About three tons of high quality, unprocessed potatoes are used to make the new potato side dish So PotatOh! every week. The idea behind this is to provide consumers with receive a fresh, healthy and delicious product that can be prepared quickly and easily. The potatoes are mixed with a marinade -supplied- before being put in the oven for about 30 minutes, in an oven-safe tray, that is also supplied.. Alternatively, the potatoes can also be prepared in the frying pan. Small potatoes in particular are used for So PotatOh! The marinade is currently available in three flavors: garden herbs, rosemary peppers and garlic. The idea was conceived by the Swiss potato experts from Terralog, while the packaging is from ATS-Tanner Banding Systems AG.
Banding takes over the entire product communication
"The banderole is providing all the information on the product," explains Katja Hosner, Marketing Manager of Terralog. Each of the three flavors comes in a unique, eye-catching color. The 100 mm wide paper banderoles are pre-printed with information on preparation, ingredients, nutritional value, product images, brand promises, etc. Flexible information such as the origin of the potatoes, variety, price, packing date or lot number are printed just-in-time during banding with a thermal transfer printer.
Ease of product and packaging
"We have a high quality product. The packaging must reflect that - and it does," Hosner adds. The combined packaging consists of an oven-compatible FSC cardboard tray, unique in Switzerland, a paper banderole and a thin plastic film that encloses the cardboard tray. "The packaging can be easily disassembled into its individual parts without any tools and recycled or thermally recovered accordingly (foil and marinade bag). The total plastic content of the product is very small and amounts to only about 2 grams."
The banderole not only looks good: "The packaging is easy to handle and easy to separate. Recycling could not be easier. This makes So PotatOh! thoroughly 'convenient'," says Thomas Weber, Content Manager at ATS-Tanner Group.
"We can almost speak of a new product genre here. We close the gap between a ready meal and one that is prepared fresh. Consumers like to eat healthily and cook more. If there is no time for this, So PotatOh! is a perfect alternative."
Scalable packaging solution for a product with growth
Currently, So PotatOh! is only available at Migros, the leading retail chain in Switzerland. So Potatoh! was launched in the spring of 2020 and is now available in more than half of all stores. However, Weber believes that the concept could also become an established feature containing other vegetable varieties and in other countries. "Convenience food is a growing sector, both in Switzerland and in the rest of Europe. Terralog is responding to this trend with potatoes. We are pleased to supply the appropriate packaging solution for this."
At this time, the potatoes packed in trays and foil are banded semi-automatically: An employee takes the trays from a rotating table and holds them individually in the banding machine. Every day, all three varieties are packed and all three banderoles are inserted. If the capacity must be increased, the banding machine can be supplied fully automatically by a conveyor belt or a robot, depending on the requirements. And thanks to the flexibility of the ATS banding machines, other products can also be banded, when and if necessary.