As the autumn season befalls upon us, many seek comfort in warm, soothing foods and beverages to nurture and comfort the soul during this chilly time of year.
While soups, hot ciders, and pumpkin spice lattes have become indicative of fall, there’s another item on the market many consumers will be diving into this season: bone broth. Touted for its vast nutritional benefits, this broth is much different from the chicken, vegetable, or beef stocks you typically see on your supermarket shelves.
Bone broth has, in fact, been made in homes and consumed for thousands of years, but recently we’ve been seeing a surge in brands that are perfecting the preparation of this product and making it readily available to consumers. The reason for this is the process of producing bone broth is intricate and time consuming, and while demand for nutritious, delicious, comforting food items is on the rise, most active consumers simply don’t have the time or means to whip up their own fresh batch of bone broth on a regular basis.
As health food brands perfect their bone broth recipes and prepare to hand it off to consumers, a crucial aspect must be considered, and that is its packaging. Storing bone broth is much more difficult than packaging and housing other nutritious items because it is NOT shelf stable. We’ve spoken with brands like Erie Bone Broth, who have informed us that customers often inquire about the so-called “bone broth” they see out on supermarket shelves and wonder if it is, in fact, safe to consume. The reality is that the unrefrigerated “bone broth” you see packaged in boxes, cans, or cartons is not true bone broth. The replicas simply do not offer nearly as many benefits this traditional wholesome liquid contains.
Consider that the process for making bone broth (from cow or chicken bones) can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to simmer — nutrients, amino acids, and minerals are extracted from the animal bones, which aid in detoxification and gut health. A healthy, natural item like bone broth should not be altered with the addition of preservatives or artificial ingredients used to make it shelf stable and extend freshness of the product. True bone broth should be kept as pure and additive-free as possible to assist consumers who seek out wholesome health foods and drinks that come from the earth.
To properly store bone broth, many home cooks and larger brands will freeze the finished liquid into cubes after it has finished its cooking process or fill a container with the broth and freeze the product inside the package. This is just one circumstance when bone broth packaging is highly important — the container must be able to withstand very low temperatures while safeguarding the product inside from freezer burn or any contamination.
Flexible pouches have become a preferred solution for packaging bone broth because they can be filled with hot, cold, or room-temperature liquids (or solids) and can be custom sized so they fit compactly into freezers without crushing or damaging the frozen broth inside.
Not all brands wish to freeze their bone broth, however, and some choose aseptic vacuum sealing, which requires the use of Food Saver-type bags. Most organic bone broth companies will avoid high-heat pasteurization in order to maintain the integrity of the healthy broth, but flexible pouches do offer the option of packaging the broth hot and fresh off the stove. This type of bone broth packaging contains multiple layers of laminated film that work together to stand upright and protect the product from contact with outside bacteria, UV rays, odors, or pests, while also providing a strong puncture-resistant outer layer so no broth leaks or gets spilled.
Bone broth can also be sold in powder form, so consumers can get all the beneficial health properties of the broth as a kind of supplement, rather than a drinkable liquid. Whether served to the public in frozen, liquid, or powder form, the following flexible pouches are available to ensure the broth is safeguarded from bacteria and its nutritional benefits are preserved...
These flexible pouches have been developed specifically for liquid or viscous products. The FDA-approved, food-grade layers of recyclable plastic work together to keep liquids properly stored inside the container, while the bottom gussets help keep the container standing upright. The plastic spout offers consumers added convenience, as the pouch can easily be poured or sipped from. The minimum order quantity is higher for spouted pouches, but the advantages as a bone broth packaging option are vast. This type of packaging is easy to pour, the spout can be opened and reclosed, larger quantities of broth can be packaged in this container (which cuts down on waste and increases value for consumers), and it guarantees prolonged freshness of the healthful liquid.
These smaller flexible pouches can be produced with an easy-open tear notch at the top for single servings of bone broth. This is a great option for startups because they are inexpensive and allow emerging companies to sell smaller quantities of their product to gauge customer feedback and test out different flavorings. Like the spouted pouches, this smaller form of flexible packaging can be custom printed using food-safe water-based inks that allow newer bone broth brands to stand out from the growing competition.
Featuring a reclosable zipper, this type of bone broth packaging can be opened and resealed so consumers can return to it multiple times and enjoy its nutritional benefits on a daily basis. All-clear or clear window stand up pouches allow the end user to see exactly what the broth looks like, which is key to keeping an open line of trust and transparency among producer and consumer. Flexible stand up pouches have become the preferred method of storing numerous food and beverage items, as the packaging itself does not alter the flavor or composition of the product inside the way tin cans and cardboard can often do. Pouches (with or without a spout) can also be manufactured to include a handle to ensure easy pouring for bone broth drinkers.
When it comes to properly containing and storing bone broth, much thought and consideration must go into the packaging process itself. Bone broth is highly nutritious, but the nutrients must be preserved in the proper manner and protected from harmful outside bacteria or spoilage. Flexible packaging serves as a highly effective, tried-and-true storage method for bone broth packaging as they can be filled hot and served immediately, or they can hold frozen organic bone broth because of their strong-but-pliable, temperature-safe properties. Liquids and powders are notoriously difficult to packaging, but making the switch away from rigid or outdated packaging options can help build the retail bone broth industry and get more customers on board with trying out this healthy, natural, and soothing product.
(Image Sources: Bonafide Provisions, Erie Bone Broth)