The battle between prepacked ready-to-eat sweetcorn and its frozen counterpart is hotting up thanks to developments at a West Sussex packhouse.
Barfoots of Botley is building a 2,200 sq m extension to its packhouse at Pagham, which is expected to be fully operational by next month.
The project will double the plant's annual output to two million prepacks.
Three Nevada overwrapping machines are being installed, which means the company will be able to preprint designs, information and recipes on polypropylene films, instead of labels. Price and source information can also be applied to the film by ink jet.
"This flexibility will offer customers a wider range of options, including complete cobs in twin packs or multipacks, and continue the development of snack lines and mini-trimmed corn for the barbecue," said managing director Peter Barfoot.
Use of the film also means the packs' shelf life is increased from three days to five.
Barfoot believes sweetcorn presented in this way can compete against its frozen counterpart.
Latest UK crop news is promising, with the first of the crop already being harvested in the Isle of Wight. Said Barfoot: "Overall, quality is still looking good."

Captions to pix being sent to arrive Monday:
1. Peter Barfoot: Providing a flexible and wider choice for customers.

2. Example of new pre-printed film design for the wholesale markets. Supermarkets can develop their own on-pack messages.