The Right Adhesives Make Packaging a Piece of Cake

A pressure-sensitive, double-sided adhesive enabled a Florida cake bakery to add wholesale to its distribution mix. Image courtesy of We Take the Cake

How an Artisan Bakery Increased Production With a Freezer-grade Adhesive

By Steven Staedler, a Wisconsin-based writer specializing in materials handling and packaging

We Take the Cake is an artisan cake bakery based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that primarily sells individual hand-decorated cakes online. The gourmet bakery prides itself on making everything from scratch and with care. They mix their own batters from scratch every day, create their own frosting and hand-decorate every cake.

With a streamlined baking, packaging and shipping process, We Take the Cake’s e-commerce business was thriving. However, when a major retail grocery chain ordered 90,000 frozen cakes to be packaged in custom branded boxes, the cake baker needed to make some modifications to its packaging process.

The cake walk – understanding the application

When selecting an adhesive, it is important to consider a number of factors. Every application is unique, and it’s important to consider where the adhesive is being applied, the type of packaging material it is being applied to, the temperatures in the environment where the adhesive is being applied, as well as the temperature in the location where the package will be stored or transported.

Frozen food applications require a special food-grade adhesive that maintains an effective bond, and provides a durable seal in extreme temperatures. The bakery’s adhesives would be applied between 72 and 76 Fahrenheit and then immediately frozen at zero degrees Fahrenheit. This extreme temperature change proved to be the primary challenge in selecting an adhesive.

Additionally, We Take the Cake did not want to add an expensive, fully automated packaging system, and needed to address challenges they had experienced with previous projects. For example, the bakery had used a liquid, hot-melt adhesive for previous clients.  They learned liquid hot melt tends to drip, creating a safety issue for employees, and the residue negatively affected the package appearance.

Employees were able to place Glue Dots adhesives quickly and consistently on individual cake boxes, creating an instant bond, with no residue or odors. Image courtesy of We Take the Cake.

The icing on the cake – finding the right solution

We Take The Cake wanted a safe alternative to hot melts and liquid glues, and needed a freezer-grade adhesive that could provide an instant bond, with no residue or odor. The bakery was also searching for a simple and cost-effective solution that was not going to take a lot of training for people to use.

We Take the Cake chose a food-grade and freezer-grade adhesive from Glue Dots. The product is a pressure-sensitive, double-sided adhesive with zero cure time.  It also leaves no mess, which resulted in cake boxes with a beautiful giftbox-like appearance.

From an operational standpoint, the product was affordable, and the easy application process did not bog down production in any way. Ultimately, the cake maker successfully completed the retail grocery chain’s order on time by employing a fast, simple and economical sealing process. As We Take the Cake grows with more wholesale distribution, more people around the country will be able to delight in its sweet treats as they arrive in custom boxes that are safely sealed and shipped from Florida.

About the Author

Steve Staedler is a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based writer focused on the material handling and packaging industries. He can be reached at steve@lepoidevinmarketing.com. Learn more at www.lepoidevinmarketing.com.

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