Category: Uncategorised

October 2021

Innovation Zone Snapshot – Sustainable alternative to EPS created from residual corn semolina

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Innovation Zone

ThePackHub Innovation Zone Snapshot

Welcome to this week’s Innovation Zone snapshot from ThePackHub.
ThePackHub collates 20 new packaging innovations every week for our Innovation Zone database. We now have 5,224 searchable initiatives listed. We have selected four new initiatives for you today.

More information on our Innovation Zone packaging database –

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ThePackHub’s latest Recyclable Packaging Innovations webinar broadcast on Thursday 30th September is now available to watch online.

You can watch it here.

Any questions or enquiries to Marika Knorr of CCL Label about EcoSleeve or their other recyclable solutions as follows:

Telephone: +491731536577

Any questions about the innovations discussed or the Innovation Zone, please contact

#1 Sustainable alternative to EPS created from residual corn semolina

German manufacturer Plant Pack GMBH have developed a more sustainable alternative to EPS (expanded polystyrene). Manufactured using corn semolina from its sister company Nordgetreide GmbH & Co. KG, it utilises residual material that is unsuitable for food production, which is then ‘puffed’ to create a sustainable material. This new material has similar shock-absorbing and heat-insulating properties as EPS, while, at the same time, having sustainability advantages. As it is made from 100% bio-based raw materials, after use it can be disposed of in organic waste, or composted domestically. It is also more sustainable in its life cycle, with 51% fewer CO2 emissions over its life compared to EPS. In order to make the product moisture repellent, a thin layer of PLA (polylactic acid) is added. It is anticipated that it could replace conventional EPS uses providing insulation for temperature-sensitive food products as well as non-packaging applications such as for protecting electrical products.


#2 Reusable plastic cups introduced for coffee beans

US coffee company Bequest Coffee Roasters are introducing a return initiative for coffee beans. Consumers can buy coffee beans that come in plastic jars and return them when finished. The return will require a $2.50 deposit for a shipping label and instructions, which will then be turned into credit for the next purchase. It theoretically should work as a cost-saving for the producer with no negative effect on the consumer, due to the lack of having to buy so many plastic jars. It is not clear as to the recyclability of the plastic jars, but it is assumed they can be recycled at the end of their useful life.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#3 Tube stopper is easier to open and uses fewer materials

French medical packaging company Airnov, specialists in controlled atmosphere packaging, has announced the launch of a new desiccant stopper for cylindrical tubes designed to hold tablets or other types of medication. A criticism of current openings for tubes was cited to be the difficulty in opening them, which was prioritised by Airnov in the development of their new 27mm stopper. The Choisy-le-Roi-based business also states that the new stopper uses fewer raw materials, making it a lightweight and therefore more sustainable alternative. Airnov also claim that the new stoppers do not compromise its most important function, that of protecting moisture-sensitive nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and probiotic products. The new stopper will be available in a variety of formats and colours to meet a customers’ individual requirements.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Coffee creamer brand switches to recycled PET from glass

FrieslandCampina, Dutch owners of the Friesche Vlag brand of coffee creamers, have announced that they are moving all of their products currently in glass to recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. The change to a more sustainable recycled PET bottle is driven by data that confirms that the CO2 footprint of plastic bottles is much less than that of single-use glass. The business also claims that the milk pours better from the new PET bottles, and they are also unbreakable. A ‘zipper’ for the outer sleeve of the bottle helps with its removal, which is not in itself recyclable at the present time, but does allow for the bottle to be recyclable. The new PET bottles will be available in three sizes, 140ml, 300ml and 500ml. Initially, the bottles will contain 89% recycled content, but it is hoped to be able to move to 100% recycled bottles once technology allows.

Latest ThePackHub Expert Interview

Marika Knorr of CCL Label discusses her company’s Ecofloat sleeve material can enable brands to meet their recycling targets.

Packaging question of the week

Does e-commerce packaging lag behind ‘bricks and mortar’ stores in terms of sustainability? Vote and comment now.

Last week, 82% would you try in-store reusable packaging if available to them.

October 2017

Innovation Zone Snapshot – sequins, sun activated packs, unique labels and more

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Innovation Zone ThePackHub -

Welcome to this week’s ThePackHub Innovation Zone snapshot.

ThePackHub collates 20 new packaging innovations a week and we have picked four recent examples for you to peruse below.

We have 2,040 packaging innovations uploaded to our Innovation Zone database with new members joining all the time.  Find out about how to subscribe here:

Our latest monthly innovation report for October featuring the stand out packaging innovations for the month is just £129 + VAT and out now.

NEW: Vote for your packaging innovation of the week here:

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#1 Where is Chester? Sunlight reveals the answer

Chromatic Technologies Inc.(CTI) have expanded their photochromic ink offering with a new innovative initiative for the Cheetos snack brand in Mexico. The campaign is the largest use of CTI’s light reactive ink for a consumer goods brand. The ‘Where is Chester?’ campaign sees the main brand character hidden from Cheetos packs. He only comes visible by exposing the pack to sunlight. This is an engaging attempt to capture consumers’ attention. There are also coupons inside the packs with points to redeem for a variety of Chester branding items. There are 16 different ‘poses’ of Chester across the Cheetos range.  The bags display just a white circle and a magnifying glass  until the pack is exposed to sunlight. CTI custom-developed the orange and charcoal photochromic inks required for the execution. The converter was American Poly del Norte in Mexico.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 The world’s most tactile spirit bottle will be hard to put down

Leading spirit brand Absolut has a strong reputation for distinctive and head-turning limited edition packaging innovations. They release a headline making new special edition every year. Their latest creation again ticks all the disruption boxes. Absolut Uncover sees the bottle resplendent in sparkling sequins with a fabric cover that surrounds the bottle. The bottle is just asking to be picked up and played with and consists of sequins in silver and Absolut brand blue. The ‘Absolutely Uncover Case’ has a ‘hand-flip’ feature, delivers an element of fun through the opportunity for consumers to move the sequences around and create their own personalised patterns on the case.

More info in The Innovation Zone

Our next event will be Thursday 17th May

Our next Innovation Zone Live! will be Thursday 17th May 2018. Venue in the midlands to be confirmed.

This is the perfect opportunity to get up to speed with the very latest packaging innovations relevant to your business in an interactive and engaging seminar environment.

More details to follow.

Add to your calendar:

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#3 Dynamic pack shape gets candy brand noticed

An innovation that started life as an alternative to conventional rigid tube packaging for beverage bottles has ended up as a pack format for confectionery brands. The new pack shape has been turning heads in store following its introduction at UK retailer ASDA. The ‘Qube’ has been designed and produced by Leicester based high-end print and packaging firm Qualvis. It is described as a flat fold tube design, featuring a gold metallised polyester carton tube base with matching gold tinplate lid. Harrogate-based The Serious Sweet Company and Dutch chocolatier Baronie and both employing the new pack shape under the ASDA Extra Special brand. The Qube is claimed to deliver supply chain and environmental benefits over conventional rigid tube packaging systems.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 31,000 unique labels for retro wine brand

Victoria, Australia based wine producer Mitchelton Wines has relaunched an Australian wine classic from the 1980s. Nothing unusual in that perhaps but Preece Wines, with their iconic circular front label, now has a series of unique labels adorning the front and back using Multi-Colour Corporation‘s Generative Design technique. Almost 31,000 unique front and back labels have been printed via an algorithm which incorporates Preece’s historical wine data to help create a variety of pieces of relevant information on each pack. Each unique bottle links each wine to a variety of factors such as its vintage, region and history. The next Preece vintage release will see the brand up the ante with the introduction of over 200,000 unique front and back labels.

More info in The Innovation Zone.


Please visit ThePackHub website to find out more about the range of packaging innovation services we offer. We’ve delivered projects for a number of brand owner, retailer and packaging suppliers.

Until next time. Happy innovating.

ThePackHub Ltd 3 Redlands Court, Chapel Lane, Shotteswell, Banbury, OX17 1JB . Tel: 0118 963 9990 . Email us >