Fast, safe and easy

The French company Stoeffler is focusing on convenience, and relaunching a bestseller product in a practical and user-friendly box.
 
Our modern lifestyle, with people constantly on the move and expecting flexibility and practical solutions, has given rise to completely new consumer patterns. For many consumers, it is important that their meals can be prepared and consumed without unnecessary bother, and they expect food producers to make the entire process as straightforward as possible. 

In 2010, the French market has seen the emergence of a brand new trend: Boxes with ready meals which are easy to prepare and which do not even require a plate for serving. 

Consumers need practical solutions 
At the French company Stoeffler, the ready meal ‘Choucroute’ – or sauerkraut – is one of their largest sellers. Stoeffler has therefore decided to launch the classic dish as a box meal, and in so doing inject a breath of fresh air into a market characterised by identical recipes.

“Most ready meals contain pasta, and consumers are now waiting for a wider selection of everyday dishes in these areas. We decided to launch our ¬bestseller in a box to create diversity within the area and to satisfy the needs of our customers for practical solutions,” says Product Manager Isabelle Angot.

The contents of the ‘Choucroute’ box resemble those of a traditional sauerkraut with cabbage, sausage, bacon and potatoes, but in small pieces so the customer does not need a knife to eat it. It is then packed in a plastic tray which is enclosed in a cardboard box. And as an added bonus, the pack includes a fork so the dish is absolutely ready to eat.

Three major advantages
The advantages of the new packaging are greatest, according to Isabelle Angot, that:
 
  • That the meal is easy to eat. Two minutes in the microwave, and it is piping hot, ready to eat it straight from the box without having to worry about a plate.
  • It is a very safe product. Even though the plastic tray is hot when removed from the microwave, you won’t burn your fingers as the surrounding cardboard packaging remains cool.
  • The packaging looks good. The communication surface is large and attractively designed.

Faerch has supplied the plastic tray which holds the meal, and Isabelle Angot does not rule out the possibility of the tray being used elsewhere in the Stoeffler range. 

”In the future, we may well develop other products in the same type of packaging,” she says.