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Turkey innovation invented in SC 50 years ago

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm •  Published: December 16, 2012

"It is essentially the same bag that we developed and introduced 50 years ago," Smith said.

There have been a few minor changes, Smith said. The clamp on the bag is now placed and tightened by a machine instead of a plier-like tool in the 1960s. The bags have more flexibility to package a wider range of bird sizes. Different ink allows more intricate printing and designs.

The frozen turkey bag has also kept turkey prices down and opened the door to having the meat all year. Turkey went through another boom in the 1980s when doctors promoted it as a healthier meat than beef.

"There is probably more turkey eaten on a per capita basis July and August in cold sandwiches than there is in November and December," Blackshear said. "We're glad to have both. You can get a good turkey sandwich in the summertime and then a nice, warm festive turkey for the holidays."

Smith said Cryovac took advantage of the second boom in turkey consumption in the 1980s and designed a special tube that turkey meat can be pressed into and cooked and then shipped to processors of lunch meat and other items.

Cryovac also created the packaging used for ham, Cornish hens and beef. The material saves money by preventing losses, Deily said.

"It protects the products, it enhances the shelf life. Less spoiled product means less waste," Deily said. "And the package not only communicates valuable information to the consumer, it allows it to show the brand, too."