There is a major logistical challenge for retailers when it comes to shipping in, storing and selling produce. By its very nature, fresh produce is only fresh for a limited amount of time and if it’s not stored and handled correctly, fresh produce is liable to become bruised or damaged. This puts it at prime risk of being wasted which will end up hitting your bottom line.
However, did you know that the type of transit and storage crates you use for fresh produce can make a real difference to its quality and keep it fresher for longer? Choosing the right supermarket crates can help keep your fresh produce protected from damaged and in conditions which will maintain its freshness thanks to a range of purpose-designed attributes and built-in features.
In this article, phs Teacrate will look at the different properties you should consider in a supermarket crate to make sure you can keep your produce as fresh as possible while achieving other benefits such as saving space, enhancing hygiene, cost and resource efficiencies as well as reducing food waste.
Properties of a quality supermarket crate:
- Ventilation: Supermarket crates have small holes in the side for a very good reason. This facilitates ventilation which is the most important factor in keeping food produce fresh. Crates with vented sides aids airflow, maintaining a consistent temperature and enhancing cooling throughout the entire crate. Even in isolation, ventilation is a major contributor to preventing food waste so it’s a feature you definitely don’t want to skip.
- Strength: Your food crate needs to be tough enough that it’s not easily damaged while being transported and strong enough to handle heavy loads. phs Teacrate’s trays are manufactured from tough polypropylene which is exceptionally robust so you can be assured that your crate is secure no matter what produce you’re packing into them.
- Protective: Rigid construction and sturdy sides facilitates safe stacking of food crates so they can be neatly stored while keeping its contents safe and secure. Cardboard boxes or flimsy crates carry the risk that produce can get squashed and easily damaged. A strong, rigid crate is also essential when it comes to transportation, protecting produce against knocks and bumps. Meanwhile, attached lidded containers offer extra protection as well as tamper-evident security sealing systems. A quality crate will also be smooth on the inside with no sharp corners to avoid produce becoming bruised or damaged.
- Food safe: Crates which are made from wood can carry a risk of cross contamination as wood is an absorbent material which can harbour bacteria. By comparison, all phs Teacrate’s food crates are constructed of food-safe polypropylene to enhance hygiene and are washable to keep them clean use after use.
- Reusable: One of the benefits of using plastic crates is that they are reusable. Our Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) products are strong and resilient so they can be used time and time again, reducing reliance on single-use packaging products such as cardboard. With a lifespan of several years, one crate can replace hundreds of cardboard boxes and achieves a lower cost per use over the long time. Even when a plastic crate does reach the end of its life, it can be recycled in order to be used again. Therefore, the switch to RTP crates not only makes sense from an environmental perspective but it can save money too.
- Washable: In order to be reusable and to adhere to strict hygiene standards, you’ll want to ensure your crates are washed regularly to remove dirt, kill bacteria and eliminate cross contamination risks. As hygiene will be top of your agenda, you can rely on phs Teacrate’s crate-washing service with state-of the-art facilities to clean all types of RTP equipment. With a collection and delivery service, crates are rigorously cleaned with all evidence of labels and soiling removed and quality assurance checks with swab testing to ensure they meet the highest standards.
- Secure: Bale arms on crates allow them to be stacked or nested easily. Bale arms allow full crates to securely support each other when stacked for storage or distribution. Once empty, simply repositioning bale arms means crates can be nestled inside one another, taking up minimal room.
- Moisture resistant: By using a crate which is moisture resistant, you’re protecting produce from external factors. But what’s more, it will also be resistant to other contaminants such as mould or dust so your produce is being kept to the highest quality.
- Multipurpose: Instead of utilising a different crate or tray for each purpose, choose a versatile crate which will aid resource efficiency and maximise space. This way, produce can be neatly packed into a crate following production or packaging before being used to transport it to its final destination. And once it’s there, the same crate can be used as a point of sale, saving you from having to decamp the product into another container.
- Customisable: Another benefit of phs Teacrate’s food trays is that they can be customised to the individual requirements of a business. The trays have an insert area for text, making them ideal to identify produce or for supermarket display. They can also include moulded-on logos as well as hot stamp branding areas.
phs Teacrate’s supermarket crates benefit from all the properties we’ve talked about today helping customers to extend the life of their produce, reduce food waste and save money in the long term. So if you’re looking for a supplier of quality and robust crates to rent or to purchase, phs Teacrate is your next port of call. For more details, get in touch with us today.