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Through its range of food packaging and sealing systems featuring MAP technology, Colpac has enabled a leading producer of freshly prepared food extensively grow its European business, whilst extending the shelf life and maintaining the quality of its products – which are transported up to 190 miles to reach end customers.

Operating a just-in-time production system, Belgium based Nonna produces almost four million packs of fresh sandwiches, tortillas and salads each year within a stringent, cold chain logistical environment.

Each day, ten refrigerated lorries transport the freshly prepared food-to-go dishes to hundreds of convenience stores, major supermarket chains, including Carrefour, transport companies, railway stations and airlines across Belgium and into France.

Key to Nonna’s significant growth over the last ten years has been its commitment to quality. When the company opened the doors to its new 7,000 square meter factory in early 2018, it was built to meet the International Food Standard (IFS) regulations ensuring the best quality output.

Due to the miles the products travel to reach Nonna’s vast customer base, extending the shelf life whilst maintaining the high quality and freshness of the dishes was paramount to Nonna. “We want the consumer to always have the guarantee of a fresh product, and we only work with high-end ingredients,” Nonna’s managing director, Phillippe Bodart, explains.  

Consequently, packaging and the way the packs are sealed, plays a vital role in Nonna’s success. By working with Colpac and selecting the right packaging solutions, Nonna has consistently met its shelf life objectives, which in turn has enabled its customers to sell more products over a longer period, while dramatically reducing avoidable food waste.

Colpac, one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of food packaging solutions, began working with Nonna in 2011. During the intervening decade, Nonna has expanded its reach geographically and increased its flagship product range of sandwiches with a ten-fold increase in turnover in 10 years, and launched a new, successful tortilla range.

Initially supplying Nonna with recyclable paperboard triangular MAP sandwich packs which are printed with a bespoke design for Nonna and feature a clear window for product visibility, Colpac also installed a ColMAP Slalom automatic sealing machine. Capable of sealing up to 1,200 sandwich packs per hour, the sealing system replaces the oxygen within the sealed pack with a mixture of protective gases to preserve the freshness of the product.

Since the start of its MAP paperboard project, Nonna has bought three ColMAP Slalom machines and they currently seal between 2,000 and 3,500 sandwiches each day.

When Nonna expanded its offering to include salads and tortillas, Colpac supported the family run company on choosing the right packaging solutions. Supplying recyclable Heat Seal Tortilla Packs, which offers optimum protection and visibility through a clear window on the upper and front faces, Colpac also installed its ColSeal™ SE1000 Sealing Machine. Capable of heat sealing up to 1,200 packs per hour, the heat seal option can extend the product shelf life by up to five days.

“We guarantee the freshness of our products and voluntarily limit the shelf life to up to seven days for sandwiches, five days for tortillas and five days for salads.” Comments Mr Bodart. “Colpac’s packaging and sealing solutions has enabled us to maintain this commitment over the years, and our products remain fresh throughout their entire product life cycle.”

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