Tag Archives: vacuum bags

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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Distributor Highlight: DPB

DPB

Discount Plastic Bags was launched in 2005 as an alternative to the high priced catalog vendors selling stock flexible packaging.  By focusing strictly on quality flexible packaging materials like vacuum sealer bags, poly bags, tubing and film, this young company offers a level of targeted expertise.

Offering equal or better quality, fast delivery, low shipping cost and a Five Star Guarantee, discountplasticbags.com quickly emerged as a preferred online option for those seeking a competitive edge through efficient procurement of their thousands of items.  Both common and unique items can be found on this company’s continuously improving website.

With tens of thousands of customers and glowing reviews, you’ll feel confident that your purchases from Discount Plastic Bags are shipped promptly with care and backed with genuine concern for your satisfaction.

Shop Discount Plastic Bag’s catalog of extensive vacuum bags.

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Not all Bags are Created Equal (Quick Lesson on OTR)

Vacuum packaging is a method of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing the package.  Many food industries (meat, cheese, seafood) use vacuum packaging in order to extend the shelf life of these products.

Once air has been eliminated from the package, there must be an adequate oxygen barrier and seal integrity to keep a low oxygen concentration inside the bag. Otherwise, the driving force created by the oxygen partial pressure differences (21% outside the bag and 0-2% inside the bag) will cause oxygen to re-enter the bag.

OTR (Oxygen Transfer Rates) is the amount of oxygen that passes through a defined area of film over 24 hours.  This is where the importance of your bag comes in.  See our chart below of various OTR rates for films.  The lower the OTR, the better the barrier.

OTR Chart_Logo

If you are vacuum sealing a bag with a high OTR, this defeats the purpose of vacuum sealing since the bag will easily allow oxygen right back in the bag.  In order to properly vacuum seal your bag, you must choose a bag with a low OTR.

Vacuum Bags Demystified!

Do you have a vacuum sealer and looking to purchase vacuum bags?  If you are, remember that there are TWO kinds of vacuum bags available on the market:  standard or embossed/channeled.  Make sure you purchase the correct bags.  See our post to differentiate.

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Standard Vacuum Bags – two smooth layers

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Channeled Bags – One smooth layer and one coated layer

Bags Defined:
Standard Vacuum Bags – are clear poly/nylon pouches that can be used with a vacuum chamber or nozzle vacuum machine.   Standard vacuum bags are much LESS expensive than channeled bags.  There is also much more variety of the standard vacuum bags such as sous vide (boilable), thicker bags (4mil or 5mil), zipper and hang hole, and much more!  To purchase our standard vacuum bags, visit our website or speak to a distributor near you.

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Standard Bags – for sous vide

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Standard Bags – zipper and hang hole

Channeled Bags – are characterized by the embossed or special surface which creates a pathway or “channel” which allows the air to be pulled out of the bags.   These bags will work on ANY and ALL vacuum sealers.  Your home machines (Foodshell, FoodSaver, Seal-A-Meal models) MUST use the channel bags because they are external clamp machines.  To purchase our channel bags, visit our website or speak to a distributor near you.  We also now carry channel bags with a ziplock as well as one with a gold back.

Gold Channeled

Gold Foil Backed Channel Bags

Zipper Channeled

Zipper and Hang Hole Channel Bags

Most home users have a vacuum sealer that must use the channeled bags although there is the SINBO vacuum sealer series which is the only home use vacuum sealer that utilizes STANDARD vacuum pouches saving you money right away.