According to a recent research and markets study, the in-flight catering services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.06% and grow to a market size of USD 18 billion by the year 2021. Hence, many of the global food brands and chains may enter into this highly lucrative business. One of the fastest growing sub-segment is the “fast food like” catering, quick to prepare and to serve. The successful introduction of the ovenable pizza box illustrates this trend.
The ovenable pizza box, a printable and recyclable packaging solution
Airlines are now interested in the recyclability and printing properties of the packaging, which is creating demand for new packaging solutions. Lightweight ovenable boards have proven to be ideal as packaging for semi-cooked and frozen bakery products. They are suitable for heating up in a microwave or ordinary oven. The most recent example of innovative folding carton is the ovenable pizza box (a box made of ovenable board). The use of ovenable board has not only made hygienic and safe packaging possible, but also introduced good printability and recyclability introduced as additional properties.
The normal heating time for an ovenable pizza box is 20 minutes at 170 deg C (340 deg F). But to be safe the pack must be able to withstand a longer heating time at a higher temperature.
Ovenable boards base stock are whether made of SBS (Westrock, International Paper) or FBB (Stora Enso). The base stock is laminated with polyester (PET) film that can handle heat from conventional and micro-wave ovens.
Different grades of boards are available. Differences in features come mainly from the moisture resistance, the ability to be formed and the release performance. The main ovenable board brands are: Printkote Ovenable and Printkote Release by Westrock, Fortress PET by International Paper, Trayforma PET by Stora Enso.
Printkote release, back side matte, has a coating that helps with sticking. According to Printkote technical datasheet, For Release think raw bakery items or pizza dough. For Ovenable, anything already cooked and frozen.