Packaging conversion is an important consideration when it comes to selling your problem food inventory.
A buyer might be interested in purchasing your unwanted ingredients. But when it comes time to shift the product out of your facility, packaging challenges — such as moving a liquid sweetener from storage tanks to a tanker truck — can slow the selling process (and diminish your return).
Three packaging conversion scenarios and the challenges
When selling unwanted ingredients, moving the product by truck is a standard transportation solution.
1. Silo to truck
Unloading flour into silos from trucks is a complex task that bakeries undertake when receiving their dry product. The product-in process requires a well-engineered piping system and efficient pump and ventilation systems.
However, a bakery might need to sell the product because they’re reformulating with a new type of flour (e.g., switching to whole wheat flour).
Getting the flour out of the plant and into a truck will require working with a team that understands the product and the nuances of the reversed unloading process.
2. Storage tank to truck
Liquid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are often stored in tanks. If the sweetener must be moved by truck, the following needs to take place:
- If the stored syrup has crystalized, it will require heating to make it pumpable.
- The trucking company will need specialized valves and pumps to transfer the warmed syrup. (You can read a related case study here.)
3. Totes to trucks
Cardboard totes or Gaylord totes are a popular choice for storing and shipping liquid products. The cardboard protects an internal plastic liner and requires a valve system for emptying the contents.
Liquid sweeteners stored in the totes will need specific considerations for moving and draining the boxes.
- Due to the nature of the cardboard and the liquid’s movement, totes tend to be challenging to move (boxes split; liners can fall out).
- At room temperature, a liquid sweetener is solidified. It will require heating to make it pumpable.
- Product handlers will need the correct valves to pierce the liner and drain the syrup.
Getting help with packaging challenges
When it comes to selling your problem product, working with an ingredient management team makes the process of selling and moving your unusable inventory easier for you and your staff.
They have the experience and resources to deal with the complete selling process, including managing any packaging challenges.
Once the ingredient team knows your product’s status (having gathered your inventory verification documents and assessed the existing packaging type), they will:
- Research potential buyers
- Explore the market’s packaging preferences
- Determine the most efficient and cost-effective conversion options
The goal is to move the product quickly to maximize your cash return. That might involve working closely with the trucking company to ensure the driver has experience with the packaging type, loading processes, and required fittings.
Start the packaging conversation early
Whether you have solidified sweetener in totes or still-good flour in silos, if you need to sell your problem inventory, packaging issues may come up.
Some packaging conversions will be straightforward, while others will require specialized transportation.
And some packaging types will make selling the product difficult (e.g., repackaging expired food from small containers to large storage). In certain situations, your ingredient specialist may recommend the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of disposal.
Ultimately, starting the selling process early will give you more flexibility to adapt your packaging as needed, and sell your product faster to rescue as much cash as possible.
At Ingredient Exchange, when it comes to selling problem inventory, we know the ins and outs of packaging issues. We will work with you to find the most cost-efficient packaging solution to optimize the cash return on your problem ingredients.
Please give us a call to get started.
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