Alliance Group tests skin packaging in Hong Kong

Peter Russell.

Alliance Group has dispatched its first major shipment of product in vacuum skin tray packaging to Hong Kong following a successful trial.

Skin packaging is technology that hermetically seals right to the edge of the meat cut, extending its chilled shelf-life for up to 11-weeks, retaining colour and optimising meat tenderness.

The product, including lamb cutlets, saddle chops and chump steaks, will be jointly marketed under Alliance Group’s Pure South and the Angliss Hong Kong brands and sold in supermarkets, including those owned by the Aeon Stores Group.

Peter Russell, general manager marketing at Alliance Group, said the shipment is believed to be the first New Zealand red meat packed at origin to be supplied in skin packs in Hong Kong.

“This trial and shipment demonstrate the co-operative’s commitment to investing in providing a more sophisticated offering for our customers and capturing more value for farmer shareholders.

“Skin packaging is a good way to display smaller consumer-ready portions. Because of the materials used, skin packaging gives flexibility to package small consumer-ready products across a range of cuts, including chilled, frozen, bone-in and boneless – compared to less flexible vacuum packaging which is used for larger primal cuts to export wholesale markets.”

Alliance Group has been working on skin-pack technology for the past two years. A team visited Hong Kong last year to discuss marketing opportunities with Angliss, he said.

“The cooperative ran a trial shipment last year with Angliss and their customers were pleased with how they presented. They placed a larger order, so we are looking forward to hearing what the response is from the market.

“Our New Zealand food service team is undertaking significant product development programmes and have a number of other innovations in the pipeline.”

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