Plastics in Packaging (UK)

Australia's largest retailer of specialty meats has launched a barbecue-in-a-bag cooking concept throughout almost 200 stores, with a packaging panacea from the UK's Qbag Ltd of Stockport, reports Ken McGregor.

The new Qbag Alu Foil Cooking Bag (with or without a plastic window on top) allows innovative food companies to offer ready meals from store-to-BBQ. Comprised of 100 per cent recyclable aluminium foil, each of Lenard's Barbie Bags holds one of three meals: Spanish paella, mushroom risotto and chicken sausages in onion gravy.

The client, Brisbane-based Lenard's Group Holdings, was formed 1987 by businessman Lenard Poulter, who identified a marketing niche for value-added chicken.

Today, some 2000 employees are involved in 180 franchises or company shops, and a Singapore beachhead has been formed by Poulter's acquisition of an equity share in The Butcher in Singapore, with retailing from local shopping leader, Cold Storage.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Blue Sky Private Equity has bought a minority stake in Lenard's, which forecasts further expansion into Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. The company sells more than 13 million chickens per year and has served more than 130 million customers since 1987.

National purchasing & logistics manager at Lenard's Pte Ltd, David Keith, commented that: "Qbag allows us to develop exciting new dishes that would not normally be associated with outdoor cooking, and best of all leaves no mess to clean up afterwards."

Law Print & Packaging Management Ltd, run by Tim Law, bought the UK Qbag invention in early 2010 from FFP Packaging Solutions. The acquisition included the Qbag business, trademark, IP, website and manufacturing machinery. The manufacturing operation was strategically relocated to Asia to place the product in better command for supplying the global market, and a subsidiary company, Qbag Ltd, was incorporated to manage the sales activity.

Early Qbag customers included UK retailers M&S, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Lakeland. In Australia, Qbag Ltd is currently speaking to household consumer product companies in order to launch in the retail market by 2013/2014.

Source: PlasticsinPackaging.com March 2013

Tags: FoodProcessing, Australia

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