US Foods, a Rosemont, Ill.-based foodservice distributor, partners with more than 250,000 chefs and foodservice operators to deliver 25 exclusive brands, including Metro Deli, its top-tier brand of all-natural, authentic deli meats, cheeses, salads and chips.

In addition to providing high-quality products from the Metro Deli line, the US Foods team wanted to find a way to improve the packaging that both protected the product and saved time in the back of the house. Sealed Air’s Cryovac Grip & Tear packaging provides the solution.

Cryovac Grip & Tear packaging are vacuum-packaged bags equipped with an easy-open feature that completely eliminates the need for cutting tools, produces a straight, consistent tear and helps maintain optimal freshness and appealing optics.

“The US Foods packaging science team set out to find a package for Metro Deli products that would improve our operator’s experience over traditional shrink film packaging. We decided to partner with Sealed Air to use their Grip & Tear technology. By eliminating the need for a tool to open the packages, Grip & Tear provides a solution that is both easier and safer for our operators to use,” says Todd Jongen, director of packaging science for US Foods.

The process

With more than 20 deli meat SKUs in the Metro Deli line, the Sealed Air food care team set out to deliver an innovative packaging solution that would meet the needs of each individual product and size.

To assist in this undertaking, the US Foods team shipped 21 SKUs to Sealed Air’s food care corporate headquarters in Duncan, S.C. The US Foods team then traveled to the Sealed Air facility, so that alongside with the food care team, they could determine which Grip & Tear bag and features best aligned with each unique SKU in the Metro Deli line. This hands-on approach allowed both parties to see first-hand which Grip & Tear feature best worked for each product.

The success

In order to ensure the Cryovac Grip & Tear bag transition would be seamless, US Foods conducted line testing on each of the individual Metro Deli product packaging solutions. The Grip & Tear bags performed as expected. Today, US Foods has three protein Metro Deli SKUs that have transitioned into the Grip & Tear bags.

For US Foods, it was essential to offer a packaging solution that would add benefits for their customers. The Sealed Air Grip & Tear packaging solution offers consistent packaging in an easy-to-open design that protects the product and saves valuable time in the back of the house. 

The partnership approach demonstrated the superiority of Cryovac packaging solutions in the foodservice segment, and gave one of the nation’s largest foodservice distributors exposure to the full breadth of Sealed Air capabilities, including its extensive graphic services expertise.