No Harm Done Packages “Jerkless Jerky” in Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) Film

No Harm Done creates a purely plant-based jerky that the company refers to as “jerkless jerky”. Behind the animal-free jerky is Jacob Washington, the entrepreneur and family man who teamed up with 3 strategic partners to launch the brand in 2020.

The Beginnings of a Brand

Inspired by his son Maddox’s love of animals, as well as his inquisitive questions about why they would eat certain animals and not others, (specifically their family pet, a 12-year-old Vizsla named Bentley), Washington & his family began to think more about what was on their plates. After researching the immediate and long-term effects that their daily food choices have on the planet, animal welfare, and their personal health, this led him and his family to make the switch to a fully plant-based lifestyle in 2018.

He & his son were missing jerky, a favorite snack of theirs prior to the shift to a fully plant-based diet. After trying nearly every plant-based jerky available on the market, Washington decided to make his own. 

Photograph taken by Taylor Mohr

Creating a delicious, meat-free jerky was no easy task, but after playing with various recipes, the entrepreneur developed the perfect one. Washington is a graphic designer by trade, so knew the specific look he wanted for their packaging. After finalizing the recipe and creating the design, the next step was finding the right packaging supplier that could execute his vision.

Choosing Stand Up Pouches

At first, Washington and his team were looking at launching in a jar. Since most other brands go with bags for their beef jerky packaging, he figured it would set his brand apart from the competition. But after working through this idea and exploring packaging options, the team found a better way.

“Our initial branding was for a jar. But as we worked through shelf life and other issues with food products, and the fact that the jars were not as good for the environment… this all pushed us to bags,” said Washington.

Washington says that space on the retail shelf was a deciding factor, too. Stand up and lay flat pouches just fit better on the retail shelf with all the other bags in the segment. 

Creating Premium Jerky Packaging

To make a stand-out package, the brand knew they would need top quality film and graphics. 

“I was Google searching suppliers and vendors. I called about four or five places… got samples. We had two weeks to dive in. Everything I looked at wasn’t poppin’ for me. I wanted something very top of the line. There is not a lot that can compete with us for taste or texture. But it’s hard for people to be pushed or swayed to try us unless our packaging entices them,” said Washington.

ePac was able to deliver the quality and aesthetics that proved the plant-based jerky inside is as good, or better, than meat-based jerky. The jerkless jerky is packaged in 4-ounce, stand-up resealable pouches from ePac. The soft touch matte film used to create the black pouches each features a metallic reveal (or foil knockout) to add something special. The descriptive graphics show the flavor profile and the premium ingredients used in each batch.

“The packaging is the first thing people are commenting on; they’re blown away by it. Retailers and other vendors are praising it, too. People love it,” said Washington.

Photograph taken by Taylor Mohr

Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Packaging 

To satisfy the desire to deliver a product that strives to leave “no harm done,” the brand used ePac’s PCR (post-consumer recycled) film, which uses previously recycled materials to create the film, lessening the burden of using virgin plastics in packaging.

“When I came up with the brand’s name, I knew it was a lofty one, but it was one that I felt would hold me and my team accountable for the long haul. Our mission is to try our best as we grow to get closer and closer to the ideal of ‘no harm done’, bearing in mind the overall health of our consumers, the animals, and the entire planet. It was hard with food (and jerky in particular) to find fully recyclable bags that met our needs, especially ones that would jump off of the shelf and even make those looking for a traditional jerky product stop and take a look. It worked out perfectly with the PCR 30% film option from ePac. Plus the foil knockout absolutely took the design to the next level, and definitely makes our packaging stand out amongst our competitors” said Washington. 

And, with ePac’s PCR packaging, clients like No Harm Done can still achieve a premium, high-quality look and feel. It can be used with all the premium upgrades, so your package is not only better for the environment but eye-catching too.

“We didn’t even know we could do foil on PCR―it’s awesome. They [ePac] weren’t just great at nailing exactly what we wanted (which was awesome), but they helped us through the whole process. We couldn’t be happier,” said Washington. 

Photograph taken by Taylor Mohr

A Packaging Partnership

Since the company was on a tight deadline, and already had the design mock-ups and branding that it wanted before finding a partner, time and expertise was of the essence. 

“We were trying to find the right partner that could create exactly what we wanted. With ePac, we didn’t have to change or remove imagery. The bags are digitally printed with the quality graphics we were looking for, and at the perfect price point,” said Washington.

And since No Harm Done was a start-up, ePac made sure to be there as a partner to walk them through the whole process. 

“I worked with one person the whole time,” said Washington. “She walked me through everything and answered a million questions. She got back with me quickly with clear and concise answers and was so helpful pointing me in the right direction.”

Today, the brand is working on growing slowly, doing everything right by the customer, and making sure the quality is always on point. The jerky is available in two flavors on the No Harm Done website as well as at a local store in the San Diego area. No Harm Done is exploring various packaging sizes and expanding its online presence through e-tailers like Amazon. But as it grows, the company is keeping its mission in mind of creating products that cause less harm for everyone. 

To learn more about No Harm Done, head to their website

If you’re a jerky brand looking for the right packaging partner for your plant-based or beef jerky bags, ePac can help you reach your packaging goals. With fast turnaround times, the ability to print short runs, and multiple eco-friendly film options, ePac ensures that your packaging is perfect fit for your product. Call us today for a free quote. 

For A Stand-Out Biltong or Jerky Package, Consider These 3 Things

As a CPG (consumer-packaged-goods) company, you know that a great package says a lot about your brand. Elements like the design, the materials used, the branding, and the functional features all work together to create a winning package.

And since more snackers are opting for high-protein, low-carb options like meat snacks, biltong and jerky, a stand-out package in this segment is a must. As you create the right package for your next meat snack product, whether you’re a start-up or legacy brand, there are three key things to consider.

Sharing Your Story

As you begin the package design process, keep in mind that your package should include all of the information you want to portray to your audience. This includes the basic and more obvious information like company name, logo, size of the package, flavor of the product, serving suggestion, and the nutritional label. 

But it also includes the not so basic, but just as important, product-specific information that will help consumers pick and choose which product is best for them. This includes anything that applies to dietary restrictions like gluten free, dairy free, low carb, and low fat or, things that reach out to those looking for a healthier option, like high protein, sugar free, organic, and all-natural. Any special sourcing information that you can include will help, like free range, hormone free, grass-fed, or even where the meat specifically originated from. And if you have a fun brand story, find a way to include it to further resonate with consumers. It’s best to share the most information that you can with today’s informed and conscientious shopper.

Photo of Stryve‘s vibrant, multi-color beef biltong packaging.

Biltong + Jerky Packaging Must-Haves

Packaging jerky and biltong differ from packaging other savory snacks like pretzels and chips because jerky products typically require a high barrier film lamination to ensure optimal freshness. High-barrier films help to preserve product freshness while providing a strong protective barrier against oxygen, moisture, and odor. The right film and seal aids in keeping these elements out, but the use of an oxygen absorber inside the pouch or bag is a good idea. These work to prevent the growth of fungi and microorganisms by keeping air out, maintaining an oxygen level close to zero during the entire life of the product.

When exploring closure options, consider that for larger, multiple-serving biltong or jerky bags, a resealable zipper is a great choice that allows consumers to close the bag for future use. This functionality allows for easy grab and go snacking, and also helps keep the jerky fresh in between snacking. Single-serve bags may not need a zipper, but we encourage you to explore using a tear notch to allow the package to be easily opened. For single-serve meat stick snacks packaged in other forms of flexible film (other than a pouch), using a peelable film is an easy way for consumers to open the package and remove the stick in one easy peel. 

A Peek into Your Product

Consider adding a transparent window to your jerky pouch or bag. If you scour the retail shelves looking at meat snack products, you’ll likely notice that most brands have this element in common. A clear window allows consumers to see the style of jerky inside and allows them to “eat” with their eyes first. These windows are a popular choice to showcase what’s inside, and further support your claims on the label to the good stuff inside. 

Finding a Biltong + Jerky Packaging Partner

There you have the top three considerations when creating the ideal beef jerky packaging, but here’s one more: be sure to invest in the best custom beef jerky bags available. At ePac, we have an entire team of experts with experience in making custom beef jerky packaging bags, whether rollstock, lay flat pouches, or stand up pouches. Our unique digital printing platform allows us to print high-quality film with photo quality graphics in bags of all sizes, with various closures for your project. And we excel in creating the high barrier film necessary to keep your jerky fresh. Looking for a partner that will come alongside you as you create your jerky packaging? Call us today or request a quote and learn more about how we can help.  

From Our Farm Moves Biltong Products to Printed Pouches

It was a visit to South Africa that first planted the idea of producing home-made biltong in the minds of Rachel and Michael George, founders of start-up brand From Our Farm. With the savoury snack market growing, they spotted an opportunity to set up a sustainable and potentially lucrative business, supplying the relatively unknown and healthy dried-beef treat. 

The young couple runs a farm in Pembrokeshire on land that has been used for rearing cattle for more than four generations of the George family. The perfect ingredient was right there grazing on the fields outside their window – top quality Welsh beef – they just needed to learn how biltong was produced.

Like many entrepreneurs, their first attempt at making the new product was tentative. They created a makeshift dryer in their kitchen using a plastic storage tub, a bathroom extractor fan and a lightbulb to test their idea. The result was delicious and set the Georges on their journey and so From Our Farm was born. Soon production was moved into new purpose-built premises, near Narberth, where batches of biltong are now made in a state-of-the-art dryer. 

Over time, From Our Farm has expanded its range of tasty beef snacks. ‘Original Biltong’ has been joined by spicier flavors, including a chilli-flavored version and ‘Blazing Turmeric’ with yellow Scorpion chillis, not to mention super-hot ‘Carolina Reaper’ – all created with chillis from nearby Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm. 

Despite going national, Rachel and Mike still celebrate their Welsh heritage and were lucky enough to see their products featured on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen as part of a St David’s Day feature on Welsh food this year. They are also the proud recipients of a Great Taste Award and their biltong carries the Protect Geographical Indication and Welsh Beef certification marks.

Enabling Growth with Digitally Printed Pouches 

Until now, the biltong has been sold in 40g, 500g and 1kg plain, resealable paper pouches with labels applied by hand. However, as sales continued to increase, this approach proved unsustainable, so to find a solution and help drive further growth, the company turned to ePac UK Silverstone for help.

From Our Farm’s packaging before partnering with ePac

Mike explains, “We wanted to migrate from adhesive labels to fully printed pouches to reduce the labour time spent applying them to each pack and reduce unit costs for our beef snack packaging. We also wanted to create a more eye-catching design, which was achievable with fully printed stand-up pouches.”

“We also had lots of customers who wanted to display our products from a clip strip, and euro-slotted, blank stand-up pouches just aren’t readily available from stock.” 

With no plate costs, low minimum orders and full flexibility in design and colors, digital print was a clear choice for From Our Farm. “Using digital print means that we can tweak any of our designs or wording in the future without incurring additional costs, and there is also a benefit in splitting our order over multiple designs, in quantities that reflect each flavor’s rate of sale,” says Mike.

Digital print has also been used to add individual codes to each pack, so consumers can trace their purchase back to the cow that the beef came from and receive information on breed, sex, date of birth and ear tag number.

Reducing Lead Times and Keeping it Local

ePac UK Silverstone works with many local brands who find that having their flexible packaging supplier nearby very reassuring. It makes keeping in touch so much easier and means that samples can be supplied at a moment’s notice. Deliveries won’t be held up en route from abroad or incur huge shipping costs. And with the COVID-19 crisis severely affecting supply chains, the change of packaging partner couldn’t have come at a better time for From Our Farm.

“The fact that ePac is UK-based was a big draw,’ continues Mike. “It allowed for easy communication regarding material barrier requirements and we were able to get samples quickly to determine the finish and feel we wanted. 

“UK-based also turned out to be a very big advantage when we came to place the order as we would probably be struggling to get packaging from overseas currently. It also meant we didn’t have to place a massive order to offset shipping costs.”

In terms of lead times, ePac wins hands down by turning orders around in less than 15 business days, once the artwork is approved. Compare this to buying from suppliers outside the UK who can take up to 12 weeks to deliver. The result is that less packaging needs to be held in stock, which reduces costs for warehousing and waste caused by redundant packaging.

“Fast delivery allowed us to run down our previous packaging held in stock to a bare minimum before placing an order; this really helps with cashflow for small businesses like us. It was also good to be able to get regular updates when printing and pouch-forming was completed to make sure the lead time was still on track,” Mike explains.

Having Confidence in Your Packaging Partner 

The move to fully printed pouches represented a considerable investment in stock for From Our Farm. Rachel and Mike were keen to work with a reliable and trustworthy partner where the lines of communication were open to ensure no mistakes were made and orders lost in translation.

“The team at ePac was very good in following up our queries during the costing and specification process. Cutter designs and proofs were turned around within an hour or two in most cases, which was really good as we had to make a few tweaks before approving final proofs. This whole process happened within the same day.”

Mike concludes, “One thing we have found when purchasing blank pouches is that colors and shading can vary quite considerably between orders, so we are glad that we won’t have that worry going forwards. Mostly though we are excited about not sticking on thousands of labels by hand each month!”

“We are always fully committed to helping the local communities and enable brands of all sizes to continue to grow – even more so through the current crisis,” says Nick Monk, Sales Director UK & Ireland and Managing Partner of ePac UK Silverstone. “And it is our privilege to support From Our Farm and help Rachel and Mike achieve their dream.”  

Are you looking for a better packaging solution for your brand? Call us today to learn more about how ePac UK Silverstone can help you.

When It Comes to Jerky Packaging, It’s All About Freshness

Move over potato chips, there’s a new savory snack on the scene that is filling grocery carts as more consumers opt for healthier, higher protein snacks.

What is it? It’s meat snacks, and more specifically- meat sticks and jerky. Meat snacks have come a long way since the Slim Jim, and there seems to be an endless opportunity in the segment to offer many varieties including turkey and beef, organic, grass-fed and premium options. Consumers appreciate the high-protein snack that fits nicely into many of the latest high-protein, low-carb diets, as well as a healthier snacking lifestyle.

Sales remain steady in the segment with new brands emerging to satisfy these trends. According to Nielsen, in 2017, meat snacks was a $2.8 billion category. The segment is bucketed into jerky and sticks, each of which contributes about half of the total sales. It’s no surprise that the segment is growing as U.S. consumers crave more and more protein. Nielsen reported that 55% of U.S. households say high protein is now an important attribute to consider when buying food for their households. And since consumers are snacking more, and sitting down to traditional meals less, jerky is definitely having its moment in the spotlight.

When launching your jerky brand, remember key packaging considerations to capture consumer attention, keep the jerky fresh and get your product to market quickly.

Designing Jerky Packaging For Convenience & Performance

Because snacking should always be convenient, jerky is most often packaged in pouches and bags for on-the-go consumption. Flexible packaging delivers to consumers the convenience of its lightweight, resealability and great design capabilities. And in unbreakable bags and pouches, the jerky becomes incredibly portable and easy to pack for school, work or climbing up a mountain.

Jerky can be packaged in both lay flat pouches and stand-up pouches, in either a single-serving size package for on-the-go consumption or a full-size package. Press to close zippers are best utilized when a consumer will want the ability to store the product while ensuring freshness, while single-serve pouches can utilize a tear notch for ease of opening.

Jerky Packaging for Maximized Freshness

But the biggest consideration when packaging jerky snacks is not consumer convenience, but rather freshness! The bag or pouch must keep the jerky inside fresh, staving off oxygen and moisture.

Moisture and oxygen threaten the jerky’s freshness, and when present can cause the product to develop mold and negatively impact shelf life. Because of this, the packaging must work to maintain moisture levels, and create an airtight seal.

High-barrier films are so important for jerky packaging, as they will create a strong protective barrier between the outer world and the product inside. This, combined with a tight seal, like a push to close zipper, with enough strength and functionality to allow consumers to open and close the pouch multiple times, will keep the meat snacks fresher for longer.

In addition to the bag or pouch working to keep the jerky fresh, the use of an oxygen absorber inside a plastic pouch or bag is also key to a package’s success as it works to prevent the growth of fungi and microorganisms. It works to keep air out, maintaining an oxygen level close to zero, during the entire life of the product.

Fresher jerky means a longer shelf life for both manufacturers and consumers, resulting in less waste and happier customers.

In summary, when it comes to jerky packaging, it’s all about freshness, keeping the meat fit for consumption. Bags and pouches accomplish this with superior strength, keeping oxygen out and freshness in. What’s more, pouches and bags offer the convenience of resealability, lightweight and the added perks of digital printing. With digital printing on flexible packaging, small and medium-sized companies can order short and medium run length orders, finished jerky pouches and roll stock, all shipped quickly. This means getting your product to market fast, and not holding a large inventory, saving you on waste and money down the road.

Digital printing takes the complexity out of ordering and printing your jerky packaging, with a simple, streamlined process. If you’re not sure of what custom jerky bags you need, our packaging experts will recommend the perfect product for any jerky or processed meat – or we can work with your specifications.

Contact us today for a free quote!