Vicky Pauwels, ANL Plastics

"Resealable containers perfect for retailers"

Although ANL Plastics, based in Wellen, Belgium, mostly makes custom-made packaging, they also provide standard packaging to the fruit and vegetable world. This company began with manufacturing wooden beer crates, but have since slowly grown to an European business that produces millions of plastic packaging for the fruit and vegetable sector every year.

A part of ANL Plastics' range

"The company's founder produced wooden beer crates back then. When the demand for the plastic kinds increased in the '50's, he shifted his focus to plastic", says Vicky Pauwels, spokesperson for ANL Plastics. "This continued to evolve. In the end, he was the person responsible for making the blue mushroom punnets popular in Belgium. He offered one of these punnets to a mushroom grower as a sample. Three days later, he bought up all the remaining mushroom punnets. It was then that the production of plastic packaging changed to thermo-forming."

The mushroom punnets have other uses too.

One of the types of packaging that are selling well at ANL Plastics at the moment, is the resealable containers, Peelpaq RT. Retailers can simply fill these containers themselves with salads or chopped fruit. "When the container has been filled with salad, it is held under a sealing machine for a few seconds", explains Vicky. "A light on the small machines comes on when the process is complete. The advantage of this kind of packaging is that it uses very little plastic, but it is air tight and leak proof. After the lid is opened, it is easily resealable, by a clicking system in the packaging. Since the lid seals better, the shelf life of the product is lengthened, and it doesn't dry out in the fridge anymore. In addition, the packaging can be, easily, used in the microwave. You simply prick holes in the lid, and heat up your meal."

After the container is sealed, it is air tight and leak proof.

After being opened, the packaging is resealable. Since the seal has been broken, the container is, however, no longer air tight or leak proof.

The pre-sealed containers.

Cut vegetables
The containers that ANL Plastics produces are primarily intended for processed fruit and vegetables. These containers are found mostly at petrol station shops, but also in supermarkets. "Our packaging containing cut fruit and vegetables are mostly found at retailers", explains Vicky. "The pre-packed yoghurt containers which have fresh fruit in them, are also produced here. We try to keep up, as much as possible, with the trends. We have noticed that the 'To-Go' products are doing well. In addition, growing vegetables at home is also very popular."

One of the trends ANL Plastics, together with their clients, is reacting to is the growing of vegetables at home on a small scale.

The largest part of ANL Plastics' packaging is destined for supermarkets, for all kinds of products. In addition, a number of these plastic containers also make their way to retailers. "There is a big market for them in France, especially", says Vicky. "The French eat a lot of salad that they buy at the shops. For example, coleslaw or beetroot salad. On the other had, in Belgium and the Netherlands, we sell more plastic containers that have plastic forks included. This is a good example of the 'To Go' trend. The French are also quite conservative in their demand for packaging; they are more straight-forward. The Netherlands and Belgium are more up-to-date, by choosing special packaging, for example. To which ever country we supply, we see what the client needs. Sometimes we address the customers' needs, and sometimes it is more functional. In addition to the standard range, we also work a lot with custom-made packaging."

ANL Plastics' standard resealable packaging.

European company
Besides having an establishment in Belgium, they also have factories in France and Poland. They can better serve the European market in this way. "It is a real logistical advantage", says Vicky. "The plastic film, used for moulding, is manufactured in Belgium. The packaging, itself, is moulded at all three establishments. On-site moulding reduces transportation costs. The film is more compact, making it easier to transport than the fully moulded containers."

For more information:
ANL Plastics
32 Hertenstraat
3830 Wellen (Belgium)
T. +32 12 74 15 95
F. +32 12 74 47 20

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