New requirements are brewing among leading coffee retailers

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The PAC Machinery companies: Packaging Aids • Vertrod • Clamco • Rollbag Systems • Converting Technology
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New requirements are brewing among leading coffee retailers
Robbie Roberts had precious little time to enjoy the subtle honey and nectarine notes
“We had no way to flush and seal our coffee bags with our existing equipment”,
lamented Kevin Swenk, Production Manager at Joe Van Gogh Coffee. “Since we were in
all of the Whole Foods locations throughout the Southern Region, we needed to be compliant with the new regulations”. The need was immediate, and the search for a solution
was on. Swenk and company began their task the way most people do these days, with a
search on the internet. They also contacted their trusted bag supplier, Woodinville, Washington-based Pacific Bag, Inc. for some guidance. Pacific Bag came back with a couple of
recommendations – one of which was a system from Packaging Aids in San Rafael, California. “Doug Ingram, the Packaging Aids Regional Sales Manager, was extremely respon-
sive to any questions or concerns we had,” notes Swenk. When asked: did PAC Machinery
(the master brand for Packaging Aids, Clamco, Vertrod, Rollbag Systems and Converting
Technology) take the time to understand your specific requirement? Kevin Swenk responded in one word: “absolutely”. “We were impressed by the superior response and knowledge from PAC Machinery representatives. They explained the benefits of using the PAC
Machinery equipment, and they were much more knowledgeable about the machines and
applications” added Kevin Swenk.
Swenk learned that PAC Machinery manufactured several nozzle-style vacuum
sealers designed specifically for the coffee industry, and depending on the production requirement, the high capacity sealers can be equipped with up to six stainless steel nozzles
for increased production efficiency. Of particular interest to the team at Joe Van Gogh was
the fact that all Packaging Aids coffee vacuum sealers come equipped with gas flush (for
modified atmosphere packaging) as a standard feature. Designed specifically for coffee producers, the gas flush feature makes the Packaging Aids vacuum sealers perfectly adaptable
for both whole bean and ground coffee. With extensive due diligence completed, the folks at
Joe Van Gogh Coffee relies on their
Packaging Aids Coffee Pac Vacuum
Sealer at their Hillsborough, North
Carolina facility.
Doug Ingram, the Packaging Aids Regional Sales Manager, was extremely responsive to
any questions or concerns
we had.
present in his cup of organic Guatamala Adisque coffee. Market trends were changing and
his rapidly growing Joe Van Gogh brand of artisan coffee was drawing attention from some
cutting-edge, national retailers. High on this list of noteworthy grocers was Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Markets, Inc. The buyers at Whole Foods loved Robbie’s product,
but selling into this prestigious retailer came with some new requirements. Beginning in
October, 2015 this highly regarded organization would require coffee vendors to nitrogen
flush and heat seal all retail coffee bags. Their objective is to achieve a “best by” date that
exceeded their existing limit of 14 days from date-of-roast. Research revealed that gas
flushed and heat sealed bags could achieve a 120-day best by date following the date-ofroast. Gas flush is a process for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). The MAP process
uses a flavorless, inert gas (often nitrogen) to displace the flavor-robbing oxygen that
shortens the shelf life of coffee. This gives the retailer the ability to deliver the finest beans
available - skillfully blended and roasted - and to offer these premium coffees with greatly
extended shelf life. The leading, innovative retailers are demanding more from their coffee
suppliers, and the new requirements are not limited to premium quality beans or coffee
roasting artistry. It’s all about extending product freshness.
Kevin Swenk
Production Manager
Joe Van Gogh Coffee
Watch a Coffee Pac Vacuum
Sealer in action >>
Joe Van Gogh selected the popular Packaging Aids Coffee Pac Vacuum Sealer.
New coffee requirements (continued)
The Coffee Pac has the ability to vacuum, gas flush (if required), and seal four (4)
packages per cycle and is capable of up to 2-4 cycles per minute. This means that Joe Van
Gogh can process between 400-800, one-pound bags of coffee per hour, depending upon
operator efficiency, seal time required for bag material, and the desired residual oxygen level.
The Coffee Pac vacuum sealer uses a high-flow venturi vacuum pump for quiet and powerful
operation, plus the venturi allows the coffee particles to pass through without damaging the
pump. Designed for maximum uptime, this versatile machine features a particle ejection
function that clears the vacuum lines of any coffee debris following each vacuum sealing
cycle. The Coffee Pac vacuum sealer can flush a bag with nitrogen (as required by Whole
Foods Market, Inc.) or any other suitable gas used to preserve coffee freshness. Designed
for maximum versatility, the gas flushing sequence can easily be changed from vacuum then
gas, to gas then vacuum, or gas only with no vacuum. When asked if he thought the Packaging
Aids Coffee Pac vacuum sealer would deliver a measureable return on investment, Kevin
Swenk did not equivocate. His answer: “It will”. v
After roasting out of their Chapel
Hill coffeehouse location for over
ten years, Joe Van Gogh outgrew
the space and knew they required a
dedicated roastworks. They opened
their location in Hillsborough in
2004 and have continued roasting
daily in small batches, packing
each bag by hand and delivering to
many coffeehouses, restaurants and
grocery co-ops in the area.
They roast to order on the Kestrel
S35/Loring Smart Roast – a system
that actually burns the particulate
matter in the coffee smoke, providing heat to the roast process
and significantly reducing emissions and natural gas usage.
For more information on this article,
please contact us:
Robert Goldberg
Marketing Manager
(415) 454-4868 x125
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