(Sept. 24, 11:49 a.m.) Sealed Air, the maker of Cryovac films and other packaging products, has opened a 28,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta to allow customers to test their products with more than a dozen packaging systems.

Myra Foster, manager of new business development for Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air Corp., said the facility, Packforum Americas, offers two test kitchens — including one with theater seating for demonstrations — an in-house graphics design team, conference rooms and packaging machinery that will allow customers to test their products with trays, films, bags, etc.

“It’s an opportunity to look at the entire process in one location,” Foster said.

Sealed Air opened a similar facility in Paris in 2002. That facility, which is intended to serve customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was upgraded in 2006. A facility for customers in Asia and the Pacific opened earlier this year in Shanghai.

Foster said the comprehensive facilities speed up the design process for customers and also can shorten the learning curve with new packaging materials and machinery.

“It has really helped foster relationships with new customers and prospective customers and enhance working relationships with our existing customers,” she said.

Foster said the new facility, which is about 10 minutes from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, offers an easily accessible alternative to the company’s research and development center in Duncan, S.C.

“It’s one of the busiest airports in the U.S. and possibly the world,” she said. “There are a lot of direct flights both domestically and internationally.”

Food, packaging event

The Atlanta facility, which opened Sept. 9, is the site of Sealed Air’s Consumer Food Trends and Packaging Solutions conference Oct. 7-8. Speakers and sessions are scheduled to cover a range of topics about ready-to-eat foods, including trends, package design, shelf-life extension through packaging and merchandising.

A one-day course covering microwave technologies follows on Oct. 9.

Foster said the events will cover everything from produce and protein to soups.

“This is an opportunity for fresh-cut processors to gain insight on foodservice, retail and industry trends,” she said. “It’s not just about protein and dairy.”

For registration information go to www.packforumamericas.com.

Sealed Air will be exhibiting during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit October 24-27 in Orlando and during Pack Expo Nov. 9-13 in Chicago.

Sealed Air Corp. opens Atlanta testing center
Sean Brady, marketing director for ready meals for Sealed Air’s Cryovac Food Solutions, discusses microwave technology during the grand opening of Packforum Americas.

Courtesy Weber Shandwick Worldwide