(Oct. 16) A recent study by the Freedonia Group showed that bags and liners for produce represent a $1.1 billion-a-year industry. The Cleveland-based independent market research firm reported growth for that packaging segment at 5% a year.

While demand for bags is clearly growing, the debate about how to close them continues.

Chantler Packaging Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, introduced Rapid Close self-seal packaging in September. The bags have a fold-over adhesive flap, which the manufacturer bills as cheaper and easier to use than competing closures.

“This is different because it’s more cost-efficient than zipper bags or tape closures,” said Ian Ferguson, salesman. “It also fills faster, being loaded and sealed in one motion. Tape closures and heat sealant requires another step or equipment, and that slows down the process.”

The line has two types of bags, a tamper-evident model that has to be torn open, and a resealable option.

Ferguson said the custom-made bags come in a variety of sizes and can be microperforated. They can be printed with up to eight colors.

“We can give it outstanding graphics with good shelf appeal,” said Ferguson, whose employer is marketing the bag line in the U.S. and Canada.

Ferguson said the rapid-close bags also can be made from the company’s PrimePro line of modified-atmosphere film, which extends shelf life by removing ethylene gas.

But Ferguson said the line’s biggest selling point is the fast, easy closure and potential labor savings.

“We think it will be strong with field packing because you don’t require electricity for heat sealing (for this bag),” he said. “Growers are always asking us how we can help streamline things in the packing line. It’s in response to feedback we’ve been getting from the industry for years.”

Chantler plans to show its new product Oct. 20-24 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in San Diego.

Meanwhile, Manteno, Ill.-based Zip-Pak USA will be demonstrating its sliders and press-to-close bags at Pack Expo on Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Chicago.

“With a moist product, adhesive can be a problem,” said Robert Hogan, director of international sales and marketing. “Press-and-seal bags and slider bags can be used multiple times with no adverse impact.”

Packaging segment brings big bucks, diverse ideas
The Rapid Close bag closure system, from Chantler Packaging Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, uses fold-over adhesive flaps.