RPC Containers has devised a unique all-in-one moulding solution for a fork-in-lid combination for Crosse & Blackwell’s Hunger Breaks range of convenience meals.

The four Hunger Breaks varieties – All Day Breakfast, The Full Monty, Pizza Pasta and Tuna Italia – are packed in RPC Corby’s 350ml Royale Bowl, thermoformed in multi-layer polypropylene to provide long ambient shelf-life. A layer of EVOH provides the barrier to oxygen ingress.

The lid and fork are injection moulded by RPC Market Rasen from one tool in a single operation. The fork then hinges underneath into a recess in the lid and the consumer simply breaks off the fork when the meal is ready to be eaten.

The lid also features small venting holes to enable steam to escape when the product is microwaved. The new pack was created in conjunction with RPC’s customer Premier Foods and the final lid solution developed by RPC’s Design Department in Raunds.

The Hunger Breaks range was originally packed in tin cans. The move to plastics packaging reflects the ever-increasing popularity of ready prepared meals and the need to offer consumers the most convenient packaging format.

“Our pack offers both extended shelf life and ease of preparation in a single solution,” comments Mike Thomson, sales manager, RPC Corby Thermoforming. “It is also ideal for vending machines, which increasingly incorporate a microwave, meaning the pack can satisfy the growing demand to eat ‘on the move’.”