Packaging Made Frozen TV Dinners Possible


I was saddened to hear of the passing of one of the food industry pioneers Gerry Thomas, One of our unsung heroes credited with invented a "package" the frozen TV dinner that literally changed the way we eat. Never mind that it was considered by nutritionists as a step backwards, his invention still made a major shift in the food and food services industries. In fact foodservice was in the early stages of product development when the TV dinner was first introduced in the. (turkey with corn bread dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and buttered peas - sold for about $1 apiece and could be cooked in 25 minutes at 425 degrees.)

I was reminded of other packaging innovations that we take for granted. Everyday foods such as microwave popcorn, prewashed salads, shredded cheeses to name a few. All that are already prepared and ready to be consumed within a few minutes. Products that have make our lives a whole lot better.

Consider were we would be without these package innovations that make meal preparation easy or a whole lot simpler. Remember when all the food preparation was done by your mother or your grandmother. Not anymore. One of the fasting growing food sectors is the prepared, ready-to eat or easy/minimal preparation meal. We are a convenience society and packaging innovation has made major strides in providing products that are ideal for this lifestyle.

Have you ever given any thought to the box that delivers your pizza, why its still hot and not soggy, or the prewashed salads and carrots that are ready to eat or put on the table? What about the juice box and the "Lunchables" that makes school lunches a breeze.

Packaging makes all this possible. I won't bore you with al the technical details just that without the package many of these products couldn't exist. Innovations such as the TV dinner have become "de rigeur" in American culture.

So the next time you hear someone bad mouthing all the packaging materials going into landfills or the excess packaging material that is use to package a product or how difficult it is to open. Remember consumer (that's you) are demanding these products be invented.

The features and attributes that you complain about also keep it fresh, sanitary, and easy to use to make your life and your families lives much better.

After all consider the fact that without a package you couldn't have a product.


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