The PackHub Trend Report 26/02/2021
Welcome to the latest packaging innovation trends update brought to you in conjunction with Paul Jenkins of UK packaging innovation consultancy ThePackHub.
Our focus this time is on food packaging. We have selected five new packaging innovations that represent some of the many beverage initiatives introduced in the global packaging industry over the last month. If you’d like much more news like this, you can subscribe to ThePackHub’s innovation newsletters here. These innovations are a selection of more than 4,600 uploaded to ThePackHub’s Innovation Zone database. Find out more here.
Brazil's first biodegradable, paper packaging for yoghurt
Dairy and food company Vigor is the sixth-largest dairy company in Brazil. The business has switched its Vigor Simples yoghurt brand into paper packaging, the first time this has been done for the product category in the country as well as the first initiative posted in the Innovation Zone. The alternative to plastic packaging is biodegradable and from renewable sources. The material has a higher level of recyclability in the market than the plastic it replaces. The printing of product information is done directly on the pack, eliminating the need for additional materials that can complicate the recycling process. It has been estimated that approximately 15 tons of plastic will no longer be used in a year. Vigor has incorporated innovative technology using a welding process to preserve and protect the food. The packs also have a QR code to provide consumers with information about the brand and distribution points.
Cacao beans turned into paper packaging!
South Korea-based paper company Hansol has developed a new paper packaging material by recycling the by-product of cacao beans. The initiative has been conducted in conjunction with compatriots and South Korea’s fifth-largest business conglomerate Lotte Confectionery. The packaging material will be used for the wrapping of chocolate products. The beans are discarded after being used for chocolate ingredients. The cacao bean waste is processed into powder and then mixed with a recycled pulp material to make a paperboard. The development project has been seven months in the making. The Cacao byproducts generated during production can be efficiently recycled. Through ongoing technology development, Hansol plan to introduce more products that contain larger quantities of cacao by-product. In other sustainable developments, Hansol is stepping up the development of several nano-cellulose materials with a view to replacing plastic.
General Mills drive to 100% recyclable by 2025
Like many brand owners, General Mills is working towards an objective of delivering 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. A small part of this mission is being achieved with the introduction of Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars in fully recyclable plastic wrappers, a first for the category. The wrappers are made with an advanced processing technology that uses unique PE polymers. General Mills is not patenting the wrapper and is embracing other food brands to utilise the technology for their products. The wrappers can be recycled through How2Recycle centres in grocery stores across the US. The plastic itself can be turned into a range of products such as garden furniture. Messaging on the box and on each individual wrapper explains exactly what should happen to the packaging to be recycled at grocery store drop-offs. The wrappers themselves have a slightly different look and feel but most consumers are unlikely to notice. The new wrappers still provide the necessary barrier properties to preserve freshness and have no impact on shelf life.
Years of research to develop innovative packaging material
Fazer is one of the largest businesses in the Finnish food industry. Founded in 1891, it now employs over 10,000 people. The business has been on the sustainable packaging development trail with the introduction of a bread bag made partially from oat hulls derived from the oat milling process. This unique packaging innovation was years in the making working with Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the Natural Resources Institute Finland and Design Forum Finland’s HerääPahvi! project. The new material is 25% oat hulls, and the pack can be recycled as cardboard. The oat hulls used come from Fazer’s Lahti-based oat mill. The bag is resistant to vapour to help protect the contents. 11 versions were developed to create the final oat-hull paper suitable for food contact. Fazer’s bakeries will start baking their new Leipurin Kaurainen bread to be packed in the new oat-hull bags.
Material reduction initiative
Dutch dairy producer FrieslandCampina’s Campina Organic brand has announced a new material reduction initiative, which sees the removal of plastic caps from their packaging. Their one-litre carton format has been engineered with a new pouring opening that makes the plastic screw cap redundant. The change will prevent the use of millions of plastic screw caps every year. The new packaging has at least 37% less CO₂ emissions compared to the old format. Campina has offset the remaining CO₂ emissions from the packaging to deliver a solution that can be claimed to be climate neutral. FrieslandCampina has an objective to make its entire packaging portfolio fully CO₂ neutral as part of its ‘Nourishing a better planet’ sustainability programme. Steps are being taken to achieve these goals for all FrieslandCampina brands. The change has consequent production efficiency and cost reduction benefits as well. A layerless material has also been used in the packaging, so that the unbleached brown cardboard is immediately visible for additional shelf appeal.