Strathmore Foods

A highly certified hot food-to-go pack for a major UK retailer.

Three paperboard boxes with red and yellow graphics and macaroni cheese image on the outside. Boxes piled in a pyramid on a wooden worktop.

Strathmore Foods, one of the UK’s leading ready meal manufacturers, was seeking a highly functional solution to package its macaroni cheese product for a major UK retailer.

The food producer was looking for a pack that could be oven cooked and flash frozen at their manufacturing facility, securely transported to retailer sites, and then microwave heated and displayed in a hot-hold cabinets for consumers. This meant that the pack needed to perform across a wide variety of temperatures and still retain integrity and be certified food safe across all these processes.

Colpac adapted its existing 580ml Cookpac® product, developing this with a newly sourced, recyclable, and compostable paperboard to align with Strathmore Food’s sustainability goals. Thanks to the water-based interior coating, the packs could be recycled in line with OPRL guidelines or composted in accordance with EN13432.

The Colpac team worked closely with the board manufacturer to supply a low volume of the new material to conduct product testing. Design and production teams then developed samples and conducted manufacturing trials as proof of concept. Trial samples were provided to the customer for processing packing and transport tests. The results of this confirmed that the material was suitable for the pack requirements and for the hot food contents within.

The team collaborated with Julie Nisbet, Managing Director at Strathmore Foods to source the new material and to progress this project within a short time frame. Colpac’s in-house graphics team also applied artwork to the packaging, resulting in a bespoke, UK manufactured solution.

“The new packaging from Colpac allows us to offer our bestselling meals in a simple, convenient format for hot food-to-go customers. The initial launch has gone very well and we’re now looking to utilise the packaging for other concepts and customers across the UK.”

Julie Nisbet, Managing Director at Strathmore Foods

The product and pack were launched for the original UK retailer in December 2023. Strathmore Foods is pitching the pack concept to additional retailers and looking to utilise the board material for other applications across a range of food-to-go dishes.

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