extended shelf life.  The bag is equipped with a hang hole and resealable zipper.  In addition, there is a window which allows the customer a sneak peak of the products.  Other stock bag options include:  clear vacuum bags with hang hole and zipper, our clear/gold and clear/black vacuum bags, foil stand up pouches, metallized flat pouches.  For companies just starting out, we suggest choosing a bag from our stock option program and placing a label on the bag.  We can work on quotes for custom bag specifications or suggest really great manufacturers to work with, but there will be minimum quantities (estimate approximately 20,000pcs to start).  If you do want to go the custom route, please fill out the attached survey.

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Once the pouch has been selected, the pouches must then be filled with your product and heat sealed to prevent the bags from being tampered with.  To seal your jerky pouches, we offer a variety of heat sealing equipment that can meet your needs.  Whether you are just starting your production and looking for basic and affordable units or faster production volumes with the option to print a date code or expiration date on the seal line, we can help recommend a heat sealer.  We also carry vacuum sealers which will completely remove oxygen from your bags preserving your jerky product.

Our most basic and least expensive sealer is our hand sealer – if you are looking to do to seal about 15 packages per minute, we would suggest this option.  Otherwise, our band sealers will be our most efficient method for sealing plastic bags.  Band sealers operate via conveyor.  The operator would feed his or her bag into the machine and release.  The band sealer will then take the bag via conveyor through the sealing process.  Some of our band sealers are equipped with printers so you are able to print a lot code or expiration date on them. Operator would just have to feed the bag so the process is much less tiring than a hand sealer.  Here is a video demo of how our band sealer operates.  Kooee Snacks, a premium brand focusing on 100% grass fed beef combines their jerky with trail mix. The company uses our FRS-1120W band sealer in order to seal and date code their bags.

Do you have a  jerky product that needs assistance with packaging options?  If so please contact us and we would be glad to assist you.  If you already have your bags and need a heat sealer option, we can test your bags on our band sealers and send the samples back to you along with a video demo.  Just contact us!

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Best Practice: What the Heck Does Congeal Mean?

CONGEAL MEANS TO COOL UNDER PRESSURE.

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Hand / Foot Impulse Sealers
The hand or foot sealer is a manual sealer. What this means is that the congeal step or dwell step needs to be added into your sealing process to make a proper seal.    Hold the jaw down for a couple of seconds after the timer light has gone off to set the seal.  This will ensure a proper seal and will also allow the sealer to cool down before the next seal.  This will ensure longevity of the heating elements.

Auto Impulse Sealers
We recommend the congeal (cooling) setting to be at least 2x greater than the heat setting.  This will ensure that the seal has ample opportunity to set and cool under pressure.  This will also allow the heating element to cool as well.  The most important step for the longevity of auto sealers is having the appropriate congealing time.  Most customers skip the congeal setting in order to get a higher ppm (packages per minute) but this will only lead to problems – broken element and PC Board.