Mark Lingard, marketing executive for Sirane, spoke with FoodProductionDaily about the growth in flexible and functional packaging, and how packaging producers are providing products to help food firms meet evolving customer demands.
What does Sirane do?
Sirane is a product and process development company with full manufacturing capabilities covering the food, medical, horticultural, and industrial sectors. Food packaging is the core of the business, and will certainly be the focus of our activities in North America.
To sum that up, we identify a need for a product (or a customer asks us to work on a development), work out how to make it, and then manufacture it commercially.
As well as manufacturing a large range of food packaging products, we specialize in development work, turning "drawing-board" ideas into real products that work. The markets we serve are across the whole food spectrum, from growers, producers and packers, food production through to retailers, mainly in the meat, seafood, poultry and fruit markets, but we have a growing customer base in the convenience food market.
Within food packaging, there are areas where we have particular expertise. These are: absorbency; shelf-life; microwave cooking bags; oven cooking bags; susceptor (for crisping food in a microwave).
So, our products include items such as absorbent meat pads, fruit pads, seafood pads, shelf-life extending bags and films for fresh produce, steam cooking bags, ovenable nylon bags, BBQ/oven bags, boneguard, susceptor boxes, boards and sleeves. They tend to do one of a few things, sometimes more than one: protect; add value; extend shelf-life; offer better food presentation.
Why are you expanding into North America?
There is real scope for growth for us in the US and Canada, and we have established there is a real appetite for innovation in food packaging. A lot of things we are doing, no one in North America is currently offering, so there is a market for our products.
We’ve already established enough sales and interest to make this move possible.
Are there any differences between the packaging market demands in North America and in Europe?
I don’t think there are many differences between the demands in North America and Europe, except perhaps the volumes. The issues faced by food manufacturers/retailers tend to be the same the world over, but how they solve those problems tends to be driven by local factors such as margins, how the food chain works, the retailers’ views and public perception; in those respects, North America and Europe are pretty similar.
Do you have any upcoming product launches you can tell us about?
There are no particular product launches planned for the next few months, but many of our products will be completely new to the North America market. There has been significant interest in a few products, namely our oven/BBQ bags, our self-seal steam-cooking bags for the oven or microwave, and our absorbent cushioned fruit pad for soft fruit. I will keep you posted on any developments.