You are currently viewing content for:

International / EN

Change location

Current location

Innovative packaging concept contributes to the reduction in food waste

In Denmark as elsewhere, the awareness of sustainability has continued to rise in recent years. The responsible handling of resources also includes the prevention of food waste.


As one of the leading meat-processing companies in Scandinavia, Danish Crown Foods (previously TULIP Food Company) is very aware of its responsibilities - and in conjunction with MULTIVAC it has developed an innovative pack, which enables consumers to remove just part of the product as required from the opened pack. The other half of the product remains sealed in the pack under modified atmosphere until it is next required, which means the product is ideally protected.

With over 2,000 employees and an annual turnover of approx. one billion euros in 2018, Danish Crown Foods is a major manufacturer of preserved meat and other processed meats such as bacon and sliced ham. It is primarily fresh pork that is processed, but also beef and poultry. With its extensive range of ready meals, Danish Crown Foods is also pursuing the aim of further expanding its position in the convenience market.

Danish Crown Foods was founded in 1909 - and it is the oldest brand in the country. The company, which has been part of the worldwide Danish Crown Group since 1986, is located in the city of Randers in Denmark, and it serves the domestic Danish market and more than 80 countries worldwide from its 14 sites in Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. Denmark and Germany are its most important sales markets.


Important stimulus from outside


When a leading retailer expressed the wish for a new type of pack, which would make a contribution to reducing food waste by consumers, Danish Crown Foods turned to MULTIVAC for assistance. This was because there had been many years of very satisfactory cooperation between the two companies.

After deep discussion and comprehensive tests, a packaging concept was developed, which is a real innovation in the market - a double pack consisting of two individually sealed pack chambers, one on top of the other. While the consumer removes one half of the content from the pack, the middle film ensures the second half remains firmly sealed and protected by the modified pack atmosphere (MAP). Smaller and single-occupancy households in particular benefit from this innovative solution, which enables consumers to remove just the required product from the pack, thereby giving greater flexibility as well as counteracting premature spoilage of the product and food waste.

The R 535 thermoforming packaging machine, one of MULTIVAC's high-output machines, was chosen to produce the new type of pack. A complete line based on the R 535 was required, including other line components such as a slicer, handling module and conveyor belt labeller.

Since the new line had to replace an existing thermoform packaging line, it needed to be inserted seamlessly into the current production environment. “For us, the footprint of the line was very important. This is why we decided on a new machine of the same series,” explains John Lehmann Pedersen, Technical Director at Danish Crown Foods.

In contrast to the previous solution, the new R 535 is also equipped with an upper web forming station, so the inner tray of the new double pack can be formed. The challenge was to achieve sufficient internal volume within the pack while maintaining the same outer dimensions of the previous pack.


Implementing the new concept was challenging


In addition to the pack design and issues of space, there were also logistical aspects that had to be taken into account with the development of the pack. The new pack had to successively replace the previous type of pack in the retail chain - and this meant both packs had to be capable of being stacked in the same secondary packaging. Consequently the dimensions of the new pack could not be increased. The product quantity or weight could also not be changed, even though ”the internal volume of the top tray is of course reduced by laying one thermoformed pack into another,” explains Karsten Nissen, Manager for Systems and Line Solutions at MULTIVAC Denmark.

The new packaging solution is now used by Danish Crown Foods to pack sliced products such as cooked ham, turkey and smoked pork in packs with a format of 120 x 120 millimetres. The machine's die format is 16 packs per cycle with modified atmosphere.

Although the film consumption for the new pack - due to the thin intermediate layer - is higher overall than that of the previous single pack, this packaging concept for smaller retail portions is actually more resource-saving. Compared to dividing a standard portion into two normal single packs, which would be the traditional alternative, the film consumption for the double pack is approx. 30 percent less. In future it will be possible to use completely recyclable mono materials, which means the solution will be very sustainable.


The new pack design has been exceptionally well received


The novel pack design has achieved a very high level of acceptance by retailers and consumers. The pack design is innovative and future-proof. The pack can also be presented attractively at the point of sale, and this provides the optimum product differentiation over those of competitors. An additional opening aid for the inner tray also makes it very easy for consumers to handle the pack. And last but not least, the new concept is seen by Danish Crown Foods as a very promising approach to stemming household food waste. John Lehmann Pedersen explains: “As one of the leading meat processors in the country, we are making an important contribution here. Since the reaction of all those involved has been very positive from the start, we are now looking at changing over other products to the new type of pack. This packaging concept can also be a sensible solution for other products, so that food waste elsewhere can be prevented.”

The packaging line itself also meets all expectations. The individual line components work together very smoothly and can be operated reliably via the HMI of the R 535 even by relatively untrained staff. John Lehmann Pedersen is also particularly happy with the advice and support by MULTIVAC: “Our cooperation was very good right from the very beginning. We will also be launching new projects in future with MULTIVAC.”



All you have to do is get in touch!

We can't wait to develop a solution that works best for you. Contact us and together we'll find your best processing or packaging solution. We look forward to hearing from you!


News. Facts. Background.

What are the most interesting current developments in the world of processing and packaging? Developments, trends and challenges – all bundled together for you. Keep informed!


Key dates - national and international

Are you planning visits to upcoming industry trade fairs? Here, you'll find out when and where they'll all be taking place.



Let's reach the summit together! Maximize your productivity and minimize your life cycle costs - with our PEAQ Promise. PEAQ stands for Productivity, Efficiency, Availability and Quality. Find out what's in it for you.