Case Study

Shrink-wrapped salami takes to stand-up pouch

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Editor, Packaging World
This roadside salami manufacturer proves that disruptive, consumer-minded packaging isn’t reserved for only the most sophisticated operations. Plus, the already shrink-wrapped salamis don't require expensive, shelf life-extending multi-layer films or foils.

A barn beside a rural N.C. highway may be an unlikely headquarters for an authentic Italian salami factory, yet that’s exactly where the eight-man crew of the San Giuseppe Salami Company hones their craft daily. For nearly two decades, the company founder, Giacomo Santomauro, son of Italian immigrants, has produced some of the finest Italian salamis, sausages and deli meats in North Carolina, selling them at his namesake market in Greensboro. The company produces, processes and package our products completely in-house using North Carolina-raised ingredients, and does co-manufacture and co-pack for a couple small local farms that bring their own pork to be processed.

Now, by pairing all-new, consumer friendly packaging with a product now crafted without the use of gluten or added nitrates and nitrites, Santomauro has his eye on completely disrupting the local retail market.

“We’ve always focused on the quality, flavor and authenticity of our product. Quality has always come first,” Santomauro said. “Now we’ve gotten to a place where we can put new energy into our packaging and presentation. We think we’re a great fit for the broader retail market.”

According to the company, the packaging industry first – a resealable stand-up bag, changing the way salami has to be displayed while allowing consumers the ability to reseal their product for later. By incorporating the resealable component, consumers are more likely to hold onto the packaging and interact with it longer, increasing the number of brand impressions.

Film supplier Belmark helped to select a material that best suited for San Giuseppe’s needs. In this case,the 3.5 mil thick, PET-based foil-free film is used to create a a digitally printed, matte finish die-cut pouch. The artwork was also designed in-house, by Alex Hale, marketing manager.

The packaging process first involves shrink wrapping the salami to control the atmosphere of the product, then manually inserting the sausages into bags into the pouches. This shrink wrap step allows the company to bypass more expensive foil or laminated films with barrier layers.

The bags are manually closed, then run them across a short horizontal band heat sealer, which also prints the expiration date. No additional machinery is used.

“There’s only a handful of us here running the operation—we’re a very small company—so the unique aspect is that we’re still able to have attractive, useful packaging that presents in an impressive, unique way,” Hale says. “In general, our competitors either wrap in butcher paper or use a flow-wrapper.”

San Giuseppe Salami Co. products are currently available at many North Caroliina and mid-Atlantic Harris-Teeter locations, as well as independent markets, restaurants, wineries, breweries and more across North Carolina and beyond. The company also ships its products directly to consumers through its website, www.salamisbymail.com.

The pack size is (12) 6 oz. pieces per case. Typically, they retail for between $7.99 and $9.99.

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