Alliance Group has dispatched its first major shipment of product in vacuum skin tray packaging to Hong Kong following a successful trial.

Skin packaging is technology that hermetically seals right to the edge of the meat cut, extending its chilled shelf life for up to 11 weeks, retaining colour and optimising meat tenderness.

The product, including cutlets, saddle chops and chump steaks, will be jointly marketed under Alliance Group's Pure South and the Angliss Hong Kong brands and sold in supermarkets, including those owned by the Aeon Stores Group.

Peter Russell, general manager marketing at Alliance Group, said the shipment was believed to be the first New Zealand red meat packed at origin to be supplied in skin packs in Hong Kong.

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"Skin packaging is a good way to display smaller consumer-ready portions. Because of the materials used, skin packaging gives flexibility to package small consumer-ready products across a range of cuts, including chilled, frozen, bone-in and boneless - compared to less flexible vacuum packaging which is used for larger primal cuts to export wholesale markets," he said.

Alliance Group has been working on skin-pack technology for the past two years.