Find packaging solutions through the Michigan State University Product Center

Food business operators can address a variety of packaging, labeling, and food quality issues through counseling and specialized services of the Michigan State University Product Center.

One of the needs that emerging food businesses eventually identify is effective packaging. Food entrepreneurs are passionate about their products, but frequently lack the knowledge about how to pack them for the commercial market. New food businesses can get along only so long performing multiple functions by hand, printing labels on a home printer, and experiencing product loss because of the wrong package.

Michigan State University Product Center client, DoughChicks, owned by Kara Steely and Denise Steely, has enjoyed steady market growth of the energy cookie, KaraComet, among Kalamazoo and Battle Creek-area active, and outdoor clientele. In the process of professionalizing their label and incorporating nutrition facts, they sought to find a new package that was re-sealable, environmentally-friendly and maintained product quality.

Expertise of the MSU School of Packaging may be accessed through the MSU Product Center’s specialized services in a variety of ways. This fall semester the Steelys were presented the opportunity to have their product needs assessed by undergraduate Packaging students. Two student groups recently presented their recommendations complete with written reports and packaging mock-ups.

“The students and teacher were very pleasant to work with on the packaging project. I was impressed with the amount of effort that was put into the project and we (the DoughChicks) gained significant knowledge along with the students,” reported Denise Steely to Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University Extension Educator. “We are now doing more research on our own to use some of the ideas presented”.

This is one example of how food entrepreneurs may be assisted with packaging options. For packaging, or other food business issues, request counseling with the MSU Product Center or call 517-432-8750.

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