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Veganism: Is your packaging animal-free?

Focus Article

Even beyond the throes of Veganuary, more people than ever are choosing to go vegan. Whether for animal cruelty concerns, environmental concerns or simply to try and be a little healthier, people across almost every demographic are choosing vegan options. Between 2010 and 2016, for example, PMMI reported a 25% increase in vegetarian and a staggering 257% increase in vegan global food and drink product launches. This has only continued to rise, with supermarket giant Tesco reporting in October that vegan food had been the fastest growing culinary trend of 2018.  

This boom makes clear that plant-based alternatives, such as tofu, soy and even the much-publicised ‘Beyond’ burger, are no longer niche options, having firmly secured a spot in the mainstream. With the total value of the vegan market in the UK worth over £572m and those participating in Veganuary growing by 183% in 2018, and predicted to grow again in 2019, it’s no wonder food manufacturers continue to launch plant-based alternatives. Companies across the supply chain, therefore, are also taking a closer look at how they can cater to these consumers. 

As the numbers of those adopting vegan buying behaviours continues to rise, manufacturers producing plant-based options to offer to this growing subsect must ensure the packaging used is also animal-free. In addition, with the generalised focus on packaging continuing into 2019, consumers are now asking questions about the components in any given pack, how it was made and what is used in the process. 

Through the years, food packaging has often been produced using animal derivatives. Adhesive, for example, may be manufactured using animal-based gelatine, and even some lubricants used on production machines may be animal fat based. KM Packaging has worked with its manufacturing partners from around the globe to ensure it can offer animal-free packaging solutions, ensuring that no animal products are used at any stage of the production process. 

Not only do KM Packaging’s vegan suitable films offer an animal-free alternative for plant-based products, they also offer the high-performance food manufacturers require including enhanced retail presentation and superior product protection. This means these solutions can be used universally across product ranges, minimising additional cost and removing the need to switch films when working with plant-based products, as there is always an animal-free option ready to go.

KM Packaging offer vegan solutions in both its KSeal and KPeel ranges, suitable for a wide variety of applications across ambient, frozen and chilled, including microwave, oven, retort and gas flush. Vegan solutions can also be provided for use in demanding tray sealing conditions, such as dual compartment trays and contamination of the tray flange, to further increase possibilities for vegan food manufacturers. Anti-fog is available and KM’s vegan films can be perforated to extend the shelf life of fresh produce. Weld seal and peelable lidding film solutions are available for sealing to CPET, Mono CPET, APET, PP, and lacquered foil trays as well as pulp and PET-lined pressed board trays, subject to trialling. 

Get in touch today to find out how KM Packaging’s animal-free packaging solutions can work for you. Offering independent technical expertise and a broad range of lidding films, KM Packaging can find the right solution to protect, present and preserve your food.

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