Food packaging: no more soggy bottoms!

Here at Stag Print, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes and none are more diverse than those in the food industry. From dried salad crisps in a can to irresistible sweet treats in cute candy boxes – we’ve done it all!

But one longstanding foodie customer has a particularly interesting evolutionary tale to tell…

Early days

Mandira’s Kitchen is an award-winning food company based in Guildford. Established in 2016 by Mandira Moitra Sarkar, it produces home-cooked authentic Indian food which is immediately frozen to preserve its freshness and taste.

In the early days, Mandira worked from her kitchen at home and produced just a few hundred dishes per month. But demand grew and so did her premises, production size and in turn packaging.

Some complications

Food packaging can be complicated. It must contain essential health and safety information such as use by and best before dates and outline all ingredients. And it must be robust enough to hold its edible contents while using safe inks and materials. Plus, frozen food, as you’d expect, lives in the freezer: which means it gets damp.

When Mandira first came to us, her printer supplier was using normal paper for her food packaging sleeves. This was way too thin and not suitable for freezer storage as it turned soggy very quickly.

A solution

So we came up with a solution using board specially created for packaging (known as folding box board) and with a special freezer-safe grade.

Mandira was delighted! She shared this with her designer who overlaid the designs she already had onto the new folding box board. More importantly, her customers received delicious fresh meals in robust containers that stayed strong and fit for purpose when removed from the freezer. No more soggy bottoms!

Kind to the planet

A few years later the goal posts moved again. Mandira’s Kitchen is very environmentally conscious. As a business, it has minimised its use of plastics in all packaging and bought food trays made of paper (with a thin greaseproof layer) making them fully recyclable with normal paper recycling. Being slightly weaker than plastic trays, we were tasked with creating an even more robust paper sleeve to provide the full packaging durability and shelf life: which we did. Our sleeves are paper and ink only and are fully recyclable too.

The future

Working with Mandira’s Kitchen has been a joy. The small home-based company has grown into a fully-fledged medium-sized business with an enviable brand identity. It’s been a privilege to be involved in their journey and long may it continue. From just a few hundred food packaging sleeves in the early days to 45,000 and counting now!