Our sustainable and cost effective linerless label portfolio boasts many label formats, suiting many different pack shapes and sizes. One format generating much interest, is our slideable linerless ready meal sleeve.

The sleeve is a reinvention of the traditional, hand applied cardboard sleeve, yet comes supplied on a roll. This type of label not only far outweighs traditional sleeves but has all the benefits of a standard linerless label.

Machine applied ready meal sleeve vs hand application

So what is so great about our ready meal linerless sleeves? Well for a start, our sleeves offer a more sustainable alternative when comparing to their hand applied counterparts. Traditional sleeves are both costly and labour intensive due to the need for manual application. Multiple people, depending on line speed, can be involved in the labelling of one product, on a production line. With Ravenwood sleeves, you need one reel of sleeves and one machine, operated by one person. And also worth considering is the saving on space and how the labels are actually supplied. With our ready meal sleeve, you can get up to 2000 labels on a roll (depending on width of sleeve) compared to 500 hand sleeves flat packed in a box.

Sell-by dates can also be applied at the point of application whereas with manual application, these would need adding separately. The whole process is streamlined, saving on time, cost, and overall, a much reduced carbon footprint. The benefits are widely apparent which is why our ready meal sleeve is becoming increasingly attractive as the label of choice for straight-to-oven ready meals and other produce.

How are the labels applied?

Our Nobac 5000R machine has been developed and tailored in line with applying these labels to ready meal packs. The applicator has all the benefits relating to the recyclability and cost savings, in line with all machines in the Nobac 5000 machine range. Our applicators come in at 1,400mm length with a cruising speed of 65ppm and the ability to run labels at 500mm in length, between 120mm and 250mm in width.

And as with all Ravenwood 5000 machines, we can add printers of your choice. For wider sleeves, we supply the Viper Inkjet from Videojet. The Viper machine has been developed for this purpose, for creating ready meal sleeves on heavier card. We back score the labels to achieve the look of a traditional sleeve by machine, so again saving on cost and labour. Traditional sleeves need to be folded by hand.

As well as ready meal sleeves, the Nobac 5000R has also been modified to work with flat salmon packs and can be adjusted to meet individual pack specifications and produce; c wrap, d wrap, full wrap, top and side. And if required, infeed base labellers and flash labellers can be added.

Convenience, health and sustainability are key ingredients in the ready meals category

Ready meals have a long history – in fact, the first TV dinner launched in the 1950s. Since this time, the consumer love affair with ready meals remains undiminished with demand growing year on year. We wrote a blog update on ready meals back in 2017 and on further research, we have found the number of single-person households continues to rise, and working professionals are still choosing to eat at their desks rather than eat out, taking a full lunch break. Ready meals are still as popular as ever with these demographics.

Statistically, the market is expected to grow annually by 4.3% (CAGR 2019-2023). Revenue in the ready meals segment amounts to £177,222m in 2019. When we look globally, we can see that most revenue is generated in the United States (£50,905m in 2019) with China coming in second at £17,777m, then closely followed by India and Japan. The UK is sitting at number 5, with £9,802m. Source: Statista

Want to find our more on our ready meal sleeves? We are happy to provide samples and brochures at your request. Call us on +44 (0)1284 749144.

Author: Natalie Bell (Marketing & Events Manager)

ready meal sleeve

Slideable sleeve on flat smoked salmon and ready meal sleeve. Both applied with the Nobac 500R…

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