Cooked sausages packed in water are a thing of the past. Since mid-October, Rügenwalder Mühle has been selling its newest "Mühlen Würstchen" sausage products in stable, resealable plastic cups manufactured by the Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG). Produced by the company’s plastics division, Weidenhammer Plastic Packaging, using in-mould labelling (IML) technology, the cups are not only convenient, they also make an attractive package for the tasty snacks. This makes it even easier to visually distinguish the product from the competition in the refrigerated section.
Cooked sausages, including Wieners, Frankfurters and stringed sausages, are among Germany’s favorite sausage specialties. They are sold fresh from the meat counter or packed in water as long-life products in glass jars or cans. "Mühlen Würstchen," the recently introduced sixth brand produced by Rügenwalder Mühle, closes a gap in the company’s product range. In October, the meat products manufacturer based in Bad Zwischenahn launched the first sausage product packed in attractive and resealable, clear plastic cups on the market. The sausages are crisp and fresh, just like meat counter products, but are packaged like sausages in a glass jar. Only much lighter – without water.
This is obviously just what consumers have been waiting for. Along with the fresh taste – "Mühlen Würstchen" are available in "smoked" and "poultry" versions – the practical packaging sets the product apart from anything the competition has to offer in thermoformed packaging or glass jars. "The resealable plastic cup is a completely new type of packaging for cooked sausages," says Andreas Rothschink, Head of Sales at Weidenhammer Plastic Packaging (WPP). "It is also an important differentiating factor on the shelf and plays a key role in product marketing." This is demonstrated by the two Rügenwalder Mühle commercials that have accompanied the market launch in November. Both clearly focus on the product packaging.
Transparency awakens appetites
The clear polypropylene cups are produced at the Weidenhammer plant in Zwenkau, near Leipzig. Both the shape and design stand out from other packaging solutions in the sausage market. Each of the semi-circular 222-gram cups contains 6 sausages that are packed upright in the container. The crystal clear cup with only partially printed wrap-around label ensures an unrestricted view of the product inside. Consumers can check the freshness of the content at a glance. The high-quality of the IML packaging underscores the premium quality of the product. The cup is sealed with an aluminum membrane to guarantee tamper-proof freshness.
When it comes to convenience, the cup solution is clearly superior to other types of packaging. The thermoformed, transparent lid provides secure re-closure after initial opening. Consumers can remove the sausages from the container and enjoy them one by one. This makes "Mühlen Würstchen" ideal as a snack at home or on the go. The fact that the sausages stay fresh and crisp is highlighted in the Rügenwalder Mühle advertising. The extremely lightweight, virtually unbreakable cup can be conveniently packed in a rucksack and fits perfectly in most car cup holders.
High hygienic standards
Along with the IML plastic cup for "Mühlen Würstchen," Weidenhammer manufactures special containers for the "Rügenwalder Teewurst" at its Zwenkau plant. The production order for the "Mühlen Würstchen" cup was received by Weidenhammer in spring 2010. The packaging idea and prototype were developed by Rügenwalder Mühle. The food safety standards for the product packaging are extremely high. "Since this is a fresh product, hygiene plays an important role," explains Rothschink. "Our manufacturing facility in Zwenkau meets the highest quality standards and is certified according to BRC/IoP. The production of all containers for Rügenwalder Mühle takes place under clean room conditions." This guarantees a long shelf life – even without water.