Curwood Gains Exclusive Rights to Supply Tray & Lidding Film for Innovative MicVac® Technology in North, South and Central America for Fresh, Refrigerated Ready Meals

Curwood now offers market-leading packaging technology together with MicVac for fresh, refrigerated Ready Meals utilizing MicVac's unique method for microwave pasteurization-meeting rising consumer demand for fresher, healthier, high-quality, convenient ready meals with extended shelf life.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin - A market-leading microwave pasteurized cooking and packaging method for chilled ready meals is now available in North, South and Central America exclusively through a partnership between Curwood, a Bemis Company, and MicVac, a proven Swedish-based solution provider.

"As a leading supplier of food-based packaging technologies, Curwood pays particular attention to existing and emerging consumer trends domestically and globally to support customer growth objectives," explains David Engen, Curwood Director of Marketing.

"Changing demographics, coupled with shifting economic conditions, have led to trends that support microwave pasteurization technology," states Engen. "Consumers are demanding higher quality meal solutions that deliver on taste, texture, aroma and aesthetic appeal without the addition of preservatives or additives. MicVac technology provides a nutritious option-without sacrificing convenience-at an extended shelf life of 30-45 days."

The addition of microwave pasteurization packaging solutions extends Curwood's portfolio of food packaging solutions from fresh, frozen, retort and MAP packaging to include microwave pasteurization. "Proven success in Europe and Asia has established the MicVac® solution as the standard in microwave pasteurization," said Engen.

The MicVac® method integrates a tray, lidding film and valve technology using a specially designed MicVac® microwave tunnel cooking system The convenience of cooking raw ingredients and shipping chilled directly to the market revolutionizes how food is prepared, delivered and merchandised by brand owners and retailers. The cooking system is also delicate enough to open up product options to traditionally challenging foods like fish, shellfish, pasta and ethnic-oriented meals, offering consumers greater variety and flavor.

Prior to eating, the consumer heats the meal for about three minutes in a microwave, where it cooks under controlled steam pressure. The package whistles when it's at the correct temperature, eliminating any question as to 'if' or 'when' the meal is properly heated. Unlike most heat-and-eat meal formats, the MicVac® package goes directly from the shelf to the microwave, with no consumer prep required such as lid piercing or stirring.

The MicVac® packaging platform solves a number of critical challenges for ready meal brands:

Extended shelf life without additives: Since the meals are pasteurized, 30-45 day shelf life enables longer production cycles and more cost-efficient production. Food waste and logistical challenges are reduced, while consistent quality, improved taste, texture and nutritional value are easily achieved.

Easy and efficient to transport and display: The 'zero headspace' packaging format created thru the patented technology allows the packages to be stored and transported upright without content shift or damage. The packages can be merchandized horizontally or vertically for eye-catching store displays.

Simple, safe microwave cooking: Packaged meals go from refrigerator to microwave to plate. Consumers place the meal in the microwave oven for about 3 minutes; due to the patented process and special valve technology, there is no need to pierce or cut the lidding film. A clear audible whistle indicates when the meal is ready. Curwood delivers a tray and film combination where the film peels cleanly off the tray when the meal comes out of the microwave.

Ability to profitably execute ready meal innovations: MicVac® packaging unleashes opportunities for ready meal innovations that have only been available in Europe and Asia. With extended shelf life and improved heating performance, the door is open for brands to extend their reach into fresh ready meals, expand menu selections and create gourmet flavors with delicate upscale foods. In addition, the technology offers broad opportunities for food service, restaurant and institutional applications.

The Curwood/MicVac partnership provides the North, South and Central American markets new ways to look at chilled ready meals. The technology improves the viability of brand concepts that capitalize on emerging consumer trends for fresh, healthy and convenient food choices, expanding a growing, profitable, high-margin category in stores.

About MicVac

MicVac is a proven total-solution provider of the leading continuous cooking process for producers of microwave pasteurized chilled ready meals headquartered in Mölndal, Sweden. The company offers integrated packaging equipment, packaging materials and processing know-how and technology support. Its pilot plant in Sweden offers customized training to facilitate the development of product recipes and production launch. Current and future customers are global food manufacturers eager to build share in the growing chilled ready meal market.

About Curwood

Known throughout the world for technological leadership in high-barrier packaging, Curwood is a preferred supplier of innovative packaging materials and systems for food, beverage, household, industrial and personal care industries. Curwood maintains strategic manufacturing and service centers throughout North America, South America and Europe, and is well-positioned to meet global distribution and marketing needs. Headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, U.S.A., Curwood is part of the Bemis family of companies.

For information on Curwood's MicVac® packaging platform for refrigerated case-ready meals, call Curwood customer service at (800) 544-4672, or email

About Bemis Company

Bemis Company is a major supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by leading food, consumer products, healthcare and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, the Company is included in the S&P 500 index of stocks and reported 2012 net sales of $5.1 billion. The Company's flexible packaging business has a strong technical base in polymer chemistry, film extrusion, coating and laminating, printing and converting. Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Bemis employs approximately 20,000 individuals worldwide. More information about the Company is available at our website,

Media Contact:

Dennis Burian

Bemis Company, Inc.

(920) 527-7344

All Topics