If you’re in search of a way to establish lasting brand recognition for your product after the packaging has been removed, Flavorseal has the solution.
The company has launched a new product called Embedded Food Technology (EFT), which uses plastic film or sheets to transfer seasonings, flavorings, and/or colors in specific shapes or designs directly onto food products. The stenciled shapes or designs can include a company’s brand logo, product name, flavor symbol, mascot, or any other lettering or design that processors choose.
It’s a capability that borrows from the same mode of transfer from Flavorseal’s top-selling product Seasoning Transfer Technology (STT). STT uses sheets or casings to transfer seasonings across whole surfaces of protein products like meats and cheeses.
With EFT, the seasonings, flavors, or colors are applied selectively to the food surface in either positive or negative designs such as logos, shapes, patterns or lettering. The result is a custom-designed image to identify the brand and create recognition. The image may also be designed to convey flavor, special features, or what makes the product unique.
The effect is impressive, as it allows the brand to place its branding where it matters most: directly onto the product. It also means that even the unwrapped product can indicate the brand name, quality level, flavor, version or recipe type.
“Differentiating your product from others in a new and innovative way is the idea behind Embedded Food Technology,” says Jeff Binczyk, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Flavorseal. “It allows you to not only place the seasoning on the product, but also to have your logo or brand image on the protein, in addition to the seasoning.”
This means EFT identifies brands and makes them distinct from others, even when the packaging is off. The technology works well for a variety of products, including deli products like turkey, cheese, and ham, as well as bacon and even breads.
Innovating Brand Recognition
Binczyk says while EFT was created as a way to strengthen brand image, it also offers an important second benefit: By identifying brands or flavors, EFT can prevent accidental switching of products that sometimes happens behind the scenes.
“As a marketer you’re always trying to differentiate yourself from the competition in a new and innovative way,” Binczyk notes. “EFT maintains brand identity, but it also helps ensure that the customer is actually receiving what they ordered.”
“With traditionally packaged deli meats sold from the deli case, once the wrappings have been removed from the product for slicing, the product no longer has any identification or branding,” Binczyk says. Unless the service employees open up a new printed shrink bag for the order, customers can’t always be sure they received what they ordered. Nor can employees always differentiate products.
“In speaking with customers, this is a really big concern,” Binczyk adds. “Someone may be ordering a pound of a certain brand, but sometimes another product could be grabbed that is lower quality. Meanwhile, the consumer thinks they are receiving what they actually ordered.”
Binczyk adds, this sort of “mistaken identity” is particularly worrisome in the full-serve deli area. Some processors say they fear receiving uncomplimentary product reviews from customers unaware they’ve gotten the wrong product. In this day and age of comments shared online and via social media, such cases of mistaken identity can be particularly damaging and hard to erase.
EFT removes that fear, by identifying products as it differentiates them.
How it Works
With the launch of EFT and its simple appeal, the technology also makes a lot of financial sense for processors.
Binczyk points out that having the capability to directly brand products is not new: think of baked goods or meats which are branded using high-end and highly expensive machines. Besides being very expensive, those units also are extremely hot and can pose safety risks in processing plants.
Meanwhile, EFT is a simple solution that’s easy to introduce and implement, and doesn’t require additional equipment.
“We have the ability to deliver seasoning with a high degree of precision,” Binczyk explains. The technology has evolved so that Flavorseal is able to provide various degrees of coverage onto the product.
It’s also designed to be applied in conjunction with a processor’s existing equipment, such as form filling machines, explains Jim Smith, Director of Research and Development for Flavorseal. The precut, custom designed sheets have seasonings or colors applied to one side in either a positive or negative image to be transferred to the product. EFT can also be used to transmit flavor to a product, for example, habanero, herb, and pepper to name a few.
Typically the sheets are applied to products like deli meats just before smoking or processing, then removed before the meat is repackaged for retail sale. The EFT sheet keeps the seasoning design in position and also prevents any other seasonings or ingredients from marring the design. When the outer packaging is removed, the EFT sheet comes away from the product cleanly.
The sheets also can be applied in a cold transfer process, such as in the case of cheese. The sheets use moisture from the foods to draw in seasonings or colors so they will adhere.
In the case of breads, EFT sheets are applied to raw bread dough and the sheet is removed just before baking, leaving the spices on the dough. The end result is a bold, baked-on branding.
How to Get Started
Because every EFT application is custom-designed, the options are virtually endless in terms of designs, flavors, and branding.
Processors have the freedom to specify what the imagery looks like, its size, and where on the product it needs to be applied. They also can specify how the sheets will integrate with their existing process or packaging.
While the EFT technology will be familiar to processors that have used Flavorseal’s Seasoning Transfer Technology, it’s also appropriate for processors that are new to this process. Binczyk says EFT can work for products that are new to the marketplace, or that need to boost their premium brand image.
To get started, processors can work with members of the Flavorseal team to explore designs and branding, see how it could work in their process, and also demo the product.
“We can do almost anything the processor asks for, and we can put the design anywhere on the sheet they want it to go,” Smith points out.
The result is a product with clear branding, differentiation, and uniqueness in the marketplace, even after product packaging has been removed.
For more information about Embedded Food Technology, please contact Flavorseal.