The growing popularity of multi-layer plastics packaging for both retail and food service markets in France is underlined by the close working relationship now established between leading sauce manufacturer Midi Conserves of Avignon and RPC Containers Corby.

Midi Conserves, which produces a range of gourmet sauces, has recently invested in a new filling line that can handle RPC Corby’s plastic jar ranges. The company sees tremendous potential for these jars both for its own products and also as part of a contract packing service for other manufacturers.

RPC says that increasing regulation in the foodservice market, particularly regarding safety in food preparation environments, means manufacturers and caterers now have to look for alternative packaging materials to glass.

While plastics has always offered end-user advantages in terms of their light weight and resistance to shattering, much of RPC Corby’s recent development work has concentrated on the material’s food processing and brand image capabilities.

Initiatives such as a contact clear outer layer of PP, together with plastics’ design flexibility, have enabled RPC to offer both standard and custom-designed jars that may be considered as alternatives to glass, featuring eye-catching shapes that create effective on-shelf impact and brand differentiation in increasingly competitive markets.

Equally significant have been the advances made in the jars’ ability to withstand the high temperatures of pasteurising and sterilising. “We think plastics will increasingly become the material of choice in the French food industry,” says Midi Conserves plant manager Monsieur Guitterez.