Deli Chicken Packaging

What works in one area may be applicable to another.dcp 

Following the successful efforts of promoting alternative produce packaging we undertook a similar effort in the poultry packaging arena.  At the time, Albertsons was the second largest buyer and fryer of cut-up deli chicken in the US (following Kentucky Fried Chicken). The chicken was traditionally shipped in plastic bags inside paraffin wax-coated corrugated packaging.  These packages were opened by deli workers, unloaded, and the bags and boxes placed into the trash.  
(The wax coating prevented the recycling of the corrugated pulp fibers by paper mills.)  As a result, the more chicken we bought the more we had to pay to remove the “waste” boxes from the store.

  Once again we approached the container manufacturers, the coating manufacturers and the poultry distributors and initiated testing of alternatively-coated packages.  The first trials did not go well.  We had weaker containers which tended to shift and edge crush during Over-The-Road transit in refrigerated trailers.  Once one box becomes compromised, the plastic bag can leak the confined liquid contaminating the containers lower on the pallet and creating an unsanitary mess for those tasked with unloading the trailer.  Changes in the design and coating of the containers were made and subsequent trials proved successful.  With the consistent support of the Albertsons poultry buyers who communicate the message of change to the suppliers, success was achieved in an anti-climactic manner: inclusion of a single sentence in the poultry bid notice issued by the company. The sentence: all poultry shipments shall utilize containers which are reusable or recyclable.  What took four years had a significant impact of waste diversion (in thousands of tons) and asset recovery for revenue (in millions.)