Packing pinched penguins


By Janette Woodhouse
Friday, 14 October, 2016


Packing pinched penguins

It is kind of hard to fathom why anyone would have a need to pack penguins — in truth, it is kind of hard to justify the existence of penguins. They don’t actually do a lot and penguin-shaped stress balls do even less. They are, however, extremely cute.

For similarly unfathomable reasons What’s New in Food Technology & Manufacturing elected to choose to have penguin-shaped stress balls as its ‘giveaway’ at Foodtech Packtech 2016. (We actually think some of the blame for this choice should be borne by the Australian Institute of Packaging’s Nerida Kelton.)

Held every two years in Auckland, Foodtech Packtech attracts absolutely every food and beverage processor in New Zealand. It is a very busy and successful event — the traffic getting there is proof of this. But, once again, we are forced to report that New Zealand’s seamier underbelly was evident at the event.

Penguin thieves were at work — snaffling innocent penguins from the What’s New in Food Technology & Manufacturing exhibition stand and vacuum packaging them. Our admittedly totally useless penguins had proven to be extremely popular — only a carefully secreted handful were still around by day three and absolutely none by the end of the day.

The chief penguin pincher was D&L Marketing’s Tim Morton. Sadly, Tim not only shows no remorse — he is proud to demonstrate how effective his company’s vacuum packaging systems are by restoring emaciated, vacuum-packed penguins to full size and uselessness by simply opening the packs. What the penguins think of this gross invasion of their existence is hard to guess.

However, in Tim’s defence, we have now established with certainty that if you ever need to pack penguins (well, stress-ball penguins), vacuum packing will allow you to fit more penguins into a given volume.

Next year will be a big exhibition year in Australia with both AUSPACK and foodpro and the pressure is on to find a penguin replacement that will defy the wily activity of penguin pinchers.

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